If you’re looking to start a new business, one of the best ways to learn the ropes is to attend a reputable business school. Fortunately, for those of you that reside in Wisconsin, this state has several great schools that offer business degrees.
Do you have dreams of being an entrepreneur? Do you want to fill your mental toolbox with all the resources you need to succeed in the business world? Read on as we discuss the details about some of Wisconsin’s best business schools!
Why Should You Attend a Business School?
There are several great reasons that going to business school can boost your entrepreneurial future. First and foremost, the knowledge you can gain is incredibly valuable. The whole point of business school is to educate students regarding the ins and outs of the business world, which will obviously give you a leg up on the competition.
In addition, people who graduate from business school have an air of credibility about them, as people trust that they have the expertise necessary to operate a business. You can also build a robust professional network by attending business school.
Not only will you make connections with your fellow students, but you can also join professional groups that can provide a great support system when you get your business off the ground.
The 25 Best Wisconsin Business Schools Available
The School of Business at the University of Wisconsin – Madison ranks in the top 40 business schools (U.S. News), and their part-time (aka evening) MBA program ranks near the top, too. And with a wide variety of programs, from 10 business-based Bachelor’s degrees to terminal degrees, you’ll find any program you can think of.
Admission is fairly competitive, though, so you’d better be prepared to bring your A-game. Some of their most popular Bachelor’s degrees include Accounting, International Business, Marketing, and Human Resources and Management. Approximately 97% of their students score an internship, too. That means job prospects after graduation are fantastic, too. Whether you’re looking to use your degree to start your own business or gain experience while working full-time, a degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison will help you get there.
As another branch of the University of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee campus is another great place to study business, especially if you want to be in a metropolitan area long-term. They offer six different business-related majors and two Master’s programs, too. Top picks include Human Resources Management, Finance, and Marketing.
Marquette University ranks on the Top 100 list for several different factors—most notably the Top 100 National University (U.S. News & World Report). And in the School of Business Administration, Marquette offers a dozen different business majors. Some of those degrees can be accelerated, too. Their MBA programs are nationally ranked, too. So if you want a truly competitive business education, you’ll find it at Marquette.
At the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, you’ll find only 4-year degrees and Master’s programs in the College of Business Administration. But as an Eagle, you’ll enjoy plenty of chances to interact with knowledgeable faculty and the local Small Business Development Center.
Looking for a Milwaukee business school with a smaller feel? You’ll find it in Alverno College. Since the College is smaller, you’ll only find 2 business undergraduate degrees: Accounting and Business. They also offer a minor in Communication and Technology.
One of the most intriguing offerings from Alverno College is their accelerated Bachelor’s and MBA program. You’ll get your bachelor’s degree and your Master’s in just five years’ time. Of course, that means you’ll have to dedicate a lot of your time to school. So if you’re hoping to take school on the side, then Alverno may not be best for you.
One of the great things about a large university like the University of Wisconsin Whitewater is that they usually offer a lot of variety in their programming. And Whitewater’s campus is no exception. If you’re looking for an online degree from a reputable university, give them a look. They have online degrees in General Business, General Management, and Finance (plus Master’s degrees, too.
Beloit ranks among the top 30 schools for the best first-year experience. So if you’re looking to enjoy the in-person experience of your chosen business school, Beloit is a good choice. Their Department of Economics and Business offers several different degrees, but all of them have an Economics slant to them. That’s not a bad thing—after all, economics is an integral part of business—but if you’re looking for a niched degree, you may want to look into another university.
Located in Mequon, Concordia University Wisconsin has something for everyone. You can kick off your education with an Associate’s in Business Management, or take it to the next level with a Master’s degree or graduate certificate. Concordia offers more than 15 graduate certificates and MBA programs.
What’s more, a large portion of those degrees are available online, too. That allows you to stay present at your job while still advancing your degree. But if you decide to take classes in residence, you’ll enjoy small class sizes and easy access to your professors.
U.S. News ranks Carthage College as the 14th best college in the Midwest. You won’t find a ton of different degree options at Carthage, but you’ll find a different kind of variety: study abroad. At Carthage, roughly half of all students participate in a study abroad program. That international experience will prove invaluable to you in a global marketplace.
In addition, Carthage has a beautiful campus. Located on the coast of Lake Michigan in the city of Kenosha, you’ll find that both Milwaukee and Chicago are within driving distance, too.
Big, 4-year universities are great, but they’re not for everyone. If you’re in a hurry to earn some business cred, an associate’s degree may be a better option. And if so, Chippewa Valley Tech is a great option. They offer more than 11 Associate’s Degrees and several different certifications. Popular choices include Marketing, General Business, and Human Resources.
Carroll University wins high honors for the quality of their undergraduate teaching. You’re paying for the professors’ expertise, so it’s reassuring to know that you’ll get your money’s worth at Carroll. Another thing we love about Carroll is the fact that you can earn many of their business degrees in just three years. Or if you want, you can tack on an MBA in just four years.
Niche ranks Fox Valley as the top community college in the entirety of Wisconsin. And it’s not entirely surprising why: you’ll find a variety of certificates and degrees at Fox Valley. Despite being a community college, Fox Valley offers an impressive number of business degrees and certificates. 16 of those programs are offered online, too.
Some of their more popular offerings include Small Business Entrepreneurship, Accounting, and Business Management. They also offer certificates in areas like Business Skills Training. If you want to “try your hand” at the school, a certificate is a good place to begin, and many of them can be rolled over into an Associate’s degree.
Community colleges are a great choice for a lot of people; they’re cheaper, closer to home, more relaxed, and the party scene isn’t the emphasis. (Parties are great, but if you’re going to school on the side, they’re not your focus). A drawback to community colleges? Their smaller size usually means there aren’t a ton of offerings. That’s not the case with Wisconsin Indianhead Tech. They offer a fair variety of degrees, some of which are online. Others are eligible for financial aid, too.
Fennimore, Wisconsin boasts a hidden gem thanks to Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, which ranks #13 among Forbes’ Top 25 Trade Schools. The primary downside is that they offer only Associate’s degrees, but that may be perfect for your needs. Their programs and certificates include Business Management, Leadership Management, and more.
If you decide to complete an Associate’s at Southwest and then want to get more education, you’ll be able to. Southwest has transfer agreements with several local institutions, including the University of Wisconsin.
Like the other branches of the University of Wisconsin, you’ll find top-notch degree programs in a variety of business areas on the Parkside campus. But one the things we love about UW Parkside is the fact that they offer a unique online completion program. If you have credits for a degree but life has kept you from finishing, Parkside will help you complete it.
One of the top struggles a lot of people have with college in general is the sheer cost of it. Thankfully, Ripon College ranks as the 27th best value college in the entire country. Their offerings are pretty simple, too, with a major and minor in Business Management. The program is a straightforward 4-year degree.
If “business management” sounds boring, hold your horses: Ripon allows you to choose your area of focus after consulting with your advisor. So you’ll get to customize your degree. Plus, Ripon students direct their own consulting business called Creative Enterprise Consultants. You may be able to join them yourself, or at least get advice from them along the way.
Sometimes, going back to school as an adult can be a downright pain. Thankfully, Lakeshore Technical College has earned multiple honors as a top school for adult learners nationwide. With a wide offering of associate degrees from Business Management to Supply Chain Analytics, you’ll find the right program for your goals and your budget.
What’s more, Lakeshore Tech lets you pick and choose how and where you take your classes. Want to take half online and half in person? You can with Lakeshore.
Western Technical College ranks in the top 3% of technical colleges nationwide. In the business niche, their top programs include Business Analyst and Business Management—both associate’s degrees. They also offer a variety of technical diplomas.
Western Tech also makes it easy to transfer in or out. If you have credits from previous learning, they’ll probably transfer in. And if you want to build on your associate’s degree, Western has agreements with several four-year universities, including Franklin University, Viterbo University, and University of Phoenix.
Let’s say you have an associate’s degree in Business already, or you’ve earned some credits but you’ve never actually finished. If so, you can finish up—online, no less—at Viterbo University. They also offer an MBA in Business Administration and an MBA in Healthcare Leadership, too. If you’re looking for a bit more variety, though, you’ll need to pick a traditional 4-year program.
At Northcentral Tech, you’ll find a decent variety of 2-year degrees and professional certificates. And a fair number of them are entirely online, too. Popular online offerings including Business Analyst, Business Management, Human Resources, and Marketing. In-state tuition is incredibly affordable; in-state tuition and fees are close to $3,500.
Wisconsin Lutheran makes the top 20 list of best colleges in the Midwest, and business-related majors are the student body’s top choice. So if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a student body of people who share your interests, WLC may be a perfect fit. Popular undergraduate degrees include Business Administration, Business Management and Leadership (an accelerated program), Coaching, and more. WLC also offers a Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation.
Waukesha Community Tech, or WCTC, gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Wisconsin residents will spend less than $140 per credit. And with 9 associate’s degrees to choose from, you’re sure to find a program that matches your goals. WCTC also offers technical diplomas and certificates in areas like change management, accounting in healthcare, global trade finance, and tax for the non-accountant.
Located in Kenosha, Gateway Tech brings a suburban feel to your college experience. Unlike some technical colleges, Gateway’s student body is sizeable: over 21,000 total. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to network with like-minded students as you pursue your associate’s in Business Management, Business Services Management, Small Business Entrepreneurship, and more.
With three physical locations across the country, Ottawa University has established themselves as an excellent learning option for busy adults. If you want, you can attend physical classes at the Brookfield campus. But if you’re like a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs, classes will be a side gig. Ottawa University makes it easy to pursue your degree on top of your busy lifestyle thanks to their robust online degree programs.
Mid-State seeks to enable students to pursue their associate’s degree in business—no matter what their life is like outside of class. With the flexible online options, web conferencing, and strategic partnerships with local businesses, there’s something for everyone at Mid-State. Some of their most popular business programs are entrepreneurship, human resources, and project management.
There are plenty of great options in the state of Wisconsin for people looking to attend two-year business school, but the University of Wisconsin (with all its campuses across the state) is definitely the largest institution to make the list. Most of the others are pretty small, which means they’re more budget-friendly, too. In general, each of the two-year schools in this guide can provide you with an associate’s degree that translates easily to pursuing a four-year degree.
As to whether you actually need a bachelor’s degree (or an MBA, for that matter) instead of an associate’s degree, that’s up to you. Thankfully, Wisconsin has many quality options to get your business education started on the right foot.
We hope this article helped you hone in on which Wisconsin business school is the best option for you!