Best South Carolina MBA Schools and Programs

Your Guide to an South Carolina MBA Career, Curriculum and Education

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What Can You Do With an MBA in South Carolina


Admission to an MBA can be a game-changer in anyone’s career. The skills that you’ll develop and master in the classes you complete to attain this degree apply to almost any industry or organization. With the right specialty focus, you can hone your degree to perfectly match your job or the job you want to have. It’s almost assured that, once you have an MBA, you’ll be eligible for promotions and these credentials will open the door to the C-suites of your company. And all of this can happen in a year and a half (18 months) to 3 years, depending on whether your schedule allows you to attend part-time or full-time.

Why Consider an Online MBA?


South Carolina is a growing, dynamic state full of potential and undergoing industry development. From your home in the Palmetto State, you could pursue an online general MBA program through an accredited school in nearly any state in the U.S. However, it may be advantageous to achieve your graduate degree in-state. Not only are you likely to save money on tuition, but your local credentials will resonate with the local business community. Even if your co-worker or boss achieved their degree on-campus, the fact that you have a diploma from the same institution will provide a social bond with them. In fact, many online MBA programs are designed to allow you to learn the exact same educational content through courses taught by the same instructors or staff, regardless of whether you’re on-campus or online.

Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education


Typical MBA Concentrations


Your MBA concentration is not unlike your undergraduate major. It’s the area on which you center the most attention and the most credit-hours. You might choose a concentration that fits your current career path, or one that will help you launch into a new path or industry. Each program offers its own set of concentrations and no two concentrations are identical. Make sure that you don’t skip researching your favorite school’s approach to their concentrations before delving in. Some concentrations available across the country include entrepreneurship and innovation, public policy, human resources, strategic planning, business analytics, and more. You can also choose an accelerated program to get you through the regular MBA or a focused one more quickly. Below are some specializations offered in South Carolina to help graduates earn jobs in the state.

  • International Business
    Business is increasingly dependent on the global economy for sourcing materials and labor. Your firm may also want to export its wares to Asia, Europe, or Latin America. When you focus on international business, you will be prepared to implement effective supply-chain operations, foreign marketing strategies, and more. Your knowledge of foreign business might even help you invest your firm’s equity in international financial markets. Since this concentration encompasses a broad scope of business practices, investigate where you would next like to focus your energies. For instance, you could perhaps choose between international marketing, finance, or supply chain to name a few.
  • Marketing
    Whether your firm’s specialty lies in real goods, info, or services, those products need to be sold to the people who need them. A specialty in marketing will strengthen your ability to read the trends in terms of consumer buying or forecast need for consulting services. Every part of your business’ organization is important, but those parts that generate revenue are perhaps the most important. With a focus on marketing, you can work for nearly any company in any industry. Further, you could set up shop as an independent marketing consultant and help others hone their approach to sales.
  • Finance
    Managing money can be as important as making it. Finance executives know how to take income and invest it in ways that help defer taxation, expand the bottom line, and build more possibilities for the future. As a finance professional, you could also work on acquiring smaller companies that have valuable assets, or you might work on managing the most equitable merger deal. Those who focus on finance often find themselves working in investment banking, consulting, or as financial planners to wealthy individuals.
  • Accounting
    If you majored in accounting in college and are considering moving forwards to attain your CPA license, an MBA that focuses on that field will be enormously helpful. Not only will your graduate-level accounting courses carry more weight with the Accounting Board, but your other coursework will round out your knowledge of the business world. That is, the core curriculum in your program will open a window into parts of business with which you might not have much familiarity. Once you put MBA/CPA on your resume, you will be imminently hireable.
  • Corporate Communications
    Business is nothing if not a system of relationships. Relationships rely on communication as their core currency. Thus, when you focus on corporate communications, you will have a full working knowledge of the supporting ligature inside every transaction in your firm. You can craft internal memos, letters to shareholders, and even coordinate various issues facing the HR department. Experts in corporate communication also help conduct interviews, manage public relations events, and help guide their organizations with clear, concise communication.

Accreditation in South Carolina


Before you enroll in an online MBA program, check on their accreditation credentials. Accreditation essentially means that a program has been thoroughly reviewed by an impartial agency. These accreditation agencies assess a program’s faculty, curriculum, rates of attrition, as well as student outcomes. When those, and other, factors meet their standards, they bestow their approval in the form of accreditation.

Accreditation also means that you will be able to easily transfer any credit hours you’ve earned to another school, and that you will have access to federal financial aid.

There are three main accrediting agencies you’re likely to see when investigating online MBA programs in South Carolina:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business:
    The AACSB is the oldest, and one of the most-respected, accrediting agencies for business schools. Their standards focus on traditional measures of academics, including research. This methodology is said to diminish the importance of pedagogy and student outcomes. However, such programs offer an excellent opportunity to study and work with some of the top academics currently doing research in the business world. If your employer offers tuition reimbursement, they are likely to acknowledge any AACSB-approved program.
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs:
    Another top accreditation comes from the ACBSP. They arose in the late 1980s, when MBA programs were starting to proliferate on seemingly every college campus. They saw that the MBA was increasingly used as a professional credential and less as a pure academic pursuit. Thus, they focused their accreditation standards on pedagogy and student outcomes. Though not as highly esteemed as accreditation from the AACSB, the ACBSP stamp of approval is bound to indicate a standard of excellence.
  • Regional Accreditation:
    In South Carolina, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is responsible for assuring the education of much of the state’s college-age population. They also can accredit graduate business programs. Regional accreditation might not have quite the impact of business-specific accrediting agencies, but you are sure to receive a quality education from a SACS-accredited school or program.

Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates


South Carolina has a bustling economy that is full of business opportunities. As an MBA graduate, you will become a vital part of how the Palmetto state grows and develops in the 21st century.

Here is a sample of some of the top employers in South Carolina:

Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees


Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
State Government Public Sector Columbia 356,800
Greenville Memorial Hospital Healthcare Greenville 11,000
Medical University of South Carolina Healthcare Charleston 12,000
BMW Manufacturing Company Automotive Greer 7,000
Palmetto Health Richland Healthcare Columbia 4,200

Careers for South Carolina MBA Grads


When you graduate with your MBA, you’ll find that employers are dying to sign you up. Your focus area will prime you for success in your chosen field.

While MBAs succeed in so many areas of business, here is a sample of six top career choices South Carolina online MBA students have made:

  • Investment Banker
    An MBA is virtually required to pursue a career in investment banking. If you entered the field from college, you probably worked for two or three years as an analyst. Now that you've proven your worth, an MBA will propel you into the Associate's position. If you continue on your successful path from there, you might even land in a Managing Director's chair. Whether you're putting together private placements, managing mergers, or working an Initial Public Offering, you're going to love your career.
  • Corporate Communications Professional
    In this position, you may be asked to wear many hats. You could find yourself managing a crisis when your product is implicated in an accident. You could also create and distribute press releases while managing the roll-out of a new marketing campaign. Other possible duties include collaborating in internal documents that detail policies and procedures or maintaining, editing, or otherwise managing any internal company blog or newsletter. In today's multimedia landscape, there are many options for you to exploit as a communications professional.
  • Brand Manager
    If you focus on marketing in your MBA studies, you might land a position as a brand manager. Such a position would entail you devising a personality, or brand, for your firm's products. You might collaborate with the advertising and communications professionals your company employs to ensure that your specific brand receives the precise handling it needs to maintain its identity in the marketplace.
  • Financial Planner
    Not every MBA strives to build and protect a large corporation. Some put their primary focus on individuals and individual financial portfolios. With an MBA to your name, you are bound to attract top-notch clients who rely on your expertise to protect and grow their wealth portfolio. Depending on the size of the estate you are working with, you could find yourself working with very complex financial instruments that demand an MBA's knowledge and expertise.
  • Operations Manager
    Operations managers make sure the company works. If you love working with logistics, this could be perfect for you. Your essential job will be to reduce waste and inefficiencies in the operation. Some operations managers work to manage how raw materials enter and are handled through the firm's processes. Since those materials are a large part of production cost, your ability to streamline how they are handled is of utmost importance.
  • Big Data Analyst
    While this is still a burgeoning field, if you are adept at assessing large volumes of numbers and determining the patterns within, this could be a great place to make a lasting mark. To prepare for this field, you might focus your MBA work on statistics courses, IT, and management information systems. This is a deep field that may even require further study.Once you start assessing the scope of this position, you are sure to figure out how to best proceed.

Best MBA Programs in South Carolina


South Carolina is full of great, nationally-accredited, online MBA programs. If you're already living in the Palmetto State, you have no reason to look out-of-state. Try to keep your education local, even if your work is done exclusively online. When your academic pedigree is of a local variety, that is sure to bring smiles to the faces of future employers and colleagues.

University of South Carolina-Columbia Location
Columbia, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Global Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Management
Tuition
$14,225
Retention %
89%
Graduation %
77%
Avg. Grad Salary
$63,676
Winthrop University Location
Rock Hill, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Marketing
  • Sports Marketing & Revenue Generation
  • Strategic Leadership
Tuition
$15,971
Retention %
70%
Graduation %
63%
Avg. Grad Salary
$56,177
Southern Wesleyan University Location
Central , SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$10,170
Retention %
69%
Graduation %
54%
Avg. Grad Salary
$64,158
College of Charleston Location
Charleston, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Hospitality and Tourism Development
Tuition
$14,341
Retention %
81%
Graduation %
66%
Avg. Grad Salary
$59,337
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Location
Charleston, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$10,890
Retention %
86%
Graduation %
74%
Avg. Grad Salary
$70,439
Furman University Location
Greenville, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Economic
  • Marketing
  • Management
Tuition
$6,225
Retention %
89%
Graduation %
83%
Avg. Grad Salary
$66,318
Bob Jones University Location
Greenville, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$8,162
Retention %
82%
Graduation %
66%
Avg. Grad Salary
$60,480
Charleston Southern University Location
North Charleston, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Management Information Systems
Tuition
$7,500
Retention %
65%
Graduation %
41%
Avg. Grad Salary
$59,442
University of South Carolina-Aiken Location
Aiken, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Project Management
Tuition
$13,734
Retention %
65%
Graduation %
39%
Avg. Grad Salary
$55,804
South Carolina State University Location
Orangeburg, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Agribusiness
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare Management
Tuition
$9,928
Retention %
68%
Graduation %
35%
Avg. Grad Salary
$63,697
Claflin University Location
Orangeburg, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$11,653
Retention %
70%
Graduation %
51%
Avg. Grad Salary
$56,198
Coastal Carolina University Location
Conway, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$10,674
Retention %
68%
Graduation %
47%
Avg. Grad Salary
$55,406
Francis Marion University Location
Florence, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • Healthcare Executive Management
Tuition
$10,612
Retention %
69%
Graduation %
44%
Avg. Grad Salary
$56,112
Anderson University-South Carolina Location
Anderson, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$9,651
Retention %
80%
Graduation %
67%
Avg. Grad Salary
$51,764
Benedict College Location
Columbia, SC
MBA Concentrations
  • General Business
  • Management
Tuition
$9,900
Retention %
56%
Graduation %
24%
Avg. Grad Salary
$50,910
Limestone University Location
Gaffney, SC
MBA Concentrations
No
Tuition
$12,350
Retention %
67%
Graduation %
33%
Avg. Grad Salary
$53,389

How to Choose & FAQ's


Not all MBA programs are created equal. Even if they have the same accreditation and even the same concentrations, chances are that they will differ in some fundamental ways. One program might focus more on accounting or other analytical areas, where other programs might be best suited to marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. Thus, it’s important to be very careful when choosing your online MBA program in South Carolina.

  • Concentrations
    This is probably one of the first criteria you look for when choosing an online MBA program. For that reason, take a close look at what you want, not just what is offered. Are you bored with your work in finance? It’s not for everyone and many finance professional’s transition into marketing when they discover the challenges available in that area. Take a close look at what you wish to take away from your MBA experience and make sure the program can satisfy that need. Further, note that within each concentration there could be a few focus areas. Finance, for example, could focus on corporate finance or steer students towards an expertise with personal portfolios.
  • Flexibility
    When you look for an online MBA program, you are likely in need of an academic experience that can fit within your work calendar and family life. You don’t need to fight traffic to make it to class and you don’t want to interrupt important meetings to sit in a lecture. Therefore, look for programs that allow you to logon at any time to download course materials, including recorded lectures. However, you may want to consider seeking out the programs that will allow you to login for the live lecture where there may be an opportunity to discuss the lecture in real-time with your fellow students.
  • Real-World Options
    More and more online MBA programs are offering optional, or even mandatory, real-world experiences that enhance your learning. Some so-called hybrid MBAs ask you to visit campus for a weekend once a month or so, while others include optional real-world additions to your coursework. For instance, an international business track might include a trip overseas to observe how international supply-chain operations really work. Such hands-on learning could benefit your academic work, while also giving you the opportunity to meet and connect with your fellow business-people.
  • Technological Compatibility
    If you’re in an online program, you need to make sure that your technology meets the school’s requirements. While some workarounds might work for most things, you need to use specifically what is recommended. That might mean giving up your Macintosh in favor of a PC, or forgoing the free, open source spreadsheet program in favor of Excel. However, when you investigate this matter, you could find that you can use an iPad or Android tablet for at least part of your work.
  • Real-world Connections

    As you study, and once you’ve graduated, it’ll be invaluable to know your fellow students. Find out what your program is doing to help facilitate networking opportunities. That might involve post-graduation seminars or retreats, or it could mean alumni gatherings in major cities. This is important because an MBA is all about becoming a better business-person and nothing moves business forward more than interpersonal connections and networking.

    Now you’re fully prepared to begin the search for the best online MBA program for you. You’ve got an exciting two years ahead of you, so get started today. Your future is waiting!

MBA Degrees, Career Paths & Resources