South Carolina has many excellent online programs to offer aspiring MBA students. Babson Research Group's distance education survey of South Carolina found 5,031 students pursuing their graduate degrees online, an increasingly popular format for education in this state.
Chronicle of Education data suggests that only 7.1% of South Carolinians hold master's degrees, so South Carolina MBA-holders join an elite, competitive group of educated job candidates. Employers also require relevant work experience. However, earning an online MBA in South Carolina gives candidates the education credentials they need to qualify for leadership positions in major South Carolina industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and business services.
Designed to help identify the best MBA program for you, the following information provides an overview of available South Carolina online MBA programs, accounting for relevant factors such as institution and programmatic accreditation, MBA career paths, South Carolina job market and industry projections, and MBA concentration options.
South Carolina's Online MBA Programs
As you consider pursuing a South Carolina MBA, take time to research and compare the available programs. The list of schools below compares key features of South Carolina online MBA programs.
Note whether programs allow synchronous, asynchronous, part-time, full-time, and accelerated attendance, and consider residency requirements, costs, and concentration offerings. Those with a particular business role or industry in mind should enroll in an MBA program offering a relevant concentration.
Prioritize online MBA programs in South Carolina that boast programmatic accreditation from a top MBA accrediting agency. Look for schools with institution-wide, regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools -- schools offering a higher-caliber education than nationally accredited schools.
Located in Anderson and affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, AU serves about 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students. Offered online, at AU's Greenville campus, or as a hybrid program, the AU MBA emphasizes business theory and practice and leadership principles from a biblical perspective. Once enrolled, students complete 36 credits by taking one asynchronous course at a time. Core courses include marketing management, global business, and leadership and ethics. The program's nine-hour concentration options include healthcare leadership, human resources, supply chain management, and marketing.
Applicants do not need to submit a GMAT score and can begin at one of seven start times during the year. Applicants who have completed graduate coursework may transfer up to six credits into the program. Students can complete AU's online MBA in South Carolina in 20 months or less.
AU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Charleston Southern University
Charleston Southern, a private, Baptist university situated in Charleston, educates just under 4,000 students per year. The school's MBA program consists of 11 courses totaling 33 credit hours, and most students take two years to complete the degree. Applicants to Charleston Southern's South Carolina MBA online must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, show strong work experience, and submit GMAT scores or a waiver. Once enrolled, students can complete courses online, on campus, or in a hybrid format.
The curriculum includes foundations of management and marketing, business data and decision analysis, and the market process and the world economy. Students can choose from six distinct emphases: accounting, leadership, finance, human resource management, management information systems, and general management. This MBA program concludes with an exit assessment.
Charleston Southern holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
Citadel Military College of South Carolina
A state-supported college, The Citadel stands out as one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Students at The Citadel can increase their social awareness and analytical abilities in order to succeed in global business by pursuing an online MBA in South Carolina. Designed for active-duty military members and working professionals, this degree requires 36 credits. The curriculum includes courses in accounting for executives, information technology management, and quantitative measurement for operations management along with a required capstone course.
Students select a specialization in entrepreneurship, finance, or supply chain. Entrepreneurship students learn about using technology in launching and marketing new businesses. Finance majors discuss topics such as taxes and liquidity management. Supply chain students concentrate on distribution, transportation, and logistics planning.
The Citadel holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
A historically black college in Orangeburg, Claflin is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school offers one of South Carolina's online MBA programs designed to help working professionals gain an international perspective on business. The 36-credit program includes courses such as strategic management, marketing management in a global environment, and advanced topics in management and policy information systems. Students can also select a nine-credit emphasis, such as management, marketing, entrepreneurship, or finance. Courses in these emphases include marketing research, project management, enterprise development, and bank management.
Applicants must submit GMAT scores and hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Claflin offers 31 additional credits of foundational business courses for applicants with a degree in a non-business area.
Claflin holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Clemson University launched an online MBA program in 2019 to meet the growing demand for distance learning opportunities. The online program is a welcome addition to an already robust MBA curriculum, with the additional benefit of part-time, 100% online courses.
The online MBA program is open to applicants with at least two years of working experience and is intended to help students advance their careers in management and executive leadership. The program is unique in its flexible learning options, including the choice to attend live online or recorded courses designed specifically for the online track. Students can also take advantage of additional program benefits available to all MBA students, such as study abroad opportunities and special events.
Online MBA students will benefit from the same faculty support and career placement services that on-campus students receive. Clemson graduates have a 95% job placement rate, and the school is committed to student success.
Coastal Carolina University
Serving more than 10,000 online and residential students from its campus in Conway, near Myrtle Beach, CCU offers one of the top South Carolina online MBA programs. Students focus on acquiring the practical, analytical, and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in business. CCU's 30-credit MBA takes just one year to complete, and the university admits students in the fall and spring semesters.
Core courses in the program include financial management, managerial responsibility and the law, and operations and global supply chain. Students also take nine credits of electives, which they can use to concentrate in healthcare administration. Courses in this emphasis include the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare financial decision-making. To gain admission to the program, students must demonstrate five years of business experience or GMAT scores that prove an aptitude for academic work.
CCU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Columbia International University
CIU, a Christian university in Columbia, educates about 1,250 students annually, evenly divided between its graduate and undergraduate programs. Most learners pursuing CIU's online MBA in South Carolina take 18 months to complete the required 36 credits, which help them develop leadership, organizational, and management skills. Courses include business research and data analysis, accounting for financial reporting and management, and organizational behavior and change management. These flexible, hands-on courses often include students from around the world.
CIU's MBA graduates go on to work in the traditional marketplace, pursue academic careers, or engage in church and ministry work. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 2.0 GPA or higher. International applicants and those with a GPA of less than 2.0 should contact the school about special admission requirements.
CIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Situated in Gaffney, Limestone serves more than 3,500 students. The school offers undergraduate degrees in a variety of subjects in addition to its 36-credit online MBA in South Carolina. Students pursuing their MBA take one course every eight weeks to graduate in just 22 months. The program requires three on-campus residence weekends in addition to 11-12 flexible online courses, including supply chain management, leadership and change, and organizational theory and behavior. Students can choose to concentrate in either healthcare administration or management and leadership.
Limestone offers military grants, corporate grants, and a 15% discount for veterans to help students afford their degrees. Applicants who hold five years of business experience or an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above do not need to submit GMAT scores.
Limestone holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
North Greenville University
A Southern Baptist-affiliated college in Tigerville, NGU offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, including an online MBA in South Carolina that students can earn in 18 months. The 36-credit degree emphasizes business analytics, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Full-time students take two courses per eight-week term. Students can pursue a general MBA or choose to concentrate in human resources, which requires 12 specialized credits of coursework.
Applicants can start the program before they have hands-on business experience. NGU permits enrollment at five points throughout the year and offers the program in online, on-campus, and hybrid formats. The program prepares students who concentrate in human resources to pursue two of the field's professional certifications. NGU's MBA program concludes with a course in professional ethics.
NGU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
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Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in South Carolina
Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor, South Carolina's top two industries are healthcare and automobiles. The state's healthcare industry primarily centers around major cities including Charleston and Columbia. Its automotive industry depends largely on BMW, which operates its only North American manufacturing facility in Greer. As such, students who do not wish to live in a major city may find employment opportunities in Greer.
Students can position themselves to benefit from South Carolina's two major industries by specializing their MBAs in healthcare administration or supply chain management/logistics. Enrollees who complete a human resources management concentration could likely find employment in either industry.
Students who earn business degrees in healthcare administration or supply chain management can set themselves up for employment for the foreseeable future. The following table provides additional information about South Carolina's top three employers.
|Company||Location||Main Industry||Number of Employees|
|Savannah River Archeological||Columbia||Archeological Research||13,000|
|Medical University of SC||Charleston||Healthcare||12,000|
Source: Career One Stop
Students who choose healthcare administration, human resources, or supply chain management/logistics to specialize their online MBAs in South Carolina can increase their chances of employment with the state's top businesses. Moreover, these three companies pride themselves on hiring locally, and they occasionally recruit from the state's top business schools and programs.
Careers for MBA Grads in South Carolina
Logisticians manage organizational supply chains, moving people or products. Companies often hire logisticians to improve efficiency and quality of design, production, storage, and delivery. Logisticians benefit from MBA courses or concentrations in supply chain management, technology, and communication, for these professionals frequently use logistics software and communicate with clients, suppliers, and staff in multiple departments.
Many logisticians in South Carolina find work in the state's major manufacturing companies, such as BMW and Boeing, or in South Carolina's rapidly growing transit and pipeline industries.
HR managers serve as liaisons between employees and management by advising executives and attending to employee staffing, benefits, and complaints. HR managers benefit from MBA coursework or concentrations in human resources management and leadership. Most companies have HR departments, so HR professionals may find work in South Carolina's biggest industries, which include education, health, business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.
BLS research indicates that South Carolina's HR managers made an average of $106,500 annually last year.
Nearly every organization in South Carolina's fastest-growing industries employs top executives who generate organizational strategies, plans, policies, and goals. These professionals often consult with teams as they make major decisions about their organization's directions, and they supervise the employees in charge of implementing those decisions and related organizational plans.
In addition to leadership work experience, top executives must have completed advanced coursework in finance, leadership, and operations management. According to BLS data, general and operations managers in South Carolina made an average annual income of $101,400 as of May 2018, and chief executives made about $182,760.
Finance managers perform financial analysis and generate organizational finance goals, plans, and strategies. These professionals also report to and advise executives on financial decisions such as investment direction, cost-cutting, or potential growth areas. Microeconomics, corporate finance, risk management, and other finance-oriented MBA courses and concentrations serve as a good background for this career. South Carolina's financial managers made an average annual salary of $125,710 last year, according to the BLS.
Financial managers work in many of South Carolina's growing industries, including healthcare, technology, and transportation.
MBA Concentrations for South Carolina Students
Many online MBA programs in South Carolina offer both general MBA and MBA concentration options. If you already know which industry or business role you desire, earning an MBA with a concentration in that area often provides better preparation than a general MBA does.
For example, students interested in South Carolina's booming healthcare industry may opt for MBAs in healthcare administration or health services management. Students interested in common business roles such as marketing, accounting, or information management may choose MBA concentrations in these areas. Such graduates might find work with any of South Carolina's top employers in healthcare, education, manufacturing, and other industries.
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