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More MBA Grads Needed in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is experiencing the perfect storm of job growth catalysts. Leading companies in high-growth industries like Amazon, Microsoft, eBay and Salesforce are attracting many of the nation's best educated workers, who are in turn attracting even more business investment capital. At the same time, schools in the area are focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields to keep the talent pipeline stocked, and employers are increasing their investments in the region.

With this many factors working in the regional economy's favor, the demand for professionals with an MBA should continue long into the future. MBA graduates from regional institutions should be in especially high demand, as curricula reflect the needs of local employers.

Pacific Northwest States Rank Highly in Leading National Studies

Washington was ranked as the #1 state in the nation in CNBC's America's Top 10 States for Business in 2017. The fastest-growing economy in America was led by top technology employers Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia, as well as by Costco and the state's largest employer, Boeing.

The workforce is already among the most educated and skilled in the nation, which has driven innovation and created a magnet for business capital. With these capital investments, companies hire more, invest in more projects, and require an increasing array of leadership capabilities that are developed in business schools.

Three states in the Pacific Northwest made CNBC's list of the Top States to Find a Job in America in 2017, and this time, Idaho (#4) tops the regional list, followed by Oregon (#6) and Washington (#8).

Idaho's economic strength has been driven by the state's aggressive pursuit of international investment. This has contributed to the lowest level of state unemployment in decades, with a hiring surge led by the healthcare and finance industries. 16,800 jobs were added in 2017.

Oregon's resource-based economy, including logging and mining, are both in solid expansion mode according to CNBC, but housing construction has led the state's double digit job growth. Across all industries in the state, unemployment is well below the national average, and companies are steadily hiring. 43,300 jobs were added in 2017.

Washington's IT sector is thriving, as are its mining, logging, construction and hospitality industries — all of which require a continuous influx of MBA graduates. Though unemployment is in line with national averages, employers are not curtailing hiring. As always, the best-skilled talent, including professionals with leadership training, is in high demand. 76,200 jobs were added in 2017.

Cities in the Region are Thriving and Attracting Top Talent

Seattle was recently ranked #9 in the BusinessBecause "10 Best Cities for Millennial MBAs." The site also referred to a PayScale poll, which reported a job satisfaction rate of 70 percent for the city's Millennials. Technology corporations are a major draw for aspiring MBA students and graduates, according to the Seattle Times, which reports that a handful of business schools in the Pacific Northwest recently graduated more of their students into technology jobs than any other industry.

According to Josh Warborg, a Seattle-based district president of staffing firm Robert Half, "It's an all-out war for talent. We have some pretty good-size companies in Seattle that are consistently adding people and don't seem to show any signs of slowing down." Demand is especially strong for highly educated workers in professional and business services as well as construction.

Technology is also continuing its high growth trajectory, especially in computer and mathematical jobs. "Technology is continuing to be a larger portion of the workforce than ever before," says Megan Slabinski of Robert Half.

Portland has had a wave of talent flocking to its progressive and environmentally friendly scene. It is the #1 city in America for business and careers, according to Forbes, with a $157 billion economy. It now has the ninth-highest concentration of highly educated Millennials. Companies in the metro area include Nike, Intel, Daimler and Boeing. STEM fields account for 7.2 percent of all jobs in the area, well above the national average of 5.8 percent.

Boise is currently ranked as the #23 place for business and careers in America by Forbes. Job growth is led by the high-tech industry, but the economy remains diversified with strong government and business sectors. A highly educated workforce continues to draw more investment capital, which has made Boise the #16 ranked city in America for job growth.

With every conceivable catalyst for business leadership job growth in place, the Pacific Northwest region appears to be one of America's top destinations for MBA graduates.

Learn more about the Boise State online MBA program.


CNBC: Top States to Find a Job in America in 2017

CNBC: America's Top 10 States for Business in 2017

Seattle Times: Job Outlook 2018: Seattle in an 'All-Out War for Talent'

Forbes: Portland, Ore., Leads the Best Places for Business and Careers 2017

BusinessBecause: The 10 Best Cities for Millennial MBAs

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