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5 Reasons Why Columbus, Ohio, Is One Of The Best Cities In The US For MBA Careers

An MBA from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business could open up a wealth of employment doors for graduates in the city

An MBA or master’s degree from The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business can open up a wealth of employment doors for program graduates

Columbus, Ohio is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, and is the largest city in the US Midwest region in terms of population growth, job growth and GDP growth. 

As a critical contributor to the central Ohio landscape, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University has long-standing business partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies headquartered in the city and region. These relationships provide unique opportunities for graduate students at Fisher to gain real experience through hands-on projects in Columbus and around the globe.

Fisher's strong ties to the region’s business community pay off for MBA students: 93% of job-seeking full-time students had a job offer within three months of graduating and earn an average salary of over $100,000.

Here are five reasons why Columbus makes sense for those pursuing a graduate degree:


1. Columbus has an unbeatable concentration of Fortune firms

There are 15 Fortune 1,000 and five Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the greater Columbus region. The largest of these companies, JPMorgan Chase, employs over 20,000 people in the area. You'll find more than 300 international firms and one of the most active foreign trade zones (FTZ) in the nation.

Fisher College of Business offers MBA students unique action-based opportunities, including consulting projects with countless firms in Columbus, as well as a social impact challenge, where student teams work with local non-profit organizations to solve real problems. 

Over the two-year full-time MBA program, students can apply their skills through experiential learning opportunities on a local and global scale. One of the most popular experiences is Fisher's Global Applied Projects (GAP) program.


2. It's at the heart of the US

Columbus is ideally situated in the US, with nearly 48% of US company headquarters located within a 10-hour drive from the city.

As one of the top cities for millennials according to Money Magazine, Columbus is a hub for young professionals with high career ambitions. It has been recognized as the number one small market for top tech talent according to CBRE, as well as being dubbed the top city for college graduates according to Smart Asset. 


3. It has a diverse, vibrant, and growing economy

No single industry accounts for more than 18% of employment in the Columbus region. This economic diversity shelters Columbus even during economic downturns, which provides greater stability for business school graduates.

Additionally, Columbus is more than a Midwest powerhouse: with the top 20 largest foreign companies there representing nine different countries, it’s a global player. 

A Fisher MBA prepares you with the curriculum, experiences and perspectives necessary for a career in global business. Students in Fisher's MBA program can personalize their degrees through optional and diverse pathways, selecting from a wide range of cross-functional electives across one of the nation's largest universities. Fisher's curriculum flexibility means MBA students can focus their coursework and tailor it to fit their career goals.



4. It has an innovative tech scene

Global technology companies IBM, Nokia and Verizon all have links to the region, while JPMorgan Chase's innovation lab is headquartered in the city. Graduate students at Fisher also have opportunities to travel to Silicon Valley to engage with leaders and Ohio State alumni in the technology industry.


5. It's one of the best cities to start a business

Columbus is ranked number one for startup growth by the Kauffman Foundation and number two for venture capital growth since 2013.

Fisher College of Business taps into this thriving entrepreneurial scene in a number of ways. Dedicated career coaching available to MBA students can help you forge a path forward, whether as part of an established organization or as a ground-floor founder of a startup.  The Ohio State University's Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship is an incredible resource available to students interested in gaining the skills, experience and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Hear about Fisher MBA graduates Gavin Meyers and Tim Ward's startup success. 



This article was originally posted in January 2019, and was updated in September 2020.