MBA Programs in Iowa
Iowa is an international leader in advanced manufacturing, its main economic industry sector, as well as the biosciences, financial services, food manufacturing, information technology, and renewable energy, according to the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Iowa's pro-business climate includes favorable corporate tax incentives and new business resources. The state also created a Management Talent Recruitment program to help targeted Iowa businesses--biosciences, IT and advanced manufacturing--identify executive and operations management personnel. This could be a perfect fit for graduates of MBA programs in Iowa who are interested in careers in these industry sectors.
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Des Moines is Iowa's capital and largest city and metropolitan area, with Cedar Rapids in second place. Of Iowa's top 25 employers, designated by the Department of Labor, eight are located in Des Moines and nine are in Cedar Rapids. Top industry sectors in both cities include financial services and health care.
Concerned by college graduates leaving the state and wanting to keep its best and brightest after they graduate, Iowa has developed the Rural Renaissance Community Index, an interactive online tool that permits the user to search for smaller Iowa communities (fewer than 50,000) that match their career aspirations and quality-of-life criteria. Whether graduates of business schools in Iowa are looking for larger cities or smaller communities, they could find that the state offers more career opportunities than they ever imagined.
In 2011, Forbes ranked the Des Moines metro area the No. 1 location in the nation for young professionals, thanks to its mix of major employers and small business start-ups. Within the metro area, the city of West Des Moines arguably is the community that best exemplifies this mixture. For 14 consecutive years, the Business Standard has named the City of West Des Moines as the municipal government the most conducive to business. In 2009, the West Des Moines Business Incubator organization was launched, becoming the latest program to foster start-ups in the city. Current companies working with the incubator include IT solutions firm Ironclad Systems and vitamin retailer Good Nutrient.
In terms of major employers, West Des Moines is one of the nation's major hubs for financial services and insurance companies. Life insurance company Aviva recently opened an environmentally friendly, eight-story headquarters there, employing 1,500 people. Other major companies in this sector include Wells Fargo Mortgage, FBL Financial, MetLife, GuideOne Insurance and Midland National Life Insurance. The city's economic development website lists eight companies in this sector with headquarters or regional headquarters located in West Des Moines. Manufacturing is another well-established industry, with major employers such as Goodrich and Windsor Windows & Doors. Target industries that are poised for growth in the community include retail and hospitality, life sciences and information technology, according to the city's economic development organization.