Ah, Silicon Valley—the place where your wildest tech dreams can come true. In 2015 alone, dozens of start-ups launched in Silicon Valley and the majority of venture-backed tech startups are headquartered here or have an office here. And let’s not forget that the world’s largest tech and media companies are located in the Valley including Apple, Cisco, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Yahoo! and Facebook, to name a few. While the Valley is a hub for tech giants and rising technopreneurs, it is also considered the best place for early career MBA students seeking a sure path to Silicon Valley success.
The Valley, which includes Santa Clara County; Fremont, Newark and Union City in Alameda County; Atherton, Belmont, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo and Woodside in San Mateo County; and San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, is home to a number of schools that offer excellent MBA programs that feature a range of certificates and in demand and emerging specialty areas that Silicon Valley companies look for. Some of the best include Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, San Jose State University Lucas Graduate School of Business, University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, and DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Business, Fremont Campus. Let’s take a look at what these top Silicon Valley schools have to offer.
1. Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Stanford University Graduate School of Business (GSB) isn’t just the best business school in Silicon Valley. It’s one of the best business schools in the world. Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, Stanford University is in the heart of Silicon Valley among the world’s top tech companies “that were started by and continue to be led by” Stanford alumni and faculty.
One of the seven schools at Stanford University, the Graduate School of Business offers a two-year, full-time, general management program. Students may personalize their curriculum by choosing entrepreneurship courses and experiences and by taking advantage of social innovation and leadership experiences. Students may also take advantage of other opportunities such as Seed internships where students work on the ground in developing economies. The school also offers certificate programs that can enhance your MBA degree. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate and Public Management and Social Innovation are just a few.
Student Profile: 417 New Students (2018); 41% women, 40% International, 29% U.S. Minority, Average Work Experience 4 Years, GMAT Average 737, Advanced Degree Holders 11%, Investment Management/Private Equity/Venture Capital Experience 20%, Consulting 18%, Technology 16%. More than 312 Organizations Represented.
Stanford University Graduate School of Business is AACSB Accredited.
2. San Jose State University Lucas Graduate School of Business
Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates from San Jose State University (SJSU) that any other university in the U.S., with “Lucas College and Graduate School of Business powering Silicon Valley.” Ranked one of the top 20 “Colleges that will make you rich” by Forbes, SJSU says that more than 80% of its students have jobs in the Valley and they consistently earn more than the national average. Located “right in the middle of all the action and tightly connected with Silicon Valley’s powerful network of pioneers, innovators, and leaders,” Lucas offers two MBA programs—one for early career students (fewer than five years of work experience) and the other for professionals with five plus years of relevant work experience.
Early Career MBA offerings include accelerated, full-time, and part-time tracks with a three-unit internship. The MBA for Professionals is a flexible 24-36 month program that is part-time and self-paced. Both programs offer evening classes delivered in 6- to 8-week sessions and students must take a minimum of four elective classes in an area of interest (or track). Disciplines include Entrepreneurship & Venture Development, Global Business Development, Operations Management, Information Systems, Organizational Development, Marketing, Finance, and Accounting.
Student Profile: MBA for Professionals - Average Age 34, Average GMAT 587, Average Years Work Experience 5, 67% Male, 33% Female; Early Career MBA – Average Age 26, Average GMAT 572, 53% Male, 47% Female.
San Jose State University Lucas Graduate School of Business is AACSB Accredited.
3. Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business
More than 80% of Evening MBA students at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business are already working in Silicon Valley companies during the day. As such, the school offers a two-year program that features convenient class times for these busy professionals. The part-time program highlights evening and Saturday classes and offers eight concentrations. Options include Data Science and Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, Finance: Corporate and Investment, Leading Innovative Organizations, Marketing, Individual Studies, Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, and Food and Agribusiness.
Student Profile: 45% Women, 50% International, Average Age 30, Average Work Experience 6 Years (requirement 3 or more), GMAT Average 630, 30% hold an additional graduate degree, 90% employed at the time of admission, Top 5 employers at time of admission: Adobe, Apple, Cisco, KLA Tencor, Oracle.
Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business is AACSB Accredited.
4. University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business
The Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley (Berkeley-Haas) is the second-oldest collegiate business school in the U.S. and the first at a public university. The Bay Area location and the schools “focus on innovation make Berkeley-Haas the ideal place to explore the technology industry.” The school offers a Full-Time MBA Program and an Evening & Weekend MBA. The full-time program offers nearly a dozen areas of emphasis such as Entrepreneurship, Technology, Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Management, Energy and Clean Technology, and Real Estate to name a few.
The full-time MBA has an applied innovation requirement, which allows students to participate in a team performance module in a real-life setting. “For example,” says Haas, “students in the Emerging Markets course work in groups to develop a business concept and plan for a venture of their choosing in a developing country. And in High-Tech Marketing, student teams examine products and offerings of actual technology companies and analyze the life cycle and effectiveness of their strategies.”
The Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program is designed for completion in three years, but may be completed in as little as 2.5 years, according to the school. The program “delivers a forward-thinking MBA experience, tailored specifically to those looking to continue working while earning a top-ranked MBA degree.” Students may begin tailoring their course of study during their second year by choosing from dozens of electives, which comprise nearly 50 percent of the curriculum. Entrepreneurship, Business Model Innovation in New Ventures, Global Leadership, Global Strategy and Multinational Enterprise, Energy and Environment Markets, and Managing Innovation and Change are just a few recently offered electives.
Student Profile: Full-Time, Two-Year MBA Program – 500 Students, 43% Women; Evening & Weekend MBA 2.5 to 3-Year Program - 750 Students, 23 Countries Represented, 68% Multilingual, 448 Companies Represented.
University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business is AACSB Accredited.
5. DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Business, Fremont Campus
The Fremont campus of DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Business is located in the Ardenwood Technology Park in the East Bay. This location offers MBA students the opportunity to study and work in an area with the largest concentration of biotech and IT companies in the nation. Students learn from established business professionals in the area and have access to an “exceptional pool of resources for capstone projects and networking opportunities.” Besides this, Keller MBA students may choose from an impressive 17 career-oriented concentrations. Options include Entrepreneurship, International Business, Business Intelligence and Analytics Management, General Management, Information Security, Information Systems Management, Project Management, and Global Supply Chain Management to name a few. Students may study at the Keller Fremont campus, online or a mix of both.
Student Profile: Unavailable.
DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Business is ACBSP Accredited.
"About Silicon Valley | Silicon Valley." ICANN. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
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Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
Stanford Graduate School of Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.