Minneapolis skyline over the Stone Arch Bridge by the Mississippi River illustration.

3 Reasons to Pursue Your Business Degree in Minneapolis

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

It’s hard to leave Minneapolis. We're an affordable metropolis situated within a thriving business ecosystem known as the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) region. We boast two of the best park systems in the U.S. And whether you're into sports, music, food, the arts, or you want to watch your startup grow into a global enterprise—the city has you covered. 

Here are three reasons why pursuing your master's degree in business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, may be the best career move for you yet.


1. Take advantage of a diverse and vibrant business community

Take advantage of the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) region’s unique economic landscape. The Carlson School Chair and Professor Myles Shaver calls our area "a headquarters economy." Why? On a per capita basis, Minneapolis is nearly at the same level as London for Global 500 companies. But most of our Fortune 500 companies—like U.S. Bank, Xcel, and Thrivent—began as startups right here in this city, and they’re amazingly diverse. 

We’re home to thousands of small businesses and nonprofits. With our numerous entrepreneurial initiatives, we’ve been named as one of the best cities to start a business by Inc.

The Carlson School supports entrepreneurship through our Holmes Center, as well as programs like Naturally Minnesota and MN Cup. Our career services also engage with individual companies to organize recruiting and networking events, site visits, and help to land internships with local businesses. So whether you want to work for a large company or start your own business, there are abundant opportunities to explore workplace options and industries.

Living in Minneapolis

Hear from Carlson School alumni about what makes the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region unique and beneficial to their careers.

The greater MSP region is home to


Fortune 500 companies


Fortune 1000 companies


Inc. 5000 companies

Renielle (Reni) Lira on mission for better healthcare

Healthcare, medtech, and bioscience



MS in Finance Chart

Financial services and insurance

a person sits at a laptop, their face out of frame. The image is overlayed with transparent charts.

Technology and advanced manufacturing

2. Lower your cost of living without career compromises

Compared to other major metros and cities with business schools, Minneapolis-St. Paul offers a lower cost of living and a lively social scene.


Cost of living

Compared to the national average, cost of life in Minneapolis

  • Housing is 13% lower.
  • Utility costs are 6% lower.
  • Necessities including groceries and clothing are about 5% lower. 
  • Entertainment is about 5% cheaper. 

Check out the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator for a breakdown of monthly costs.


Aerial view of the University of Minnesota's filled football stadium as the sun sets in the horizon.

Recreation and entertainment

In addition to a thriving business climate, the Twin Cities provide top-tier recreation and entertainment venues. One of the rare U.S. metros with six professional sports teams, we’re a destination for sports and outdoor recreation. There’s no shortage of teams to cheer on regardless of your love for pro, college, or amateur leagues. If you’d prefer to be the active one, Minneapolis’ world-class park system features 180 parks, 22 lakes, and seven golf courses. 

We’re home to a mind-boggling array of theaters, music, and other cultural venues. From world-renowned artists to homegrown new talents, see them perform across the city in venues large and small.


Crowds milling about in the Mall of America.

Eat, drink, and shop

A celebration of Nordic roots and multicultural present, the Minneapolis food scene is innovative and full of flavor fusion. Find connections with your own culture or explore others at neighborhoods like the Eat Street corridor and "Little Mogadishu," or ethnic-focused shopping centers like Hmongtown Marketplace and Midtown Global Market.

With no sales tax on clothing, prepare to look your best at interviews and on your internship. Find your next look at the largest mall in America or along popular retail districts in Uptown, the North Loop, and more. 

Who knows, you might discover your next career venture by getting out in the community and exploring what you love like these Carlson School alums: 

3. Embrace the weather and thrive

Minnesota loves its winters. We’ve built all the infrastructure we need to embrace it. With an efficient snow removal system that keeps all modes of transportation going and well-insulated buildings, we carry on with business and social activities all year round. 

If you’re new to the cold, bundle up for cozy winter activities indoors and outdoors. Try something brand-new like skiing or ice skating, and maybe you’ll find yourself celebrating winter with the rest of us—such as during our annual Great Northern Festival. Or it might inspire the next great tech invention like the ‘Roomba For Snow.’ 

From a thriving and supportive business community to a tapestry of social and cultural venues, the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region might just be the place to help you launch the next phase of your career.

Explore all graduate programs at the Carlson School