The 15 Best Business Schools to Get Into Tech Companies

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Team of business people working together on a laptop

It doesn’t take an MBA to know that tech is the booming industry in today’s market. But it certainly helps to have an MBA when searching for a profitable job in that sector. And because of the allure of working for tech companies, which offer high salaries and a more egalitarian atmosphere, the competition for new hires can be steep.

Here are 15 business schools that place their graduates in ideal positions for taking a leading role at Google, Apple, Microsoft or any of the many startup companies that will become the tech giants of the future.

The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
Austin, Texas

The MBA program here offers six different ways to achieve a graduate degree in business including a full-time two-year daytime program and an evening program that takes two-and-a-half years. While most programs are based in the growing tech hub of Austin, there are also options for classes in Dallas, Houston and even Mexico City. The university also offers a Master of Science in Technology one-year degree that helps students “learn how to identify technologies with commercial viability and bring

Why the Dow Jones Industrial Average Could Begin a 70% Decline in the Next Few Weeks

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imagesThere is a rare bull market pattern that, once it ends, is one of the worst formations that can occur. It has two names. Some call it the megaphone pattern, as its shape resembles what many know as the voice amplifier that coaches and referees use to get large groups of people to pay attention.

Those who know its implication for the financial markets refer to it as the Jaws of Death pattern. In fact, both names have meaning for this ominous indicator of egregious crowd bullishness. Its megaphone analogy reminds us that when this pattern appears, investors need to pay attention that the party attitude of recent memory is on it’s “last call.” The Jaws of Death descriptor is clear. When the pattern ends, the jaws snap shut like those of an alligator chomping down on hapless prey that got too close to the water.

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Above is the monthly bar chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) ,

Best Year Since the Recession or the Start of Another One?

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Close-up of business partners hands over papers discussing them

Close-up of business partners hands over papers discussing them

With only a few weeks left in 2015, it’s time to consider how the New Year will affect the U.S. economy: Will it be the best year since the Great Recession, as some corporate executives predict, or will it mark the start of another downturn?

While there are enough moving parts — from likely higher interest rates to a slowing Chinese economy and the election of a new president — to support a range of predictions, many are optimistic.

“I anticipate continued economic growth at a moderate pace that will be sufficient to generate additional increases in employment,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified to Congress this month as the central banks weighs its first interest-rate increase since the financial crisis. “I currently see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as very close to balanced.”

Growth in sales, investment in new technologies, an expanding workforce, and domestic and international market expansion are fueling confidence among finance executives. Most of 500

No Shortage of GE Appliance Buyers as Electrolux Deal Collapses

General Electric (GE – Get Report)  will have no shortage of bidders for its iconic appliances unit after pulling the plug on a soured $3.3 billion deal with Swedish manufacturer Electrolux, analysts say.

The $3.3 billion transaction marked Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt’s second unsuccessful attempt to exit the business in the past 10 years, but the Fairfield, Conn.-based company said it will continue to pitch the unit to possible acquirers. Analysts says there may be as many as four other prospects, including private equity firms and overseas companies.

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“I’m sure they’ll find another buyer,” Steve Winoker, an analyst with Bernstein, said in a phone interview.  A wide range of smaller Asian manufacturers may make offers, largely because they do not have a significant U.S. presence and can more easily dodge the antitrust issues that prompted the U.S. Justice Department to block the deal in court, Winoker said.

Must Read: Why GE’s $10 Billion Alstom Purchase Is its Best Deal in a Century

 

The appliances deal is one facet of Immelt’s strategy to reshape GE from a sprawling conglomerate into a pure-play

Tech Predictions — Here’s What I Got Right and What I Screwed Up

Predictions for the year ahead are all around us. They’re done to keep the conversation flowing, get people interested in topics they might not yet be thinking about and most importantly, have fun.

While throwing out predictions is entertaining, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. Because, let’s face it, if you don’t, then your words aren’t worth the screen(s) you typed them on.

At the end of last year, I made ten predictions I thought would come true in 2015 in the tech sector, covering drones, wearable technology, M&A deals and a heckuva lot more.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

 

As a whole, I did okay, after rebounding from a not-so-hot 2014.

Some of the ones I nailed include those on Facebook (FB – Get Report) , Alphabet (GOOG – Get Report) (GOOGL) and Cisco (CSCO – Get Report) , while butchering ones on Twitter (TWTR – Get Report) and Dish (DISH) .

In fact, I missed

Why Keurig Green Mountain Had no Choice but to Sell Itself for $13.9 Billion

For Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR – Get Report) , slowing sales of its home brewing machines and increased price competition for its popular coffee pods have likely spurred it to go private before it loses shareholders any more money.

On Monday, Keurig Green Mountain, the leader in the single-serve coffee business, announced that it will be acquired by an investor group led by JAB Holding Companies for an eye-popping $13.9 billion, or a 77% premium to last Friday’s closing price. With the deal, Keurig will join a diverse portfolio of consumer-oriented companies for JAB, which owns controlling stakes in Jacobs Douwe Egberts, a coffee and tea giant that owns Gevalia, among other brands); and Coty (COTY – Get Report) , a leader in the beauty and cosmetics industry. JAB also has a controlling stake in luxury goods purveyor Jimmy Choo.

In a statement announcing the deal, Keurig Green Mountain president and CEO Brian Kelley said “this transaction will deliver significant cash value for our shareholders and offers an exciting new chapter for our customers, partners and employees by combining Keurig Green Mountain with JAB’s global coffee platform.”

Kelley’s comments on the company’s quarterly earnings call a few weeks ago might explain his enthusiasm for

Higher Rates Won’t Hammer Growth at Outdoor Decking Company Trex

Trex (TREX – Get Report) , one of the largest manufacturers of wood-alternative decking, sees no ceiling on growth even with an expected increase in interest rates.

“We think the interest rates still remain low, even if the Fed does take action, said Jim Cline, CEO of Trex. “We think it will have a minimal impact on the outdoor decking products.” Cline sees continued strong growth in 2016 based on increasing consumer confidence, which correlates with company revenue.

Trex has already projected fourth-quarter net sales of about $85 million, which would be a 15% increase over last year’s results and put the company on track to achieve record annual revenue for 2015.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

“We’re seeing very strong growth for the fourth quarter. Part of that is coming from market share gains,” explained Cline. Trex’s residential market share in 2014 was 41%, up 5% since 2012. Cline also said Trex is now growing at a faster rate internationally than domestically, even with the stronger U.S. dollar.

“Many nations — such as Canada, Europe and Australia — saw 25% to 30%

This German-Based Biotech Juggernaut Will Be Unstoppable in Europe’s Coming Revival

The European Union certainly has its share of headline-grabbing problems: the worst migrant crisis since World War II; terrorist attacks; indebted countries such as Greece; and sluggish growth. But as Warren Buffett once said with characteristic understatement, Europe “is going to be around.”

Turn your back on Europe and you’re leaving serious money on the table. Several clear signs now point to a European revival in the making — and we’ve pinpointed an undervalued German-based “blue-chip” biotech that’s one of your best profit-making opportunities right now on the continent. It’s among a group of undervalued growth stocks set to soar in the coming year.

Last Friday in a speech to some of Wall Street’s biggest players, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi underscored his determination to do whatever it takes to stimulate the eurozone’s moribund economy, including an extension of the ECB’s current program of buying about 60 billion euros worth of bonds each month until at least March 2017.

Brand New – TheStreet’s Biotech Bible! Before you invest one single dime in any biotech stock you have got to KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING! Get THE most comprehensive text covering the 171 biotech companies that have gone public since 2013! There’s

Why You Should Dump These 3 Large-Cap

Often investors lose sight of the big picture, entranced by the lure of double-digit dividends. But every meteoric income-graph has an underlying story that warrants a wary eye.

We flag three such stocks that are enormous yield-generators but have lost their sheen with a dismal market performance over the last year. They belong to an entire group of horrible stocks that are poised for collapse in 2016.

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1. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP – Get Report)

 

Energy Transfer Partners is a natural gas company. Its activities include intrastate transportation and storage, midstream services as well as retail marketing.

Must Read: Weak Euro Will Push European Stocks Ahead in 2016 Says HSBC Strategist

As with most oil and gas utilities, 2015 has been a difficult year for the company, with a year-to-date fall of near 40%. There are several major issues plaguing the oil major (its five-year market yield is at a woeful -24%). Even trailing returns have been lower than both the oil and gas midstream index and the S&P total returns index by big margins.

The current dividend yield of 10.92% is a non-event in the prevailing scenario.

Jim Cramer’s charitable trust just bought shares of ETP.

Perfectly Legal but Commonly Ignored Tax Deductions and Credits

Rap artist Dr. Dre once said, “The only two things that scare me are God and the IRS.” Yes, preparing and paying your income tax can be a scary proposition, and December is the month when many investors start to fret about their taxes. You should follow the letter of the law, but you shouldn’t overpay the IRS, either.

Fact is, taxes make it harder for you to reach your financial goals, by steadily eroding your income and investment earnings. As part of your long-term strategy to build up your net worth, you should do everything you can to legally minimize the taxes you pay.

That means you shouldn’t let the deductions and credits you deserve slip through the cracks. It’s hard to believe that while many folks love to complain about taxes, those same people may be failing to take advantage of the many legal tax breaks available to them. Come tax time, don’t needlessly cheat yourself.

Maintaining tax-smart records is always a good idea. Keeping track of your deductible expenses will save you from a world of pain if the IRS decides to audit you. Nowhere is incomplete record keeping more deadly than in an audit because without documentation, any

Nordstrom Boosts Omnichannel Efforts With Investment in Shoe Start-Up

Continuing its commitment to investing in new shopping models, Nordstrom (JWN – Get Report)  is backing a startup called Shoes of Prey, which lets shoppers create their own customized shoes.

Nordstrom has already partnered with Shoes of Prey since earlier this year on physical design studios within six Nordstrom locations, plus a dedicated section on Nordstrom.com for Shoes of Prey.

But now Nordstrom is putting its money behind the partnership as a part of a $15.5 million series of funding for Shoes of Prey. BlueSky Venture Capital, Greycroft, and Khosla Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Shoes of Prey’s total funding to $24.6 million.

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Shoes of Prey was founded in 2009 and has since sold more than five million customized shoes. Its customers have the ability to choose the style, heel height, material, color, size, and width of every pair of shoes they purchase.

The startup will use its new funding to ramp up its omnichannel efforts and to expand into new categories like women’s handbags.

Shoes of Prey aligns with Nordstrom’s emphasis on blending the worlds

Best High Volume Credit Card Processor

Why Flagship Merchant Services?
Best value for high-volume sales

We like Flagship Merchant Services because it offers the best pricing for small businesses with a high volume of sales. It has been around for 15 years and is used by brands such as Subway, Verizon and Avon, but is also designed for and easily accessible to smaller merchants and even mom-and-pop shops.
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On Flagship Merchant Services

Unlike many credit card processors for small businesses, Flagship doesn’t force you into credit card transaction rates that are best for businesses that are only starting out, or one-size-fits-all pricing structures that could end up costing you big bucks in the long run. Instead, Flagship gives small businesses an opportunity to choose the type of pricing that best suits their needs. Rates are based on several factors, such as your type of business, ways you wish to accept credit cards, expected sales and more.

The company offers both tiered pricing and interchange-plus rates, options that may be negotiable with money-saving terms based on your sales volume.

Editor’s Note: Looking for information on credit card processors for your business? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the

Best Payment Processor

We like Payline because it offers simple, affordable pricing for all types of small businesses. It also uses interchange-plus pricing, which gives small businesses access to the same low rates as larger corporations.

Although many credit card processors offer low rates, Payline stands out because its pricing is very transparent and gives you discounts based on your sales volume. Its pricing terms are also widely available and spelled out on the company’s website, which is a breath of fresh air compared to many credit card processors that aren’t very clear about their pricing structures.

Payline offers three plans that are designed for businesses that are just starting out and cater to established businesses with higher sales numbers:

Simple. This starter plan is for businesses that process less than $5,000 per month. It uses interchange pricing plus 0.5 percent and 15 cents per transaction, and there are no monthly fees or setup fees.
Pro. If you process more than $5,000 per month, this plan gives you a lower transaction rate of interchange plus 0.2 percent and 10 cents per transaction. There is, however, a service fee of $15 per month.
Volume pricing. Businesses that process more than $80,000 per month can

The Filmmaker

If someone told you that you could be achieving your wildest career goals before even reaching your 25th birthday, would you believe them? What if a typical day at the office really meant working with your favorite celebrities and creating content that could change the way people see women and the world?

At a time when many millennials are still figuring out their career paths, 24-year-old Caroline Conrad is already living her dream. Conrad is a filmmaker for production companies SRSLY (which she also co-founded) and Anchor Light, and you’ll find her working on anything from bubbly pop-music videos to serious short films. Of course, filmmaking, despite being a fun and fulfilling industry, isn’t all glamour and creativity — it’s a challenging career that can be quite draining and, as Conrad will tell you, requires a lot more paperwork than you might expect.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Caroline Conrad: I’m a filmmaker. I mainly work on the production side of branded content pieces, music videos and other short-form content. My exact position depends on the scale of the project, but it always involves a lot of logistics and organizing, putting out fires, essentially helping projects come together and keeping

Best Mobile Credit Card Processing Solution

Small businesses that use Square rave about how easy it is to use. From setup to equipment and software, Square offers one of the quickest ways to accept credit cards on mobile devices.

Here’s why:

Straightforward pricing. Understanding pricing structures is one of the most confusing aspects of accepting credit cards. Square accepts all major credit cards — Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express — at a flat rate of 2.75 percent per swipe, or 3.5 percent plus 15 cents per transaction for manually keyed-in cards. A Square representative confirmed that these rates apply to all transactions, and that there are no monthly fees, setup fees or other, hidden fees associated with using Square.

No merchant account. Unlike many credit card processors, Square doesn’t require a merchant account, so you don’t have to worry about a credit check or a lengthy application process. This means virtually anyone can use the service and you can open an account right away.

Fast deposits. Square accounts are linked to your bank account, so you avoid any delays in transferring funds that typically occur with merchant accounts. Square says deposits can be made to your bank account in one to two business days.

Simple setup and processing. Square’s equipment

How to Accept Credit Cards Online, In-Store or Anywhere

Trying to figure out how to accept credit cards doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. It’s really as simple as finding the most convenient and least expensive route between your customer’s credit card and your bank account. (Ka-ching!)

At its core, it’s really just a two-step process.

First, figure out how you want to do business with your customer: In person — via a POS system, a traditional credit card swiper or a mobile device — or remotely, via the Internet or phone. Simple, right?
Once you decide that, you can determine whether you will need a merchant account — essentially a financial middleman that approves transactions and deposits the money in your bank account — or whether your method of accepting credit cards can connect directly with your bank account without the need for a merchant account.

If you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best credit card processing services, visit our best picks page here.

If you’re still not quite sure what method of accepting credit cards is best for you, first you need to understand how each method works. Here are the four basic ways to accept credit cards.

The State of Small Business Washington

As part of our yearlong project “The State of Small Business,” Business News Daily plans to report on the small business environment in every state in America. In this installment, we asked a few of Washington’s more than 550,000 small business owners about the challenges and opportunities of operating in their state. Here’s what they had to say.

The business atmosphere in Washington state is best described as young and healthy. According to the Small Business Administration, the state’s economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2014 — faster than the nation’s overall economy, which grew by 2.2 percent in 2014 — and entrepreneurs report that the growth of the technology industry is spilling over to boost small business as a whole. Small business owners say they’re encouraged by a strong talent pool, a robust support network and opportunities to do business with larger companies, like Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft.

Still, it can also be difficult for entrepreneurs to compete with big businesses based in Washington, and all of the economic activity is pushing up the costs of real estate and labor. And while there is a lot of wealth to be had, many entrepreneurs report difficulty in accessing that capital; investors

Do You Have What it Takes? The Most In-Demand Skills by Industry

Technology, project management and interpersonal skills are the abilities employers are looking for most, new research shows.

The findings come from a study from Strayer University’s Strayer@Work, which provides accredited degree programs tailored to industry needs. The research, which used data from LinkedIn, included employers in the financial services, food and beverage, health care, information technology, manufacturing, retail, and travel and tourism industries.

“Many companies are struggling to find the qualified workers they need to fill their open positions,” Kelly Bozarth, CEO of Strayer@Work, said in a statement. [See Related Story: Soft Skills Matter: Can They Be Taught? ]

When broken down by industry, some of the most in-demand skills include the following:

Financial services: P&L management, data warehouse architecture, crystal reports, SQL and budget management.
Food and beverage: Organization and prioritization, communication, time management, interpersonal skills and inventory management.
Health care: Programming, strategy, analysis, database administration and cross-functional team leadership.
Information technology: Performance measurement, IT audit, resource allocation, scheduling and Hadoop.
Manufacturing: Creativity, analysis, CAD, cross-functional team leadership and critical thinking.
Retail: JDA software, multichannel retail, district management, shopper marketing and new store development.
Travel and tourism: Critical path method scheduling, enterprise software, wireless, interactive advertising and

Behind the Business Plan Getable

After Tim Hyer had a nightmare of a time renting a bicycle to compete in a far-from-home triathlon, he knew there must be a business opportunity in the leasing space. So, he gathered some money and worked with a few partners to establish Rentcycle, a centralized service where renters could find virtually any product they needed. For three years, Rentcycle operated successfully, but then Hyer and his co-founders made the conscious decision to revamp the company and focus solely on one industry. For a variety of reasons, they choose construction equipment, and the company was rebranded as Getable. Now, three years later, Getable continues to serve those looking for construction rentals, from contractors to homeowners, and offers them a wealth of information and discount opportunities. Hyer went Behind the Business Plan with Business News Daily to discuss Getable’s success and what he’s learned as an entrepreneur through the last six years.

Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?

Tim Hyer: Getable is the easiest way to rent construction equipment. We position ourselves as “your equipment rental concierge” to take care of anyone who needs construction equipment – whether contractors, installation professionals, facilities managers, homeowners, etc. We offer

Unhappy Employees? 4 Things That are Driving Them Crazy

You can see the signs: More than a few people on your team have seemed disconnected from their work lately. Their performance is lackluster, and they don’t seem excited about their projects. Some of them are just downright bored, and can’t wait to run out the door at the end of the day. They’re burning out, and you’re starting to fear that you won’t be able to hold onto them.

This problem doesn’t exist just in your company. According to research by business communication software company Bolste, only 25 percent of employees report being “extremely happy, motivated and stimulated” by their current jobs — and another quarter of them are unhappy, unmotivated or indifferent.

As you might expect, unhappy employees don’t just stick around and remain unhappy. Many of them plan to move on: Nearly half of Bolste’s survey respondents indicated that they would be actively looking for jobs, and about 20 percent said they would “most likely” or “definitely” change jobs in 2016. Similar research from Staples Advantage found that burnout will motivate nearly 40 percent of employees to look for a new job.

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What’s going on? Why is the majority of today’s workforce less than completely satisfied