The Sunflower State is home to innovative news start-ups, major magazine publishers, and a host of creative opportunities, all located smack-dab in the center of the country. The skills honed while pursuing a communications major will also come in handy in public sector and service jobs, such as teaching and government. While many of the state’s opportunities are likely to be concentrated in the hub of Wichita and the capital of Topeka, communications majors are also likely to find openings in bigger cities such as Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee, and Olathe.
Undergraduate Degrees in Communications – Choosing to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a major in communications will give you the qualifications you need to start a career in mass media and digital communications. Whether you’re interested in journalism and independent filmmaking, or marketing and public relations, the know-how needed to reach people with a targeted message starts with a degree in communications.
Master’s Degrees in Communications – No matter your professional background or undergraduate major, you could earn a master’s in communications to prepare for a career in any number of diverse areas that include journalism, public relations, marketing, digital media and more.
TV and Radio Broadcasting
Radio and television are popular ways for Kansas to consume information and entertainment. State residents listen to more than 260 FM and 120 AM stations on their radio dial, according to the FCC. Country music and religious programming are popular, as you might expect from the nation’s heartland. Broadcast students with an interest in announcing are in luck: the Kansas Labor Department projects that jobs for Public Address System and other types of radio announcers will rise 20% between 2008 and 2018.
As for television, the state enjoys almost 200 stations, according to the FCC, while the Wichita area is home to more than 450,000 television households, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising. All the major network affiliates broadcast from the state’s largest city, including ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. The PBS-affiliated Kansas Public Television also broadcasts from Wichita, and has done so since 1970.
Professional Association for TV and Radio Broadcasting:
Kansas is home to 35 daily newspapers, although the Wichita Eagle (established 1872) is the oldest and largest. Although the employment opportunities at traditional print publications have been declining, Kansas journalists have responded by creating online news startups, including the hyperlocal Prairie Village Post and non-profit Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. The latter helps produce public service journalism from freelancers, journalism professors, and students – a great opportunity for communications majors to sharpen their writing and reporting skills.
Local Newspapers and Guides:
- Atchison Daily Globe
- Emporia Gazette
- Fort Scott Tribune
- Garden City Telegram
- The Lawrence Journal-World
- Leavenworth Times
- The Manhattan Mercury
- The Morning Sun
- The Olathe News
- Topeka Capital-Journal
- The Wichita Eagle
- The Wichita Business Journal
- New Observer
Journalism Associations and Resources:
Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
Marketing and Public Relations are growth areas in Kansas: the state’s labor department forecasts that jobs for Marketing Managers will rise 11% between 2008 and 2018, while opportunities for Public Relations Managers will grow 10%, and Public Relations Specialists nearly 23%. Communications majors would also find that marketing and public relations skills come in handy not just at traditional firms, but for corporate communications, government, and other areas.
Public Relations, Advertising, and Advertising Firms:
- KERN Group
- ASA Marketing
- Callahan Creek
- Frye Allen Advertising
- Impact! Marketing Group
- Jones Seel Huyett
- Lottridge Advertising
- Lewis PR
- Linhart Public Relations
Professional Associations for Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations:
Kansas is home base for several publishing houses, including the University Press of Kansas, which combines operations for six local universities and specializes in political, American, and military history. Topeka is the headquarters for Ogden Publications, the people behind Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, and a variety of other publications serving the sustainable living community. Topeka is a base of operations for Microcosm Publishing, one of the largest zine distributors in the world. And although in-house opportunities at any print publishers have been receding, the Kansas Department of Labor projects a more than 9% rise in jobs for writers and authors between 2008 and 2018 – which means that an independent writing career could be a good option for savvy communications majors.
Book and Magazine Publishing Companies:
- Ogden Publications
- Caroline Street Press
- KS Publishing
- University Press of Kansas
- Microcosm Publishing
Book Publishing and Writing Associations and Resources: