Communication Studies Associates, Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Montana

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry projects an 11% rise in jobs for Media and Communication Workers between 2010 and 2020. The “Big Sky” state is home to innovative broadcast networks, online news startups, and devoted local publishers.

The marketing and public relations industry is also thriving, thanks in large part to the state’s tourism and agricultural industries. While many of the state’s media opportunities are concentrated in Billings (the largest metro area for more than 500 miles), bigger cities such as Helena are also good options for communications graduates. In addition to traditional communications careers, a communications major can also help students prepare for jobs in business, law, the ministry, and higher education.

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.

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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

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry projects a nearly 9% rise in jobs for Broadcast News Analysts between 2010 and 2020. The state is home to more than 200 FM and 120 AM radio stations, as well as over 700 television stations, according to the FCC. One of the state’s more unique broadcast offerings is the Billings-based Northern Broadcasting System, which provides agriculture and farming-oriented news to more than 200,000 people in Montana and neighboring states. All of the major television networks broadcast from Billings, while Montana PBS reaches most of the state.

Professional Association for TV and Radio Broadcasting:

Montana Broadcasters Association


Montana boasts 87 daily and weekly newspapers, which reach a combined total of almost 380,000 homes, according to Montana Press Association.  The state’s most widely read newspaper is the Billings Gazette, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. In addition to covering local news and cultural affairs, many newspapers and magazines pay special attention to agricultural and environmental issues, reflecting the concerns of the region. And while jobs in print journalism are declining, several online news startups are blossoming – including the site New West, which bills itself as “Slate for the Rocky Mountains.”

Local Newspapers and Guides:

  • Billings Gazette
  • Billings Outpost
  • The Grindstone
  • Dillon Tribune
  • Missoulian
  • Anaconda Leader
  • Belgrade News
  • Missoula Independent
  • Big Sky Business Journal
  • Char-Koosta News
  • West Yellowstone News
  • The Daily Inter Lake
  • Miles City Star
  • Fairfield Sun Times
  • Fallon County Times
  • Flathead Beacon
  • Great Falls Tribune
  • Havre Daily News
  • Montana Standard
  • Helena Independent Record
  • Montana Kaimin
  • Lone Peak Lookout
  • Liberty County Times

Journalism Association:

  • Montana Press Association
  • Society of Professional Journalists – Montana Pro Chapter (no active website, although still holding events)

Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations

Advertising and related businesses are booming in Montana. According to the Department of Labor & Industry, jobs for Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers are projected to grow 17.5% between 2010 and 2020. Jobs for Marketing Managers are forecast to see the most growth, at 21%, while jobs for Public Relations Managers are expected to grow almost 14%. Meanwhile, Public Relations Specialists are forecast to enjoy a nearly 22% rise. Many of the state’s advertising and related opportunities are likely to be focused on promoting tourism and healthcare-related businesses, as well as agricultural products and organizations.

PR and Advertising Firms:

  • Marketplace Media
  • Banik Communications
  • Sublime Public Relations
  • 47 North Communications
  • Big Fish PR
  • Cornerstone Communications
  • County Road Mcgary Agency Inc
  • Polestar Communications
  • Lodestone Advertising
  • Forty Seven North Communications
  • Mercury Advertising
  • Spiker Communications

Professional Associations for Advertising and Public Relations:

Print Publishing

Writing from Montana authors has historically held an important place in the literature of the West. Today the state is home to a variety of smaller and mid-size publishers, many of whom focus on local natural and cultural history. While jobs for in-house editors are declining, according to the  Montana Department of Labor & Industry job opportunities for Writers and Authors are forecast to rise 13% between 2010 and 2020. The state is also expected to experience an explosion in the need for technical writers, with a nearly 33% growth in opportunities expected by 2020 – which means that a technical writing career could be a good option for communications majors to consider.

Book and Magazine Publishing Companies:

  • Riverbend Publishing
  • Raven Publishing
  • Montana Historical Society Press
  • Mountain Press
  • Bucking Horse Books
  • Sweetgrass Books
  • Missouri Breaks Press
  • University of Montana Press

Book Publishing and Writing Associations and Resources:

Western Writers of America

Front Range Writers