With scores of media outlets operating throughout West Virginia, it’s no surprise that colleges and universities in the state routinely welcome bright-eyed new students each year with open arms. Those with a passion for print media may one day land a job at the West Virginia Standard Company while students that want to influence their community through television broadcasting could find themselves interning at WVAH-TV. Even internet-based news agencies, like the huntingtonnews.net, may recruit communications graduates to fill their staffing needs.
Graduates with a degree in communications become indispensable members of the professional community by lending their cerebral talents to careers in marketing, public relations, human resources, business administration, and even government.
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.
- Communications@Syracuse Online MS in Communications through the renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications offers specialized tracks in Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism Innovation.
University of Delaware offers an Online MA in Strategic Communication with your choice of a concentration in either Digital and Social Media or Public Relations.
Penn Foster offers affordable online undergrad options for careers in marketing and business communications, ranging from a PR Certificate, to an Associate's in Marketing, all the way up to a Bachelor's in Business Management.
With the Sacred Heart University Online Master's Degree in Strategic Communication and Public Relations (SCPR) you'll get real world experience and build a professional portfolio employers will notice.
West Virginians have never been big fans of big bookstore chains, preferring the intimacy of independent bookshops. In fact, the Mountain State was the last state in the country to allow a Barnes & Noble to be established, which finally happened to the chagrin of the literary community in 2005. Still, local writers and other bohemians frequently haunt the many small, independently owned bookstores, relishing in the art galleries, coffee shops, wine bars, live music, and sharpening their skills through writer’s workshops that some independent book stores routinely feature.
The literary crowd frequents shops like Andrew & Ballard Book Cellar, Fort Ashby Books, and Bookworm’s Attic. Of course, retail book sellers will often carry titles from West Virginian book publishing houses, some of which specialize in specific genres, from the Civil War to children’s education.
- Hearthside Books
- Taylor Books
- Main Line Books
- Empire Books & News
- Four Season’s Books
Book Publishers in West Virginia:
- Blue Acorn Press
- Mountain State Press
- Rocky River Publishers
A great way for journalism majors in West Virginia to get a head-start in the industry is by contributing to college and university papers like The Daily Athenaeum, The Eagle, and The Pharos. Luckily, there are currently over a dozen more such newspapers active in the state that strive to jump-start fledgling journalism careers through hands-on experience.
College and University Newspapers
- The Highlander
- The Parthenon
- The Yellow Jacket
- The Columns
- The Tower
No doubt many journalists dream of seeing their names in print by contributing to some of the most highly circulated newspapers in the state, such as the Charleston Gazette, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, and the Greenbrier Valley Ranger. Yet many readers still remain loyal to the quaint small town journals that represent local and regional interests.
Small Town Journals:
- Braxton Citizens News
- Pleasants County Leader
- Grant County Press
Resource for Journalism Majors
TV and Radio Broadcasting
Broadcasting majors across this Appalachian state have access to internship opportunities with broadcasting companies like West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Media Holdings, and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. In Charleston, broadcasting majors look to WCHS TV 8 for opportunities to intern, while those in Huntington might look to WOWK TV 13.
Local Television Stations:
- WSWP TV 9
- WVVA TV 6
- WDTV TV 5
- WTAP TV 15
- WNPB TV 24
With around a hundred different radio stations to choose from, West Virginia’s mass communications majors can easily find one to accommodate their inclinations. In Princeton, Top 40 followers sing along to WSTG 95.9 FM. Those with an interest in religious radio broadcasting look to WMCC 105.7 FM or WOAY 860 AM. There are even channels devoted to young listeners with children’s radio programming offered by Radio Disney at WDZN 100.1 FM.
Local Rock Stations:
- WXCR 92.3 FM
- WRLF 94.3 FM
- WHBR 103.1 FM
- WKLC 105.1 FM
- WEGW 107.5 FM
Resource for TV and Radio Broadcasting Majors
Public Relations and Marketing Firms
West Virginia’s communications professionals support local businesses by working in the public relations and marketing industries. WORKFORCE West Virginia labor reports revealed an estimated 261 marketing managers, 317 market research analysts, 169 public relations managers, and 1,285 public relations specialists were employed in 2008. Graduates equipped with communications degrees with a concentration in public relations or marketing may gain entry into the field through paid internships or entry-level positions with area firms.
Marketing and Public Relations Firms:
- Genesis Communications
- G.H. Bailey company
- 304 Marketing
- The Aurora Group
- Maple Creative
- Charles Ryan Associates
Resource for Public Relations Professionals