Business Schools in Montana
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Montana has just under 20 schools with business programs. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are most plentiful, but master’s programs and MBAs are also widely available on-campus and online. Programs cover all the usual bases, but you’ll find more exotic majors like equine business as well.
Marketing Degree Programs in Montana
State of Montana’s Marketing Industry
Montana’s traditional strength has always been land. Approximately 67% of the state’s total square footage is committed to farmland and agriculture. That makes the farming community a major employer of Montana’s one million residents, according to Forbes.
The potential game-changer is oil. North Dakota has grabbed most of the headlines around the Bakken oil field boom, but Bakken straddles Saskatchewan and Montana, as well. If drillers can overcome geologic challenges, Montana may be the next state starring in the energy news.
What does this mean for the marketing industry? Potentially more jobs, though marketers should remember that Montana is still big sky country. It has no Fortune 500 businesses as of 2012, and only four firms in the state made it onto Inc.’s Top 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2012.
Job Prospects for Montana Marketing Graduates
Montana marketing graduates have reason to be cheerful. From 2010-2020, the state’s Department of Labor & Industry is projecting employment for market research analysts and marketing specialists to grow by 35.7% (60 jobs), PR specialists by 21.7% (188 jobs), PR managers by 13.7% (18 jobs) and marketing managers by 21.3% (47 jobs).
Montana has one of the lowest concentrations of marketers in the country, so it’s no surprise that salaries are relatively modest. In 2011, the median annual wage for a Montana marketing manager was $84,200; the national median for the same year was $116,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Recent graduates can try their luck with agricultural, mining and business-to-business companies, or they can shoot for ad agencies. Wendt, MercuryCSC and Flying Horse Communication are some of the highest in sales volume, as of 2012. Inc reports that from 2008-2011, MercuryCSC grew 53% – a revenue gain of $4.5 million.
Montana Schools for Marketing
There is but one accredited marketing school in Montana. It’s in Missoula and it is the:
1. University of Montana (UM) (http://www.business.umt.edu)
UM’s School of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing, along with a flexible MBA program.
The school regularly matches teams of undergraduates with Montana companies who need business assistance (marketing plans, feasibility studies, research projects, etc.). Graduates can participate in business projects, networking events and a study-abroad program to enhance their global training.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Montana
You won’t find many marketing organizations amidst Montana’s breathtaking beauty, but you will find at least one chapter of the American Advertising Federation. In exchange for annual dues, the chapter provides events and continuing education opportunities.
- Great Falls Ad Club (http://www.gfaf.com/): Great Falls chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- NWPMA (http://www.nwpma.org/): Northwest Promotional Marketing Association
Business Degree Programs in Montana
Many of Montana’s most successful business professionals and executive leaders hold bachelor’s degrees or specialized MBAs in marketing, accounting, international business, entrepreneurship, or HR management. Skilled business professionals are in top demand in Montana’s diverse economy (U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), May 2014):
- Chief executives, $115,510
- Financial managers, $101,540
- Sales managers, $99,200
- Marketing managers, $98,900
- Economists, $90,600
- Financial analysts, $89,240
Small businesses contribute significantly to Montana’s economy. In fact, 30,559 small businesses employ some 232,383 workers in the state, including skilled business professionals working in marketing, accounting, business administration and human resources.
According to the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA), the following industries make up the majority of Montana’s small business employers (small business firm employers are defined as having between 1-499 employees):
- Construction – 4,807 small employer firms
- Retail trade – 3,513 small employer firms
- Professional, scientific, and technical services – 3,303 small employer firms
- Accommodation and food services – 3,077 small employer firms
- Other services (except public administration) – 2,951 small employer firms
- Health care and social assistance – 2,868 small employer firms
- Real estate and rental & leasing – 1,561 small employer firms
Growing Companies in Montana and the Professionals that Run Them
Entrepreneurial professionals are applying skills learned in business school to expedite the growth of businesses across multiple sectors including technology, energy and finance. The following six companies were ranked among Inc.com’s 5,000 companies in the U.S. showing strong growth in 2015:
- Glacier Payments in Kalispell – 514% growth as of 2015 to $5.7 million in revenue
- Loenbro in Black Eagle – 375% growth as of 2015 to $181.4 million in revenue
- Energy 1 in Bozeman – 194% growth as of 2015 to $3.1 million in revenue
- Foundant Technologies in Bozeman – 143% growth as of 2015 to $3.1 million in revenue
- Adventure Life in Missoula – 107% growth as of 2015 to $14.4 million in revenue
- Professional Therapy Associations in Poison – 63% growth as of 2015 to $3.7 million in revenue
Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry projects that the following business-related careers will see the most growth between 2014 and 2024:
- Accountants and Auditors – 176 projected annual job openings
- Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives -142 projected annual job openings
- General and Operations Managers -134 projected annual job openings
- Chief Executives – 37 projected annual job openings
University of Montana
The University of Montana’s School of Business Administration offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program tailored to working professionals. The program is the only one of its kind in the state to receive full accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The school serves the entire state with classes on campus, through satellite locations and online. The curriculum requires 19 hours of core courses and 13 credits of electives, with a focus on your choice of management, marketing, accounting, finance or management information systems. The school also offers joint programs that combine an MBA with a doctorate in law, pharmacy or physical therapy.