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Alaska has fewer than 10 schools with business programs. Specializations are varied and graduate study at the master’s level is available. Many organizations offer scholarships for business students and requirements vary widely. For example, business administration majors may want to look into the AACE International Competitive Scholarships.
Business Degree Programs in Alaska
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in Alaska that offer business degree programs. If you want to narrow it down a bit more, you can browse our listings of specific types of business degree programs in Alaska:
Marketing degree programs in Alaska >
State of Alaska's Marketing Industry
As always, Alaska's key strength lies in the energy sector. Its economy is on the leading edge of the national recovery and its unemployment rate continues to fall.
But Alaska is Alaska, and its marketing industry remains tiny compared to other states. Large energy companies such as BP Exploration Alaska, ASRC Energy Services and ConocoPhillips Alaska continue to spend substantial marketing dollars. The travel industry is also rebounding after the recession.
Outside of private business, the state government has always been active in showcasing Alaska as a tourism and seafood hub. It's currently working on marketing initiatives to promote the area as a good place to do business.
Job Prospects for Alaska Marketing Graduates
It's no surprise, in a state with such a small population, that marketing jobs are fairly scarce. Employment in 2010 dropped to a new low of 1,350 marketing professionals, according to Alaska's Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD).
All in all, projections for 2018 continue to look pretty meager. DOLWD is predicting positions for marketing managers, public relations specialists and advertising and promotions managers to grow by only 70 jobs. Most employment listings on Alaska's American Marketing Association website are for communications specialists in government, hospitals, banks and non-profit organizations.
Having said that, with the right qualifications and a strong senior position, you can be well-compensated for the dark winters. Alaska marketing professionals earned a mean salary of $76,167 per year in 2010, according to DOLWD.
Alaska Schools for Marketing
You'll find only a small range of marketing schools in Alaska, including just one major university:
1. University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) (http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/cbpp/)
UAA's College of Business and Public Policy offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing with a variety of electives and the option to minor in management information systems. Though the U.S. News & World Report ranking report does not rate it among national universities, they do rank it #58 among regional universities in the west.
Although you'll be one of only a handful of graduates, your bank will thank you. In-state tuition for a marketing degree at this public university is quite reasonable.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Alaska
Alaska may have relatively few professional marketers, but they're an active and enthusiastic bunch in the state that looks north to the future, with several organizations maintaining active websites. As a bonus, many of these websites list recent job openings.
- Alaska TIA (http://alaskatia.org/): Alaska Travel Industry Association
- AMA Alaska (http://www.amaalaska.org/): Alaska Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- ASMI (http://www.alaskaseafood.org/): Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
- SMPS Alaska (http://www.smpsalaska.org/): Society for Marketing Professional Services Alaska
From energy and transportation to forest products and seafood, Alaska's most lucrative industries compete on a global scale. Alaska's multinational corporations as well as its smallest companies demand business school graduates with formal education in fields like finance, management, accounting, or other areas of specialization.
The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that businesses with 100 employees or less employ 38 percent of the state's private-sector workforce. Large companies with at least 500 employees provide jobs for 46 percent of Alaska's private-sector workforce.
While Alaska ranks as the 48th most populous state, its Gross State Product ranks 44th at $60.54 billion. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reports that in 2013 the state's total private-sector non-farm workforce totaled 354,078, while its public-sector government and government enterprises employed 107,034. Both public and private sectors draw on the talent of executive leaders such as CEOs and CFOs with MBAs, along with a strong management structure comprised of HR managers, operations managers and more educated at the bachelor’s level or higher.
Statistics from the US Department of Labor show that Alaska is home to some of the highest concentrations of business leaders in the nation. While indicating a relatively good potential for advancement within career verticals, this also means you will need to gain qualifications like a BBA or MBA in order to be competitive within this high concentration of professionals.
Concrete Results of Strong Business Leadership in Alaska
2015 figures from the US Department of Labor reveal Alaska to be a national leader when it comes to concentrations of business professionals, despite the state’s very low population level:
- General and Operations Managers – Alaska has the highest concentration of these professionals of all states in the nation
- Natural Science Managers – Alaska has the second-highest concentration of these professionals in the nation
As a future business leader, you can find trends in business development by analyzing Alaska's leading industry and workforce figures provided by the BEA for the year 2013:
- Mining and oil/gas extraction – $2.81 billion earned by 22,559 employees
- Health care and social assistance – $2.76 billion earned by 50,691 employees
- Transportation and warehousing – $1.62 billion earned by 23,807 employees
- Construction – $1.61 billion earned by 24,637 employees
- Retail trade – $1.45 billion earned by 44,123 employees
- Professional, scientific, and technical services – $1.34 billion earned by 24,873 employees
- Food manufacturing – $592 million earned by 11,236 employees
- Finance and insurance – $583 million earned by 11,551 employees
Alaska’s top businesses rely on highly educated and experienced leaders in order to stay competitive in the local, national, and international marketplaces. According to the SBA, in 2013 Alaska saw 1,200 new businesses open their doors. One year later around 21 percent of those businesses had failed. Graduates from Alaska’s business schools play an essential role in keeping the remaining 79 percent of new businesses viable.
While fewer Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are available in Alaska than in most states, the options offered include a number of flexible formats:
The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management (UA-SOM) plays an active part in the Alaska business community. The UA-SOM MBA is offered on two tracks: general management and capital markets/finance, both of which are designed to help students become skilled leaders in a changing economy. The program, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), is offered on campus only, however you do have the flexibility of pursuing your degree full time or part time in the evening.
The Alaska Pacific MBA program focuses on hands-on learning with practical applications. Faculty members have active business consulting careers along with teaching responsibilities, and guide their students in solving real-world business problems. Project-based learning is an important part of the program with opportunities to apply what you learn as you go. The hybrid class format involves three-day periods of intensive on-campus study, supplemented by online classes. You can choose from several areas of concentration, including health services administration, information and communication technology or strategic leadership.
The College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage is located at the heart of the state's largest city. MBA students are deeply involved with the local and state business communities. The philosophy of this AACSB-accredited program is "action-based learning" that addresses business challenges in ways that apply classroom concepts to real-life problems. The degree is offered on campus full time, as a nine-credits-per-semester program, or part time, with students taking one or two evening classes at a time.