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Kansas business students have nearly 55 schools to choose from. You’ll find a variety of majors and concentrations, including banking, accounting, and organizational leadership, among others. Degree types range for associate to doctorate. If you’re looking for a scholarship, it’s almost certain that there will be one that fits your interests or educational goals. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in direct marketing, you may wish to check out the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) Scholarships.
Business Degree Programs in Kansas
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in Kansas 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 Kansas:
Marketing degree programs in Kansas >
State of Kansas's Marketing Industry
Aerospace and agriculture are key economic drivers in America's Bread Basket. Corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, dairy - no matter which way you look at it, Kansas is feeding the nation. Crops helped cushion the state from the worst of the recession, though the 2012 drought hit farmers particularly hard.
Those flat plains have also nurtured a strong aviation sector. Boeing, Cessna, Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems have a foothold in Kansas and rub shoulders with the state's three Fortune 500 names: Sprint Nextel, Seaboard and YRC Worldwide. All are supported by energetic marketers.
Energetic doesn't always mean numerous, though. The size of Kansas's marketing industry is on a par with its neighbor Nebraska and relatively small compared to coastal states. Top-grossing marketing firms like PlattForm might pull in as much as $38+ million a year.
Job Prospects for Kansas Marketing Graduates
Employment prospects for Kansas marketing graduates look respectable. For 2010-2020, the state's Department of Labor is projecting middle-of-the-road growth for market research analysts and marketing specialists (36.6%), PR specialists (16.8%), and marketing managers (11.3%).
Expect modest wages. In 2011, the median annual salary for a Kansas marketing manager was $98,700 (compared to the U.S. median of $116,000, as pegged by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Then again, the 2011-2012 cost of living in the Sunflower State is nearly 6.3% below the national average, according to the state Department of Commerce. In 2012, Forbes puts the average home price at just $122,100.
If props, crops and business-to-business marketing positions aren't your style, you could try ad agencies. Apart from the aforementioned PlattForm, the big names include Sullivan Higdon & Sink and Callahan Creek. Only one Kansas marketing firm - Sweet Spot Marketing - made it onto Inc.'s Top 5000 list of America's fastest-growing private companies in 2012.
Kansas Schools for Marketing
There are 18 accredited marketing schools in Kansas, including community colleges. If you're just starting your search, here are two programs to compare:
1. University of Kansas (KU) (http://www.business.ku.edu/)
KU's School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business in marketing, a part-time or full-time MBA with a marketing core, and a doctorate in marketing. U.S. News and World Report ranks KU's undergraduate program in the top 14% of public schools in the nation.
To expose students to real-world situations, the school has developed a first-year "Business School Experience", study-abroad opportunities and a mentorship program. In 2013, the school presented its inaugural international business conference.
2. Emporia State University (ESU) (http://www.emporia.edu/business/index.html)
Students at ESU's School of Business, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, can opt for a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in marketing, or for an MBA. There is, however, no specific concentration in marketing for the MBA.
ESU encourages undergraduates to participate in their internship program, working for companies throughout Kansas. MBA case teams are regularly assigned opportunities to partner with existing businesses on projects and development possibilities.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Kansas
Eager to expand your professional circle? Looking for networking events and continuing education opportunities in the heartland? Some of these Kansas marketing organizations may be able to help.
- AAF District 9 (http://www.9thaaf.org/): Wichita chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- AMA KC (https://www.ama-kc.org/): Kansas City chapter of the American Marketing Association
- BMA KC (http://www.bmakc.org/): Business Marketing Association (BMA): Kansas City
- KC DMA (http://www.kcdma.org/): Kansas City Direct Marketing Association
- SMPS Wichita (http://www.smpswichita.org/): Wichita chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services
- WAMA (http://wichitaama.org/): Wichita chapter of the American Marketing Association
Kansas has a diversified economy that is home to key players in industries like aerospace and defense, wholesale, energy, farming, and transportation. Executive leaders, HR managers, sales executives, accountants and marketing managers are just a few of the business professionals that manage the business operations that contributed to growing Kansas' Gross State Product (GSP) to $149 billion in 2015.
Business schools in Kansas offer programs that range from bachelor’s degrees in business administration (BBA) to MBAs with concentrations in areas like HR, finance, marketing, and accounting. Graduates of the state’s top business schools have gone on to become leaders in companies like Spirit AeroSystems, Lansing Trade Group, Seaboard Corporation, and Westar Energy – and have founded corporations of their own.
The following list contains some of Kansas' largest companies, ranked by total revenue. These companies exemplify many of the state's important industries, with the accompanying numbers provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for the year 2013:
- Spirit AeroSystems headquartered in Wichita – durable goods manufacturing industry, which contributed $9.5 billion to the GSP and employed 104,468
- Lansing Trade Group headquartered in Overland Park – wholesale trade industry, which contributed $9.5 billion to the GSP and employed 65,102
- Seaboard headquartered in Shawnee Mission – nondurable goods manufacturing industry, which contributed $9.7 billion to the GSP and employed 65,387
- YRC Worldwide headquartered in Overland Park – transportation and warehousing industry, which contributed $5.4 billion to the GSP and employed 59,791
- Westar Energy headquartered in Topeka – oil and gas extraction industry, which contributed $1.3 billion to the GSP and employed 33,742
For reference, in 2013 the state's total GSP was $142.4 billion, while its total workforce numbered 1.86 million according to the BEA.
Business Leadership and Education for Key Industries in Kansas
2015 numbers from the US Department of Labor reveal that Kansas has the third-highest concentration of chief executives of all states in the nation.
Kansas' rural areas are also strongly competitive on a national scale. The following list shows how non-metro Kansas ranks against all other non-metropolitan areas in the United States. Accompanying these rankings are examples of degree programs you can pursue to potentially qualify for careers in a given professional classification:
- General and Operations Managers – highest number of these professionals – MBA with a concentration in Management
- Human Resources Managers – highest number of these professionals – MBA with a concentration in HR
- Financial Managers – third-highest number of these professionals – MBA with a concentration in Finance
- Sales Managers – fourth-highest number of these professionals – Bachelor's Degree in Business with a concentration in Sales
- Administrative Services Managers – fifth-highest number of these professionals – Bachelor's Degree in Business with a concentration in Management
- Marketing Managers – fifth-highest number of these professionals – Bachelor's Degree in Business with a concentration in Marketing
As part of the Kansas university system, this Pittsburg school offers public school value with a national ranking and reputation. This school's Master of Administration (MBA) is offered as an accelerated 12-month, full-time, on-campus degree program or as a part-time program that can be completed entirely through evening classes in two and a half years. Both the full-time and part-time options offer a strong foundation in finance, accounting, global business, human behavior in organizations, technology, quantitative analysis and the creation and distribution of goods and services. You will be studying with a diverse group of colleagues drawn from backgrounds in fields such as technology, engineering, economics, sociology, psychology, political science, statistics, nursing and mathematics.
The University of Kansas offers full-time and part-time MBA options that deliver a high-quality, nationally-recognized program. The traditional 49-hour on-campus experience stretches over three semesters and a summer; this program offers state-of-the-art learning through case competitions, opportunities to study abroad and internships. In the second semester, students select a track in finance or marketing/supply chain to add specialization to their education. The MBA for Working Professionals is offered on the Kansas City area campus via evening classes and can be completed in two and a half years. The KU MBA Alumni Network provides an active schedule of events that supports you and keeps you connected as you advance in your career.
Guided by the theme of "intrapreneurship," the MBA program at Kansas State prepares you to take an entrepreneurial attitude and skillset and apply them to problem solving and growth initiatives in a wide variety of organizations. You'll be challenged inside and outside of the classroom through an approach to learning that combines concepts with experience. Your degree program ends with a capstone practicum: an interdisciplinary consulting project with a team of peers that requires you to apply your learning to a real-world problem. The 52 credit hour program can be completed within two years on a full-time schedule and within four or more years on a part-time schedule. The school offers areas of concentration in enterprise information systems, finance, general management and technology entrepreneurship.
The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University is the oldest and most established MBA program offered in the state. The traditional MBA is a 36- to 48-hour on-campus program, with classes that are offered in the evening to accommodate working professionals. You have the flexibility of pursuing the degree full-time or part-time. The school also offers an Executive MBA for executives and business owners who want to gain skills and knowledge without taking time out of their careers; classes meet on selected Saturdays for an intensive, interactive experience. This program is designed for completion within 20 months.
Fort Hays University offers one of the few online MBA options from a state school in Kansas, and U.S. News & World Report gave this program high marks in 2012. You have the choice of earning your MBA though a traditional on-campus program, online or as a blend of the two approaches. You will be pursuing your degree with students from around the globe, and the China Fellowship option gives you the opportunity to study and work in one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The online option makes it easier for you to balance your studies with work and other obligations. If you pursue your degree full time on campus, you can complete the coursework within as few as four semesters. The online option uses a variety of technologies along with the Blackboard system to create a highly-interactive environment that the school calls "high tech, high touch.