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Prospective Students 

How do I change my major to marketing?

Obtain a Change or Declaration of Major Form from the JMU Office of the Registrar (Warren Hall, Room 504). Take this completed form to the Academic Services Center , ZSH 205, 540-568-2785. Please note that any student admitted to JMU can declare one of the nine majors offered in the College of Business. However, any student enrolled in one of the B.B.A. programs must meet certain progression standards in order to continue as a business major beyond the first year of study.

Please consult the JMU Undergraduate Catalog for specific information regarding College of Business progression standards.

Why should I major in marketing?    

  • Forbes Magazine lists marketing as one of the top-5 college majors. They say that "Marketing majors boast creativity, communication skills and technological expertise, along with internship or co-op experience at a consultancy, public relations firm, sales department or advertising agency. Although competition is high for full-time openings, employment will grow 12% through 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is attributable to products and services competition in the global and domestic arena, as well as increasing use of telecommunications and multimedia. Recent graduates should look to promising industries for the best wages, such as computer systems services and advertising, instead of manufacturing."
  • Money Magazine and identified the top 20 jobs for those who are young and ambitious based on compensation, growth and job fulfillment: 3 of the top 20 were marketing! The #1 position was product/brand manager where you control, develop, and market an assigned product line.
  • recently announced that Marketing is one of the top 10 most lucrative majors
  • The annual Payscale College Salary Report (2009) cites Marketing as one of the top-five high paying bachelor's degrees. They state that "a career in marketing does require analytical skills, but offers a broader scope and significant creative opportunity. Marketing managers typically have a high profile in companies, creating product and promotion strategies, analyzing pricing and competition and developing plans for the future. Because marketing offers significant visibility and influence, competition for positions in this area can be high, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates strong job growth into the future and well-qualified candidates should be in demand." The U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics reports that marketing majors can expect a median starting salary of $41,500 and a median mid-career salary of $81,500.
  • For 2009-2014, Forrester Research predicts "huge growth" in the demand for marketing professionals in the interactive marketing fields of social marketing, social media, mobile marketing, search marketing and e-mail marketing.
  • Manpower Inc.'s annual talent shortage survey of over 2,000 major U.S. companies found that "sales representative" was the 5th most in-demand profession (behind engineer and nursing) in 2009. Marketing was the only business discipline cited in the top 5. They found that "salespeople are in demand during tough economies because they're instrumental in companies' growth." The expectation is for a robust employment environment to remain for marketing positions, even in difficult economic times, for those who develop "a mix of soft skills and technical skills."
  • A marketing degree has become one of the most financially attractive of all possible degrees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009) cites "Marketing" as one of the 6 quickest routes to a six-figure salary. Even considering the current challenging economic climate, they anticipate a 12 percent growth in marketing jobs in the next decade.
  • According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook, marketing majors are among the TOP 10 degrees in demand by potential employers.
  • in "Big Demand, Big Pay" found that sales and marketing personnel would be the highest in demand in the overall labor force.
  • In " Big Demand, Good Pay" CNN Money named Internet Sales and Marketing Account Director as the #2 "well paying jobs" of all possible careers, where demand for good candidates exceeds supply.
  • lists the top ten jobs that pay twice the national average. Marketing manager's annual income came in at $86,283 with a projected 14% growth rate in the next decade.
  • USAToday reports, "Sure, companies are laying off workers, but many are also looking for new talent, especially at the entry level; engineering, marketing and computer science are rich fields, and that some new graduates might even see higher starting salaries than in recent years."
  • Marketing is one of only three fields identified as strong growth in the upcoming years. The Spring NACE survey shows a 4.9% increase in starting salary, to $43,318, for marketing majors over last year. Even in difficult economic times, with job opportunities becoming less accessible in other fields, the demand for marketing graduates remains quite robust because of their ability to generate revenue for the organization.  With bonuses and commission, which significantly increase compensation packages, average starting salaries are amongst the highest in any business area. Their data illustrates that experienced marketers are typically some of the best compensated individuals in any organization.
  • Manpower Inc.'s annual talent shortage survey reports that finding qualified people to work as sales representatives is the #1 biggest hiring challenge for global employers for the second year in a row. They say that "your best chance of getting a job may be to consider a job in sales." Melanie Holmes, Manpower's vice president of corporate affairs, said that finding wasn't too surprising since many companies are boosting sales staffs to fuel revenue growth. Also, forecasters have said demand for sales jobs will increase dramatically in the coming years.
  • Marketing is cited as a recession-proof career because "business needs to market more aggressively in hard times."

Check out salary information for various marketing positions. Also visit our Marketing Career and Internships page to learn about companies that recruit JMU marketing students and the types of entry level positions they obtain.

What does the Marketing Department at JMU have to offer?

The mission of the Marketing Department is to prepare students to assume professional and leadership roles in the rapidly changing, technically-oriented, and competitive world of marketing. We prepare students for entry-level career positions by developing specialized skills in the management of customer relationships through the creation, communication, and delivery of value to customers. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation of the knowledge and skills needed to develop effective marketing efforts. Students gain knowledge and experience through General Education courses, the core curriculum and declaration of the College of Business marketing major with various combinations of required and elective marketing courses

JMU marketing majors experience several unique benefits:

  • Accessible marketing faculty and staff who work individually with students to build leadership with team skills.
  • Emphasis on academic advising through the Academic Services Center and Career and Academic Planning.
  • Strong connections between classes and the business world through experiential course projects, case studies, field trips, independent studies and internships.
  • Small class sizes for required and elective marketing courses -- averaging 25 - 35 students per class.
  • Active marketing student organizations.
  • Award-winning facilities in Zane Showker Hall.
  • Close ties between the Marketing Department and JMU Career Development to give students outstanding career development and internship opportunities. 
  • A growing network of JMU Marketing Alumni in LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • The opportunity to pursue one of the following concentrations: Business to Business Marketing or Business to Consumer Marketing.
  • Read some of our student testimonials!

Are there opportunities to study marketing in international programs?

What is Marketing 101? 

Marketing 101 is an introductory course designed to expose students interested in marketing to current issues, trends, research, career opportunities and company profiles within the industry. This course is 1 credit.

The approach to this course will entail:

  • Utilization of current journal articles and popular press readings to spotlight general marketing principles and industry trends
  • Engagement of alumni, faculty and/or corporate representatives in guest speaker roles on operational issues and career opportunities
  • Promotion of professionalism in work products, interpersonal relationships and employment-related behaviors
  • Assistance in helping students identify appropriate concentrations, minors or other academic programming to best fit their vocational interests

Contact Dr. Andy Wood, Department Head and Wardinski Family Foundation Faculty Fellow, for further information [, 540-568-2332].