Career Guide to JMU Majors Logo


The   Marketing  major is a department within the   College of Business Learn more about this major by watching the JMU Marketing promotional video.

Concentration or Area of Emphasis

Professional Sales Concentration
Digital Marketing Area of Emphasis

Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the Marketing Major site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

The Marketing Department offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing. The major prepares students by developing specialized skills in the creation, communication, and delivery of value to customers. Marketing students:

  • develop in-depth knowledge on how to identify, attract, and evaluate customers;
  • evaluate marketing alternatives and commit to a course of action, using financial, organizational, environmental and ethical criteria to guide decision-making;
  • learn and use information technology tools for customer research and strategic performance;
  • apply marketing skills, doing client-based projects, company internships, community service, and managing student organizations.

The marketing curriculum at JMU offers students the opportunity to choose a marketing special interest area to provide further focus within marketing studies. The special interest areas include Marketing Communications, Retailing, Sales and Business Marketing, Market Research and Analytics, and Marketing Information Systems. Students interested in pursuing a business major are encouraged to begin taking lower level business courses as early as possible.

More About the Field 

Marketing is an extremely broad field. Marketers are involved with a product or service from its conception to its sale, service and maintenance. Marketing is the study of the business activities related to the offering and/or movement of goods or services from the producer to the consumer. Marketing examines issues such as the consideration of what product to make or what services to provide; how to distribute and price the product or service, and how to communicate its merits. Course work in marketing may include topics such as fundamentals of the marketing process, research, consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications, new product development, professional selling, internet marketing, services marketing, and variety other areas. Almost all business and non-profit organizations employ marketers.


Marketers are the customer experts at a business. They manage the business/customer relationship making sure that the business produces products that are attractive to customers and that customers know about those products. There are many specialized careers in marketing that focus on particular aspects of meeting customer needs. Advertising specialists create ads and place them in appropriate media so that customers know what products are available and where they can be purchased. Retailers design, stock, and manage stores. Business marketers make sales calls to sell big ticket items. Social media marketers carry out a wide variety of marketing activities online. Market researchers interview customers and analyze data. Marketing information systems specialists manage consumer databases. Some marketers specialize in package design, others in brand management, still others on marketing to specific demographic groups, e.g., Hispanics or children or retirees. Marketers may also specialize in marketing a particular kind of product, e.g., fashion or movies or sports or consumer electronics or financial services. There are specialized marketing positions for most product classes and demographic groups.

Complementary Majors and Minors 

Some students combine Marketing with other business fields such as Finance, Management, Economics, or Computer Information Systems. Other common combinations with Marketing include Art, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, Health Communication, Humanitarian Affairs, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Sport Communication, Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, or a foreign language.

Characteristics of Successful Students

The ideal marketing student is energetic, creative, likes to work with people, has innovative approaches for solving business problems, and is a self-starter. Problem-solving, verbal and written communication skills, team management skills, and self-motivation are also important characteristics for success. A strong interest in people, products, lifestyles, and cultures is a plus.


Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.

  • Account Coordinator
  • Account Executive
  • Account Manager
  • Associate Project Manager
  • Benefits Specialist
  • Brand Manager
  • Brand Marketing Coordinator
  • Business Development Consultant
  • Buyer
  • Circulation Manager
  • College Admissions Advisor
  • Commercial Sales Representative
  • Communication Specialist
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Affairs Specialist
  • Contract Specialist
  • Convention Organizer
  • Copywriter
  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Direct Mail Specialist
  • District Sales Manager
  • Event Coordinator
  • Forecast Analyst
  • Franchise Owner
  • Fundraiser
  • Global Marketing Manager
  • Government Account Rep
  • Internet Marketing Specialist
  • Legislative Correspondent
  • Manufacturing Employment Specialist
  • Marketing Events Coordinator
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Market Research Interviewer
  • Marketing Strategist
  • Media Buyer
  • Media Planner
  • Meeting Coordinator
  • Membership Relations Assistant
  • Mobile Marketing Specialist
  • Online Community Manager
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Rep
  • Pricing Analyst
  • Promotions Director
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Realtor
  • Research Analyst
  • Retail Merchandiser
  • Sales Consultant
  • Sales Manager
  • Social Marketing Manager
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Sports Marketing Coordinator
  • Strategic Marketing Manager
  • Training Coordinator
  • Web Content Coordinator
  • Web Merchandiser
  • Web Account Executive

Who Employs Graduates?

Please visit the   Marketing Career Information  page for a listing of some of the companies that hired recent marketing graduates for entry-level positions. The majority of students with marketing degrees will start in sales as an entry point. With your increased experience and education, expect to move into a position oriented towards marketing management. Nearly all organizations employ marketing professionals. Industries that typically employ marketing graduates include: Airlines, Advertising Agencies, Banks / Financial Institutions, Consumer Product Companies, Federal/State/Local Government Agencies, Firms Marketing Consumer Goods, Insurance Agencies, Healthcare Facilities, Hospitals, Manufacturing Companies, Non-Profit Agencies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Public Relations Firms, Publishing Companies, Radio / TV and Motion Pictures Studios, Retail Stores, Transportation Firms and Sports Teams.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

Students who are interested and qualified may take MKTG 494, Marketing Internship with the approval from the Internship Director. Joining one of the various Student Organizations is  another great way to interact with other marketing majors and meet marketing professionals, as well as exploring other opportunities for learning experiences.

View our list of  internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Sales Managers
A Day in the Life of a Market Researcher
A Day in the Life of a Marketing Executive
A Day in the Life of a Media Planner 
A Day in the life of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

A Day in the Life of a Service Sales Representative

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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