The Marketing major is an academic unit within the College of Business.

Optional Marketing Concentrations
  • Professional Sales Concentration
  • Digital Marketing Concentration
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 Department of Marketing 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. Students majoring in marketing are introduced to the marketing management process, which is a systematic review of the principal activities required to understand: 

  • The context in which products and services must be marketed. 
  • Customer needs. 
  • Strategic options. 
  • Marketing program development. 
  • Evaluation of marketing effectiveness. 
  • The marketing curriculum focuses on traditional and online marketing skills needed in various business settings and industries. The curriculum seeks to develop competence in five areas: factual and conceptual knowledge, problem solving skills, communication skills, experiential learning, and use of information technology. 

Students will be prepared to enter corporate, small business or not-for-profit environments with highly valued skills and an understanding of the need for continuous learning. 

The marketing curriculum at JMU offers students the opportunity to choose an optional concentration in professional sales or digital marketingStudents are not required to pursue a concentration. Students interested in pursuing a business major are encouraged to begin taking lower-level business courses as early as possible. Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for more about the marketing program of study.  Discover more about the courses we offer from the marketing professors teaching the classes by reviewing their Course Descriptions. 

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 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. Foundational course work in marketing includes the marketing process, consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications, professional selling, marketing analytics, marketing management, and variety other areas. Almost all business and non-profit organizations employ marketers.


Marketers are the customer experts within organizations. They manage the organization/customer relationship making sure that products and service offerings are attractive to customers and that customers know how these offerings can meet their needs and wants. There are many specialized careers in marketing that focus on particular aspects of meeting customer needs. Digital advertising specialists create ads and place them in appropriate online media so that customers know what products are available and where they can be purchased. Professional salespeople engage in the selling process by selling big ticket items to other organizations. Social media marketers carry out a wide variety of marketing activities online such as content marketing and search engine optimization. Marketing analysts study market conditions, monitor competitor activities, and predict consumer behavior. 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 focus on 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 Minors 

The most complementary minors for marketing majors include: Art, Analytics, Business French, Business German, Business Italian, Business Spanish, Chinese Business Studies, Computer Information Systems, Communication Studies, Cultural Communications, Creative Writing, Economics (ECON), Educational Media, Entrepreneurship (ENTP), Environmental Management, Film Studies, Geographic Science, Global Supply Chain Management, Honors, Human Resource Development, Non-Profit Studies, Political Communication, Sociology, Sport Communication, Statistics, Theater, and Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication. 

Characteristics of Successful Students

The ideal marketing student is energetic, creative, analytical, strategic, likes to work with people, has innovative approaches for solving business problems, and is a self-starter. Problem-solving, verbal and written communication skills, teamwork skills, resilience and self-motivation are also important characteristics for success. A strong interest in people, data, 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 may require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.

  • Account Executive 
  • Account Manager 
  • Account Representative 
  • Assistant Buyer 
  • Brand Manager 
  • Brand Marketing Coordinator 
  • Buyer 
  • Customer Relationship Manager 
  • Digital Media Coordinator 
  • Digital Media Specialist 
  • Global Account Manager 
  • Import/Export Manager 
  • International Marketer 
  • Internet Marketing Manager 
  • Internet Marketing Specialist 
  • Market Representative 
  • Market Research Analyst   
  • Media Manager 
  • Media Planner 
  • New Business Developer 
  • Product Analyst 
  • Project Manager 
  • Professional Sales Representative 
  • Research Analyst 
  • Retail Manager 
  • Territory Manager 
  • Web Assistant 
  • Web Content Coordinator 

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 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, Digital Marketing Agencies, Federal/State/Local Government Agencies, Consumer Packaged Goods, Insurance Agencies, Healthcare Facilities, Hospitals, Manufacturers, Non-Profit Organizations, Pharmaceutical Companies, Public Relations Firms, Publishing Companies, Retailers, Transportation Firms, Sports Teams, and Wholesalers.

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 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 career@jmu.edu

Back to Top