LA GRANDE — Eastern Oregon University students interested in a career in marketing have a new opportunity.
The school is now offering students a bachelor’s of marketing degree, a change from the bachelor’s degree with a concentration in marketing the school had previously offered. The change is effective with the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“Students can put on their resume, when they’re applying for a marketing job, ‘Hey, I have a degree in marketing, not just a concentration, I got the real thing,’” said Shari Carpenter, a professor of business at Eastern. “That makes a big difference.”
Carpenter said the school recognized a need for the program to adapt with the changing times to meet the needs of employers and students.
“It was always thought of as like selling and stuff, but the strategy part of it and understanding what moves people to make a purchase, understanding a consumer’s needs and what moves that person, that’s the cool part about it,” she said. “So that’s why it’s really become a path up. So they can be in digital and social, create content, do simplest Facebook posts, Instagram, those types of things for companies, people, products.”
Carpenter added that the degree will have applications for students interested in a career in data analysis, public relations and SEO management.
“Promotions, advertising. PR is really huge, and it’s kind of an entity in itself and has a lot of opportunity underneath that little umbrella, because PR is so consistent right now, especially using social media,” she said.
Carpenter said the core classes required for the degree will provide students with knowledge of business fundamentals, while also preparing them to be successful in the marketing specific courses.
She added that the marketing degree will not only provide students with a solid marketing foundation, but also research and presentation skills through learn-by-doing experiential opportunities in marketing. Carpenter said the skills learned are immediately applicable and include emerging digital, interactive, and mobile technologies; web and data analytics; project management; interdisciplinary integrated marketing communications; creativity and innovation. Students will also develop important communication skills and will build their teamwork skills.
Carpenter said students will get a sense of the real world while earning the degree.
“So this degree, I built so that students could finish the degree, walk out and go into a real marketing job and say, ‘I got this,’ because they learned the core skills, not just these books and academics and all that stuff, which is totally fine, but I’d rather have students learn reality of what it’s gonna be like,” she said.
The degree change has been in the works for a couple of years, Carpenter said, adding she anticipates the first degree recipients to start walking at graduation in a year.
“I believe there’s over 10 students that have already transferred into the program when they saw it was available,” she said. ”Let’s say they’re already a junior, all they have to do is add in these specialty classes to finish up their degree.”
“It’s a pretty exciting time,” said Ed Hennigner, the dean of the College of Business at Eastern. “The revision has drawn a lot of interest. We’ve seen pretty good enrollment already coming in for fall. I think it is the right thing to do at the right time.”
Our students will be exposed to in using emerging technologies, interactive, global technology and data analytics,”
Marketing students will have the opportunity to continue to gain practical experience through the National Millennial/GenZ Club.
The National Millennial/GenZ Club offers members the chance to interact with executives from all over the world.
“We’re the only one in the state of Oregon, out of all the universities, that can offer membership through us to the NMC,” Carpenter said. “So that’s huge.”
Carpenter said initially the school was hoping for 22 students in the program that first year, but, she said, it looks like the program is already set to exceed those expectations.
“I believe that we’re going to head over that by the time fall ends and we get out there and start talking about it and having conversations, because that’s what we’re seeing already,” she said.