Professor Sandra Graça (second from left) standing with students at the European Innovation Academy Portugal 2019.
Demand was high, so the market has spoken. In the Fall Semester of 2020, marketing will become Eckerd College’s 42nd academic major.
“Three years ago, we implemented the marketing minor because of high demand for the courses,” said Assistant Professor of International Business Sandra Graça, DBA, the new discipline coordinator. “It is currently the second most popular minor on campus.”
Graça, whose field of study is relationship marketing, began offering courses in principles of marketing and international marketing long before the minor was conceived. Graca, Assistant Professor of International Business Virginie Pioche Kharé, DBA, and International Business Professors Robert Jozkowski and Naveen Malhotra created the minor by expanding the offerings to include sports and entertainment marketing and a January Winter Term (three-week intensive) course on internet marketing.
“It grew by 155%,” Graça exclaimed. “Within three years, 47 students graduated with a marketing minor, and 35 currently enrolled students are marketing minors.”
The new program will include 14 courses in addition to the general education requirements, including a 150-hour internship practicum. Eckerd’s marketing major, housed in the International Business discipline, will focus on diverse/international marketing, green and sustainable practices, and digital marketing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections estimate that market research analysts and marketing specialists are some of the occupations with the greatest potential for job growth between 2016 and 2026.
“I know that COVID-19 has temporarily halted it, but our global chain will still be a force in the world. The pandemic has changed consumer behavior, geared it more toward online and streaming services. That is a box that has been opened,” Graça said. “But slowly and surely, our international business will resume.”
Eckerd’s marketing major will equip students to respond to what the new global markets will reflect.
“We’re in the perfect institution to focus on green and sustainable marketing and really understand its importance for our future,” Graça explained. “Digital search engine optimization and social media marketing will become even more important. We do live in a culturally diverse society, and traditional forms of messaging aren’t as effective. Our major is more in tune with our prospective and our idea of global citizenship to address this diversity much more effectively from a marketing standpoint.”