University of Oregon students flock to learn marketing and branding

By Tomás H. Lucero

Between 2006 and 2012, the number of undergraduate students receiving degrees in advertising, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, sports marketing and related fields at the University of Oregon grew by 83 percent, according to the Register Guard.

Between 2009 and 2014 that number tripled from 326 to 1,098.

The University of Oregon has a strong pedigree in all things advertising and marketing. Two of its alumni are famed contributors to the public relations industry. They are Dan Wieden and Scott Bedbury. According to the Register Guard, “Nike pioneered the art of telling heroic sports stories in commercials with the help of [Wieden and Bedbury.]”

Today, both men have left the likes of Nike to establish their own advertising firms. Wieden helps run Wieden and Kennedy and Bedbury runs Brandstream—its tagline is “Brand is everything.” Current University of Oregon students seem to have taken their example to heart as they seem to be following in their footsteps. Quoted in the Register Guard, interim dean of the journalism school Julianne Newton, stated, “Advertising is our largest major. We have more than 500 students majoring in advertising.”

While business-oriented majors—the most popular of which is business administration—are up across the nation, an education focused on the communications aspect of business is not as pronounced a trend. Business administration is actually the most popular major among undergraduates at the national level. Institutions like the University of Oregon seem to be working hard at creating a business communication corps to serve the needs of American employers.

Related Story: How the University of Missouri is producing the nation’s most promising young business leaders

Related Story: New trends in marketing: a dispatch from this year’s Marketing Nation Summit

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