Career Cluster


From the clothes you wear to the food you consume to your daily transportation, marketing is everywhere. Marketing professionals put products in the hands of consumers who need and want them. They keep a pulse on the latest trends and upcoming developments. Masterful in pricing, marketing-information management, promotion and selling, these savvy trendsetters have the most innovative ideas in advertising, digital marketing communications, merchandising and selling.


Connect to Courses, Curriculum + Careers

DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition. Examine your course of study and integrate activities from DECA’s comprehensive learning program to show that DECA is connected and relevant.

Related Courses

DECA's Comprehensive Learning Program provides a variety of instructional resources that would be suitable for these courses and more.

  • Principles of Business Administration
  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Advanced Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Marketing Research
  • Digital Marketing
  • Sports and Entertainment Marketing

Career Pathways

Each career cluster contains several career pathways, or specialized career areas that are comprised of careers that require similar knowledge and skills.

  • Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Merchandising
  • Professional Selling

Instructional Areas

Instructional areas are broad areas of content knowledge that are comprised of many performance indicators. Performance indicators are specific knowledge and skills employees are expected to demonstrate or achieve.

Business Law
Channel Management
Customer Relations
Emotional Intelligence
Financial Analysis
Human Resources Management
Information Management
Market Planning
Marketing-Information Management
Product/Service Management
Professional Development
Strategic Management

Career Opportunities

The following are examples of career opportunities and occupations that are available within this career cluster.

Account Executive
Account Supervisor
Advertising Manager
Art Director
Brand Ambassador
Brand Manager
Buying Manager
CRM Manager
Campaign Manager
Chief Innovation Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Chief Sales Officer
Circulation Manager
Client Relationship Manager
Content Marketing Manager
Creative Director
Customer Satisfaction Manager
Customer Service Representative
Customer Success Manager
Digital Marketing Director
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Specialist
Director of Communications
Director of Market Development
Director of Sales
Director of Sales and Marketing
Integrated Marketing Communications Specialist
Interactive Media Specialist
Key Account Manager
Market Development Manager
Marketing Associate
Marketing Services Manager
Marketing Specialist
Media Buyer/Planner
Merchandise Buyer
Merchandising Manager
National Account Manager
Product Manager
Product Planner
Promotions Manager
Public Information Director
Public Relations Manager
Purchasing Manager
Regional Sales Manager
Retail Marketing Coordinator
Sales Associate
Sales Manager
Sales Promotion Manager
Sales Representative
Search Engine Optimization Specialist
Social Media Manager
Territory Representatives
Visual Merchandise Manager
Web Content Writer
Web Producer
eCommerce Manager


Enrich the Classroom

DECA’s Competitive Events Program is an incredible tool for curriculum. As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with National Curriculum Standards.

DECA’s flagship evaluation process involves students in both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge. DECA’s competitive events reinforce creativity, problem solving and presentation skills.

The potential for recognition, awards and travel for learning classroom content is a tremendous motivator – not to mention the scholarships and cash awards recognizing DECA members for outstanding achievement.

With more than 60 events, DECA offers a competitive event for every course and every student.

Case Studies + EXAMS

Integrate into Classroom Instruction

Case studies provide a student-centered engagement activity to help DECA members apply learning through problem-based scenarios that require creative solutions and practical outcomes. DECA’s case studies challenge DECA members to demonstrate industry-relevant knowledge and skills through performance indicators. DECA’s case studies are developed through industry research to reflect current issues and trends in business and industry.

DECA’s exams are rigorous, industry-validated, multiple-choice, 100-item exams based on National Curriculum Standards. Each exam item is also linked to an instructional area and specific performance indicator.


Apply Learning

DECA and its corporate partners have teamed up to provide classroom activities that challenge members to apply learning in relevant ways.

DECA at the Bell Challenge

Bring the world of business to the members of DECA in a creative and engaging way, by writing, producing and publishing an episode of DECA at the Bell.

Submissions due by:
November 3, 2023

Ethical Leadership Challenge

Develop a public service announcement (PSA) video describing one of the following ethical principles: integrity, trust or respect. The PSA should be designed to educate your local community and those afar through social media.

Submissions due by:
November 21, 2023

Digital Presentation Skills Challenge

Demonstrate your digital presentation skills utilizing a Virtual Business simulation in a one- to two-minute digital presentation. The topic is up to you! You can talk solely about the strategies you use in the simulation. You could discuss real-world business stories and illustrate the stories with sim exercises. Or, you could talk about your own life, your knowledge of business and financial literacy and utilize a Virtual Business simulation to relate to and illustrate your topic. The top finalists will deliver a live, digital presentation.

Submissions due by:
January 31, 2024

Auction Marketing Campaign Challenge

Develop a marketing campaign for a full estate sale that will utilize the live auction method and include both real estate and personal property. Present your marketing campaign that will use social, print, and email direct marketing strategies in a video presentation to describe your target market, product offerings, market potential, and marketing and distribution strategy.

Submissions due by:
February 1, 2024

Social Impact Leader of Tomorrow Challenge

Demonstrate your creativity by producing the next big cause marketing idea for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF). DECA chapters can participate with up to four-member teams to develop a creative and unique fundraising campaign with NPCF branding. The fundraiser campaign must have an uplifting and hopeful theme with a social media component and video.

Submissions due by:
February 6, 2024

Disability Is Diversity Challenge

Create a focused Disability Is Diversity presentation that highlights the obstacles and experiences of navigating an educational environment with differing abilities. Learn first-hand about the barriers encountered by a student with a disability and determine how you can advocate for needed change.

Submissions due by:
February 16, 2024

Social Media Simternship™ Challenge

Take charge of a dynamic simulated company, strategically allocating your ad budget to maximize revenue. Craft captivating content, engage target audiences and analyze your metrics across simulation rounds. Showcase your social media marketing skills in this exciting challenge.

Submissions due by:
March 1, 2024


Extend Learning Beyond The Classroom

DECA conferences provide unique opportunities to connect students with corporate professionals to engage them in learning industry-related trends and content.


Connect To Business

DECA’s college and corporate partners engage DECA members and help them prepare for colleges and careers of their choice. They provide classroom presentations, scholarships, internships, work experience and much more. Visit our partners page to learn more about developing a win-win relationship with DECA’s partners.


Get Involved

Together, we can help prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and career. Learn about the various opportunities to get involved with DECA.


Contact DECA staff
for more information.

Christopher Young, CAE
Chief Program Officer