KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University's food and consumer package goods marketing program has earned certification for its category management coursework from the national Category Management Association, becoming one of just two university programs to have achieved CMA curriculum certification.
The certification, awarded to the WMU program in January, signifies that the program offers coursework that meets stringent qualifications for preparing students for certification as category analysts. In some cases, students with applicable work experience may also apply for certification at the category manager level.
"This certification provides employers assurances that the students they hire from our program have met the industry standards set for an analyst position in category management. Our students will be in a position to make an immediate impact in industry upon graduation," says Dr. Frank Gambino, director of the food and consumer package goods marketing program.
About the category management coursework
Category management focuses on retailing and purchasing data to analyze groups of products categories purchased by a business organization or sold by a retailer. To earn certification, the coursework must include proficiency in industry knowledge, category management history and process, pricing analysis, promotion analysis, assortment analysis, spreadsheet development, presentation development, syndicated scanner data methodologies, consumer panel data applications, retailer point of sale data analysis, space planning software and relational databases.
By taking the required curriculum, students prepare themselves during their undergraduate studies for certification at the category analyst level. WMU students can now distinguish themselves from graduates at other universities when vying for top jobs in category management.
One of the premier programs in the United States, the WMU program offers students a four-year business degree specializing in food and consumer package goods marketing.