Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Business and Marketing Pathway

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Do you enjoy identifying and solving problems? 
  • Are you interested in why people buy some things and not others (consumer behavior)? 
  • Do you have good communication and interpersonal skills? 

What is the Business and Marketing Pathway?

Business and Marketing pathway is designed to introduce students to the world of commerce and prepare them for future careers in business. Through a series of courses, students learn essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. The pathway incorporates practical experiences like creating marketing campaigns and managing mock businesses, providing a hands-on understanding of how businesses operate. Opportunities for internships, guest speakers, and industry visits make for a rich and exciting learning experience.  

What sort of work would I do?

Three students in suits at DECA Business and Marketing Competition

People in business and marketing do many different jobs to help companies succeed. Some focus on advertising and selling products, like marketing specialists and sales reps. Others, like business analysts, look at data to make smart decisions. Entrepreneurs run their own businesses, while public relations specialists manage a company’s image. Brand managers keep everything consistent, social media managers boost online presence, and event planners organize special occasions. All these jobs work together to make sure companies grow and do well by being creative, thinking strategically, and communicating effectively.

Leads to these Careers

  • Marketing Specialist
  • Sales Representative
  • Business Analyst
  • Entrepreneur
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Advertising Executive
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Brand Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Retail Manager
  • Event Planner
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Customer Relationship Manager

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education Required Career Title Average Annual Salary Job Outlook in WA State (2020-2030) 
High School Business Operations Specialists $100,131 20% increase 
Associate Degree (or Certificate) Tax Preparer $94,388 18% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Advertising and Promotion Manager $92,708 17% increase 
Master’s Degree Data Scientist $128,369 36% increase 
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for update career prospects

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

In this course sequence, students develop skills beginning with an understanding of the basic elements and concepts of double-entry accounting systems related to service businesses organized as a sole proprietorship. Skills include understanding of the accounting equation, analyzing business transactions, entering transactions in journals, posting to ledgers, cash control systems, worksheets, and financial statements, and preparing closing entries. 

Course numbers: HCT7131, HCT7132, HCT7133 

Credentials: Dual College Credit 

AP Macroeconomics is a college level course designed to provide students with a developing understanding of the principles of economics and how those principles operate within the economic system as a whole. The course will integrate the role of the government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. 

Course numbers: HCT2528 & HCT2529, CSC2528 & CSC2529

Credentials: Advanced Placement Exam 

This course studies legal principles and practices applied to business situations and transactions. The topics covered are of importance to all citizens, not just businesspeople. Laws of contracts are basic to Business Law including contracts of employment, sales, property, insurance, negotiable instruments, bailments, and marriage. Rather than just read about the law, students analyze legal cases and apply the law to decisions. They study the organization and functions of the courts, participate in mock trials, and take field trips to the Superior and Municipal Courts.

Course numbers: HCT4265 & HCT4266; CSS4265 & CSS4266

This course sequence provides core content applicable to all aspects of business and encompasses the practical applications of management theory. Students are introduced to the fundamental management functions of the modern corporation including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling from multiple perspectives. This class incorporates technology and communication as tools of business and takes a skills-based approach.  

Course numbers: HCT4295, HCT4296 

Credentials: Dual College Credit 

Through this course sequence, students increase their knowledge of computers as tools in business, as well as increase their keyboarding and touch-typing skills. Through projects in word processing, spreadsheet applications, database, presentation software, web design, internet research, and basic hardware components students will gain an overall picture of the capabilities and impact of computer technology. 

Course numbers: HCT0577 & HCT0578

Entrepreneurship courses acquaint students with the knowledge and skills necessary to own and operate their own businesses. Topics from several fields form the course content: economics, marketing principles, human relations and psychology, business and labor law, legal rights and responsibilities of ownership, business and financial planning, finance and accounting, and communication.  

Course numbers: HCT2291, HCT2292 

Financial Algebra combines algebraic and graphical approaches with practical business and personal finance applications. Students explore algebraic thinking patterns and functions in a financial context. This algebra-based course features real-world algebra concepts found in banking, credit, income taxes, insurance, and household budgeting. 

Course numbers: HCT5701 & HCT5702; CMA5701 & CMA5702  

The course is designed to develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills. The application of tools and techniques of analysis facilitates an appreciation of complex business activities. The course considers the diverse range of business organizations and activities and the cultural and economic context in which business operates. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the day-to-day business functions of marketing, production, human resource management and finance. 

Course numbers: HCT5603, HCT5604 

IB Design Technology is a year-long class where students will learn to generate and execute design of products that exist in a complex, global environment. Students will need a basic knowledge of computer design skills, so Intro to Media Arts, Graphic Design, Photo, or Video Production are suggested prerequisites for this course. 

Course numbers: HCT2545, HCT2546 

This course focuses on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and nonprofit public and private institutions and agencies. Topics of study include: world trade, stock market, housing, banks, finance, ethics, management and global business. 

Course number: HCT6146 

During this course sequence, students understand introductory to complex concepts related to marketing. Students may have the opportunity to participate and compete in DECA competitions and activities. Topics covered may include: introduction to business, marketing and economic concepts, human relations, how to get and keep a job, career development, selling and promotion.

Course numbers: HCT5077, HCT5078, HCT5079, HCT5080 

Credentials: Dual College Credit 

This course sequence provides an introduction to Project Management in Contemporary Organizations. It includes the an overview of the characteristics and attributes of successful project managers; and the challenges of managing projects in a multicultural, global environment.   

Course numbers: HCT4361 & HCT4362 

Social Media Marketing and Advertising immerses students in experiential learning focused on the use of social media marketing platforms, metrics, and methods. Students learn how to segment the online marketplace to target desired consumers and meet measurable goals. Students will work creatively and collaboratively on marketing campaigns, ads, and videos using Adobe Creative Suite.  

Course number: HCT2524 

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Interested in learning more about business and marketing? SPS students have the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge alongside their peers through DECA. DECA hosts competitive events, provides leadership opportunities, and helps students prepare for career and college. Find a chapter at your school here

What training do I need after high school?

Below are examples of training and education programs that students interested in Business and Marketing can access after graduation:

North Seattle College (Certificates and Associate’s Degrees): 

  • Accounting  
  • Marketing Certificate 
  • Project Management Certificate  
  • Associate degree in general business 

Central Washington University (Bachelor’s Degrees) 

  • Accounting  
  • Business administration  (with business analytics and finance specialization options) 
  • Economics & Business forecasting specialization  
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Hospitality, Tourism and event management  
  • Marketing  

University of Washington –Foster School of Business (Bachelor’s Degrees)

Various business related bachelors degree to include: 

  • Accounting  
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Finance 
  • Human resources 
  • Marketing 
  • Operations and supply chain 

Explore the right fit post-secondary pathway for you using the SuperMatch college feature on Naviance

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact content area specialist Maria Herrera-Lofton at