Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Degree Program Options

While aspiring pharmaceutical sales reps can pursue general bachelor's degrees in marketing or sales, a more tailored Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Marketing degree program is also available from some universities.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in a bachelor's program in pharmaceutical marketing learn about the basic chemistry and biochemistry underlying pharmaceutical products. They also learn the basics of management, marketing and economics, and how to read consumer behavior so as to influence a sale. Many universities offering such programs require or suggest that students complete an internship in sales, preferably with a pharmaceutical firm.

The most common admissions requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants also usually need to have earned strong grades in mathematics, biology and chemistry.

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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Degree Overview

Students gain the basics of management, marketing and economics, and learn to read consumer behavior in order to influence sales. An internship in pharmaceutical sales may be required. The courses in a pharmaceutical marketing degree program are a mix of science and business courses. Course curricula may include organic and general chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and other science courses in addition to a business focus on marketing, business and law, healthcare marketing, and business-to-business marketing and sales.

Below is a list of some potential class topics:

  • Organic chemistry, general chemistry
  • Pharmacology, microbiology
  • Marketing principles, consumer behavior
  • Business and law
  • Healthcare marketing and sales, marketing and sales research
  • Business-to-business marketing and sales

Employment Outlook and Career Info

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives of scientific and technical products (including pharmaceutical sales representatives) held about 334,010 jobs across the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected that jobs for these workers will increase by about 7% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The mean annual salary for sales representatives of scientific and technical products, including pharmaceutical sales representatives, was $89,170 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Options

According to the BLS, pharmaceutical sales representatives are usually expected to have graduated from a 4-year college, and don't necessarily need a graduate degree. Additional training in the field is usually provided by employers, according to the BLS, so additional formal education may not be necessary for this field. However, sales representatives who want to gain additional skills and knowledge might consider enrolling in a master's degree program in business management, marketing or sales.

Pharmaceutical sales marketing is an interesting field that students may be especially drawn to if they have skills in both the sciences and the marketing arenas.

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