Professional Sales Major: Information and Requirements

Essential Information

Professional sales programs prepare majors to become proficient in designing and delivering sales demonstrations, communicating with and analyzing clients, and marketing through various outlets. Coursework encompasses financial matters, statistical data, negotiation techniques and time management skills. Some programs allow majors to specialize in various sales areas--such as financial and security services or wholesale, advertising, real estate and retail sales--through focused selection of elective courses. Prerequisites for these four-year bachelor's programs generally include a high school diploma, although the curriculum involved is better understood by those with sales experience.

Bachelor's Degrees in Professional Sales

Educational emphasis in professional sales programs is placed on interpreting consumer behavior and interacting on an interpersonal level. Hands-on skills development is provided through presentation projects, role playing and internships. In addition to offerings such as financial analysis and sales projections, other courses typically cover:

  • Management in sales and operations
  • Consumer psychology and behavior
  • Economics
  • Sales planning and development methods
  • Marketing strategies
  • Negotiation in sales

Popular Career Options

Occupations in sales are extremely diverse, spanning a variety of industries and levels. Specific career choices can include:

  • Independent sales agent
  • Retail manager
  • District or regional sales manager
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Financial analyst

Continuing Education Information

Postgraduate certificate programs are available in professional sales and intended to provide candidates a higher level of training without completing a master's degree; this certificate validates an individual's efforts to keep up with modern sales techniques after a bachelor's degree program has been completed. Master of Business Administration programs, some offering a concentration in professional sales, are available for students interested in pursuing supervisory or executive management positions. Non-profit organizations, financial institutions and advertising firms are common employment establishments for graduate degree-holders.

Bachelor's degree programs in professional sales prepare students for careers in sales by covering topics such as sales management and operations, consumer science, marketing and economics. Many graduates seek to further their careers by earning a postgraduate certificate or master's degree in business administration.

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