A master's degree is the ultimate educational credential for anyone seeking a job in sales. But sales is not an academic discipline, so which graduate program provides the best preparation for the job? Going the business administration route is a natural choice (and a good one), but there are some other educational paths to high-paying sales jobs as well.
The following graduate degree options are all excellent choices for students looking to build an advanced career in sales. All of the programs could be completed within 2-3 years, depending on part-time or full-time study.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) With Marketing Concentration
The MBA is a business management degree, but marketing is a core component. These programs often offer a sales and marketing concentration or track that provides more than adequate academic training for a high-level sales job. A side benefit of the program is that upper-level administration positions could also be available to students if they should decide to switch their career focus.
MBA programs typically require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite, but the major doesn't always need to be in a business-related major. Some schools may require some specific prerequisite courses in an area like math, statistics and/or economics. MBA programs often require a minimum score from the GMAT or GRE as well as a personal statement, resume and letters of recommendation.
Master of Finance (MSF)
A Master of Finance degree program has some natural overlap with the MBA, but the coursework in this program focuses more on business funding, financial transactions and budgeting, among other finance concerns. This focus gives students a more granular education in the nuts and bolts of the economics underpinning sales transactions.
Like the MBA, a bachelor's degree is often required, but it can be in a very broad variety of disciplines. GMAT and GRE scores are also often required, though some programs view them as just one of many admissions considerations and do not set a minimum required score. These programs do not always have specific required undergrad coursework, but if they do it will likely be similar to the MBA requirements (accounting, economics, statistics and/or math). Many programs will require a resume, essay and reference letters.
Master of Communication Management (MCM)
Sales fundamentally comes down to communications. An MCM degree program focuses on communication in business settings and workplaces, including marketing applications that directly relate to sales. These degrees also usually cover research and data analysis techniques.
An MCM program usually require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite, though it usually does not have to be in any particular discipline. There are some dual degree programs that allow students to pursue their initial BA while also working toward an MCM, however. Like the other graduate programs, admission consideration may also require a resume, personal statement and letters of recommendation.
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)
A liberal studies graduate program intentionally keeps the curriculum very broad to encourage the development of critical thinking. This is a solid educational background for someone interested in sales jobs where they will need to interact with a diverse range of people on a regular basis and know a little something about a lot of different things to communicate effectively.
A bachelor's degree is usually required, but since the curriculum is very broad you can expect an equally broad range of degree types to be accepted. Not all programs require that you take the GRE, but some allow you the option of including GRE scores to be considered as part of the overall application. Other common admission requirements include recommendation letters, a purpose statement and a current resume.
There are many options for a graduate education related to a sales career. Degree programs in business, finance, communication and liberal studies are just a few of the leading options to consider.