San Diego Sales Schools with Program Descriptions

Training in sales and related areas like marketing is available at multiple schools in the San Diego area. To determine which one is a good fit for your goals, read about admission and program requirements for three colleges located within roughly 15 miles of downtown.

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Sales Programs in San Diego

Students in the San Diego area who are interested in the world of sales have several degree and certificate options to consider. Sales fundamentals and strategies are typically taught as part of a school's business and marketing programs, and this article focuses on the required courses at three institutions. There is also a table of facts that could help a particular school stand out in your search. Information on another area college is included as well.

  • Located about 7 miles from the city's center is San Diego Mesa College (Mesa), the largest community college in the district. Mesa offers associate's degree and certificate programs in marketing.
  • About 15 miles northwest of central San Diego is Grossmont College, located in El Cajon. Like Mesa, Grossmont is a 2-year, public school. Grossmont's catalog includes an associate's degree program in marketing and retail management as well as several certificate options in the field.
  • National University (NU) in La Jolla, is a 4-year, private school and is situated about 16 miles from downtown San Diego. Among the programs at NU with a sales or marketing emphasis are a bachelor's degree and two certificates.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Merchandising and Buying
  • Merchandising Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
  • Retail Operations Management
  • Sales Operations

Comparison of Schools

Each of the profiled schools is in a different setting and has varying numbers of enrolled students. This, along with other factors like tuition costs, could affect which college you choose to attend. Take a look at this table to explore all of these areas.

San Diego Mesa College Grossmont College National University
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 4-year, private
Total Enrollment (Fall 2014) 24,159 (all undergraduates)* 18,040 (all undergraduates)* 17,608 (9,721 undergraduates)*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Rural
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,142 per year for in-state students; $4,670 per year for out-of-state students* $1,388 per year for in-state students; $7,196 per year for out-of-state students* $12,744 per year*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 67%* 69%* 58%*
Acceptance Rate N/A - Open enrollment N/A - Open enrollment N/A - Open enrollment
Retention Rate (2014) 68% for full-time students; 36% for part-time students* 68% for full-time students; 51% for part-time students* 60% for full-time students; 32% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 23% (students who started in 2011)* 22% (students who started in 2011)* 40% (students who started between 2008-2009)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

San Diego Mesa College

Mesa was founded in 1964 as part of the city's effort to ensure all adults had access to post-secondary education and vocational training. The sales and marketing programs at Mesa operate through the School of Business and Technology. Admission is open to students who have earned a high school diploma or GED.

Certificate of Achievement in Marketing

This certificate program is designed for students who wish to gain some fundamental knowledge in marketing and sales. It is a 32-credit unit course of study involving roughly 10 different topics. Among the subjects covered in the program are the principles of marketing, the principles of retailing, the principles of advertising, professional selling, business mathematics and business communications. This program can prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in marketing and sales.

Associate in Science in Marketing

The associate's degree in Marketing at Mesa includes all the courses of the certificate program plus some additional topics. The principles of selling, marketing, retailing and advertising are covered. The program also includes courses in various aspects of business, accounting, economics and information systems. Course credit can be awarded to students who work in a job related to marketing. The associate's degree in Marketing at Mesa is a 60-unit program. At least 45 of the 60 credit units can be earned in courses related to marketing and sales. The rest of the credits are earned in courses that satisfy the school's general education requirements. Graduates of the program are positioned to find full-time employment in fields such as sales, marketing, advertising and market research, among others.

Grossmont College

Among the programs that the Business Administration Department at Grossmont operates are the marketing and retail management curricula. Many teachers in the program have real-world business experience. Most classes have roughly 25 to 40 students. Admission is open to high school graduates and anyone over 18 years of age. Assessment tests in math and English may be required.

Sales Associate Certificate of Proficiency

This certificate is for students who have little experience in the field of sales and wish to quickly gain some relevant knowledge. Students will be exposed to the fundamentals of retail management, personal selling and human relations, among other topics. The entire program comprises 7 courses and can be completed in less than a year. This certificate is issued by the Business Administration Department of the school and is not reflected in the student's official transcript. This program can qualify a student for an entry-level position.

Certificate of Achievement in Retail Management

This program is for students who wish to learn some fundamental concepts in retail selling and business management. Topics covered include: accounting, retail management, business communications, marketing, human relations and computer systems, among others. There are 10 courses in this 30-credit unit program. Students who achieve a grade of 'C' or higher in all courses are eligible for the certificate. Career opportunities include store manager, marketing manager and human resources assistant.

Associate in Science in Retail Management

The associate's degree in retail management is for students who want immediate job-training, or are planning to transfer to a 4-year school. Students will take a variety of business courses including elementary accounting, retail management, business math, human resources management and marketing, among others. Of the 60 credit units it takes to graduate, students can expect to spend a minimum of 28 to 30 credit units in this major. This degree can prepare a student for advancement from entry-level jobs to a variety of managerial positions. Students interested in the retail food business can note that this program meets the requirements of the Western Association of Food Chains for advancement to managerial positions.

Certificate of Achievement in Marketing

Since marketing is broad field which encompasses not only selling, but also areas such as distribution, market research and advertising, this certificate program includes a diverse curriculum. Among the topics are financial accounting, personal selling, business communication, business law and advertising. Recipients of this certificate should have an understanding of the fundamentals of selling and market strategy. The program entails about 30 credit units and can be completed in about a year by a full-time student.

Associate in Science in Marketing

Like the certificate program, this marketing degree can acquaint the student with the fundamentals of marketing through a variety of business topics. Required courses include: financial accounting, business law, marketing and principles of management, among others. Beyond the required courses, students can choose electives including personal selling and several courses focused on global and international business. The program includes an internship that is an integral part of the curriculum. A full-time student can complete this degree, including the school's general education requirements, in about 2 years. This degree can be beneficial to those looking to immediately enter the workforce, or who plan to transfer to a 4-year school.

National University

National University's Department of Management and Marketing, under the auspices of the School of Business and Administration, offers several certificate and degree programs which emphasize marketing and selling. NU attempts to design its programs for the working adult by offering several online learning options. In 2011, 72% of undergraduates were over 24 years old.

Certificate in Basic Sales and Marketing

This certificate introduces students to the fundamentals of sales and marketing. The program consists of 4 courses which can be completed in about 16 weeks. Students will be exposed to the basics of marketing, consumer behavior, personal selling and advertising. This program can help entry-level job-seekers break into the field.

Certificate in Marketing

The certificate in marketing is a short, 4 course program, which focuses on the fundamentals of the marketing process. In addition to learning about promotion planning, pricing and distribution, students will be get an overview of marketing research and advertising. Students seeking to continue their studies can transfer credits earned in this program to a degree program in the field. This certificate can be earned online.

Bachelor of Arts in Management With a Concentration in Marketing

The Bachelor of Arts in Management (BAM) prepares students to manage, evaluate and communicate in a global business environment. Marketing fundamentals, organizational behavior, global business models, leadership and ethics are among the core subjects. Students choosing a concentration in marketing will study consumer behavior, market research and advertising. The program also includes elective courses in sales techniques, public relations and e-marketing, among other topics. The program is 180 quarter-units of which a minimum of about 85 are devoted to the major and 70.5 are devoted to general education requirements. The degree can be obtained entirely on-line. This degree can help qualify the job-seeker for a career in sales, marketing and market research among others.

Other School Options

For those seeking individual courses in selling, the University of San Diego sometimes offers non-credit professional development sales training through its Institute for Sales and Business Development. The campus is located about 6 miles from downtown San Diego.

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