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10 Best Degrees for a Career in Sales What to study for a sales career

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Sales is a major career field. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, there are more than 11,800,000 sales positions available across the U.S. While the current growth rate isn’t quite as high as it has been in the past, the BLS predicts that there will be an additional 450,000 new sales job opportunities available in the country within the next 10 years. Sales can be a lucrative career. To get a job in the field, it’s important to obtain an advanced education. Here are the 10 best undergraduate degrees for people who are planning a sales career.

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1. Communications

A communications degree will teach you how to communicate effectively on social media, face-to-face, when speaking publicly and on print. The core of communications is studying the signs, common rules and social structures that people use to send and receive messages. You can take different directions in communications. For instance, you can focus on health, politics, journalism or media.

When working toward your undergraduate communications degree, you will discover that experience is the best way to learn. This means that you might need to volunteer for the campus newspaper, university broadcast station or school clubs. Keep in mind that a communications degree will help you learn how to talk to people, a needed skill in sales. It will help you become more comfortable making presentations to large groups, and you’ll also develop a strong vocabulary, one that will make it easier for you to sell to people from all walks of life.

The degree’s classes will include hands-on learning opportunities. For example, if you intend to earn your degree with a focus on journalism, then your professors will probably assign you to write newspaper articles by interviewing sources and covering events that are happening on campus or in your local community. If you were to focus your communications degree on marketing instead, then you would likely have assignments like creating an advertising campaign while students who want to head into public relations may be assigned the task of developing a way for a nonprofit organization to earn money.

Consider what area of sales interests you. Then, enter an undergraduate program in communications that will help you with your sales career. If you want to sell pharmaceuticals or medical equipment, then focus your undergraduate in communications on health. If you love the challenge of selling high-end merchandise like cars or expensive suits, then direct your degree toward public speaking.

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2. Business

If you’re planning to go into sales, it’s a good idea to get an undergraduate degree in business. This type of degree will give you an overview of how the business world works, and it will allow you to specialize in public relations, economics and marketing, which are areas that will help you with your sales career.

Business degrees are sort of a catchall of college majors. When you go for your undergraduate in business, you’ll receive math skills. These will come in handy for practical analysis, a skill that will help you plan your sales goals. During your business training, you’ll gain interpersonal communication skills too. In sales, these will come in handy for building relationships with clients and coworkers.

Your business instructors will help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to choose what area of sales will be the best fit for you. Determining your weaknesses also helps you figure out how to overcome them. With an undergraduate degree in business, you can start your own company or become an important part of a sales team. It will help you become a flexible employee, one who feels comfortable working under a manager or as the manager. This type of degree will make you an appealing candidate for job promotions.

A business degree will make you an attractive applicant to many sales organizations because it will give you a balanced education. It will help you focus on the administrative side of your sales career, helping you stay on track and organized. An undergraduate degree in business will make it possible and easy for you to work in almost any part of the country.

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3. Technology

Technology degrees teach students how to operate computing systems, the kind that companies use to gather, track, organize and obtain data. The technology field is broad, which means that getting your undergraduate degree in it is likely to help you in sales.

People who have a technology degree have the option of concentrating their careers on developing computerized databases or networks while others manage the programs. Technology careers include software and internet development, system analyzing and computer support in addition to web design. An undergraduate in technology is great if you intend to seek a sales career because it will make you comfortable using sales technology and programs. You’ll want to consider getting the degree even more if you aren’t especially computer savvy.

IT experts are in almost every industry. A survey completed by Cyberstates found that there are around 7.1 million people working in technology throughout the United States. The BLS also predicts the field to grow.

A technology degree will help you develop your analytical mindset. You’ll become more adept at troubleshooting computer issues, making it easier for you to deal with these types of problems while you’re working.

The technology field is one that experiences a lot of change. With this type of degree, you’ll become more comfortable switching gears quickly. It will increase how flexible you are on the job, which could result in more sales regardless of what area you decide to work in.

Technology is forever becoming bigger and better. This means that selling technology products, services or programs could be a lucrative career since you’ll always have something new to sell.

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4. Marketing

A marketing degree will ready you for a fast-paced sales career. An undergraduate in marketing and sales practically go hand in hand since marketing is all about creating a feeling or an atmosphere that tempts people into purchasing something. Marketing courses will teach you how people think. It will help you tap into your creative side and direct you on how to communicate with others. Companies implement marketing strategies to convince customers to buy their products, services or programs.

You’ll learn about the latest trends in marketing as well as any sales issues that come with the field. While earning your degree, you’ll learn how to organize and develop written and oral communications. You’ll also learn about the economy and about the common problems that come with business cycles, inflation and employment. Marketing courses teach students the ins and outs of product development, delivery and pricing. These courses will give your sales career a solid foundation and prepare you for the challenges you’re sure to face.

An undergraduate in marketing will enhance your research skills. When you enter the sales field, research is your friend. Learning the particulars about the products, services or programs that you decide to sell will transform you into a top salesperson. It’s easier and more effective to sell something that you understand and believe in.

Learning about consumer behavior is a major part of a marketing degree, and it will help you make the most of your sales career. You’ll learn how to assess a potential buyer’s motivation, personality and attitude, making it possible for you to determine the best product, service or program for them.

Marketing degrees focus on the importance of honesty, responsibility, transparency, respect and fairness. Your clients will see these traits in you, and when they do, they will know that they can trust you. It will give them faith in what you’re trying to sell them.

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5. Finance

An undergraduate degree in finance will give you a basic knowledge of accounting, taxes, risk management and statistics, information that will come in handy during your sales career. This is the type of degree that you can focus on developing skills for different occupations.

Your finance classes will teach you how to assess data and solve problems. It is also an educational direction that will help you develop your critical thinking skills. People who seek a career in finance will have many job opportunities. For instance, almost every company needs accountants to help them manage their finances, ready their taxes and make sure that they are spending their money wisely.

The nice thing for people who work in finance is that they can work in almost any industry and in any part of the country or world. If a desk job is unappealing, then remote work is an option. Finance professionals frequently work at different company locations.

According to the BLS, finance job opportunities are predicted to increase by 10% by the year 2026 with an estimated 770,000 new jobs. The country is continuing to globalize. Also, filing taxes is complex. This means that finance jobs are here to stay with more to come. People who work in finance tend to earn a comfortable living. In fact, the field’s median annual salary is around $67,000. This is more than the average for many other occupations.

Those who earn a finance degree often work in the banking sector, insurance, accounting and investments. They are also qualified for the real estate market and top positions like chief financial officer. An undergraduate degree in finance will help you manage your sales career. It will teach you how to capitalize on your earnings and make the most you can from sales.

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6. Public Relations

People who earn an undergraduate degree in public relations will learn how to be strategic communications professionals. They protect the reputations and images of small businesses, multinational corporations and nonprofit organizations.

With the prevalence of online journalism and the popularity of social media, individuals who work in public relations are required to work fast to stay on top of the news and head off any negative publicity. Public opinion is a fickle thing, one that changes quickly. Because of this, many agencies and organizations hire professional public relations people.

The BLS reports that public relations jobs are likely to increase by 10% from 2016 to 2026. Public relations experts work as the contact point between the public and companies. If you decide to earn a public relations degree, you’ll learn how to develop effective campaigns and respond to various situations.

Like the other undergraduate degrees on this list, you can focus your public relations education toward the area of sales that you want to work in. This might include digital media, corporate communication, advertising and project management.

People who get an undergraduate in public relations often become managers of major corporations. They also have the skills to help companies using their marketing and advertising knowledge. A degree in public relations prepares students to become speech writers, press secretaries and event coordinators. These are abilities that will make companies want to hire you for their sales teams.

Once you begin your sales job, these skills will come in handy since they’ll teach you how to create your own personal selling campaign. The ability to respond on the fly to different situations will also help you become a top salesperson.

7. Liberal Arts

If you love the arts and creating beautiful things to share with others, then you’ll want to consider getting an undergraduate degree in libertal arts. The education that comes with this degree includes learning how to develop an artistic brand, display things and create a portfolio. These skills are perfect for your sales career.

The liberal arts field is a general area of study, making it a great commodity in the job market. These days, it’s common for people to have different jobs in various fields throughout their life.

With your liberal arts degree, you’ll be able to look for unique ways to expand your sales experience. This will help you pull more excitement into your sales routine. It will also allow you to stand out, which will likely increase your selling ability. A liberal arts degree will help you do more to increase your sales. For instance, it will help you feel comfortable creating product displays or writing an email around offering a product or a service.

Liberal arts courses include drawing, sculpting, ceramics and digital photography. When recruiters ask employers what they want in job applicants, they usually point to characteristics of people who earn a degree in liberal arts. For instance, they appreciate candidates who are able to handle complex situations, those who are self-starters and people who can work with others.

Job recruiters want applicants who are innovative and are interested in creating unique products and have creative ideas. For companies, staying competitive is how they remain relevant and continue earning profits. To be successful in sales, you’ll need your creativity. You can use it to develop new selling techniques and appeal to consumers in ways that will tempt them into buying what you’re selling.

8. Psychology

In the United States, a psychology degree is one of the most popular degrees that students earn. Getting your psychology degree to help you in sales is a genius move since the field teaches you how to study and understand people. In sales, knowing what motivates people and how they think will help you sell successfully.

When you study psychology, you’ll learn how to reason from a scientific standpoint and engage in critical thinking. Classes will teach you about the benefits of being ethical and socially responsible in a world that’s complex and diverse. The educational field also focuses on oral and written communication skills. These are skills that will allow you to thrive in a selling environment.

It can be exciting to work in sales. A job in sales can also be demanding. When it is, your psychology education will help you manage the emotional ups and downs of working in the field, helping you to function in a healthy way. Your psychology degree will help you maintain a good balance between work and your personal life.

Your psychology professors will encourage you to hone your natural talents. They will also teach you about your strengths and weaknesses. You can use this knowledge to enhance your sales career. Not only will a psychology degree help you understand people to sell more and better, but it will also make it possible for you to work in any area of sales.

9. Social Science

If you decide to earn a social science undergraduate degree, you’ll be studying societies of today and yesterday. Classes in this field will teach you how societies operate at every level including individual society members, families, cultures, communities and governments.

Social science is a broad subject field, one that will help you feel comfortable managing various problems throughout your career. Social science professors will teach you how to research. There are many different quantitative and qualitative techniques that you can use to collect and analyze data ranging from voter turnout to how many people prefer tacos to hamburgers.

People who work as social scientists search for resolutions to current world issues including hunger, social injustice and crime. They also try to figure out why people shop, talk, act and dress the way that they do. This information will give you insight about people, the kind that will help you become the best-selling agent in your company.

Those who earn an undergraduate degree in social science will have the option of working in a number of fields. Since you’ll be focusing on sociology, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about human nature as well as how to do market research. Both subjects will help you achieve a successful career in sales.

When you go for your social science degree, you’ll get to take statistics courses. They will help you learn how to analyze the information that you collect. This is a good sales skill to have. You can use it to track your selling methods to see how well they’re working. With this information, you’ll be able to tweak your selling techniques to achieve greater success.

10. Economics

Students who decide to get an undergraduate degree in economics will learn how to analyze people’s decision-making methods and the ways in which they interact with one another. When you earn your economics degree, you’ll become a master researcher. This is a skill that will enhance your selling ability.

People who obtain an economics degree will be qualified to help companies and agencies handle legal disputes. They work as economic consultants and actuaries. Research assistant jobs are another work option for people with a degree in economics. Some people attend law school while others go into business management.

Economists generally work on their own in an office environment. They often collaborate with statisticians as well as with other economists. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for economists was around $105,000 as of May 2019. The agency also predicts the field to grow by about 14% from 2019 to 2029.

Economic classes focus on the economy and how it impacts people and businesses. Your professors will teach you how to assess problems like consumer demand and profits to help a company make the most of its earnings. Federal, state and local governments hire economists to gather and analyze information about the country’s economy. This includes employment, wages and worker productivity.

Being able to understand what’s happening in the economy at any given time will help you manage your sales career. You’ll be able to use what you know about the economy to sell the right thing at the right time.

Why You’ll Love a Career in Sales

These days, it’s easier than ever to diversify your education since you can earn a degree online. Many programs are self-paced, allowing you to get your degrees while holding down a job. Working in the sales field offers diversity. It also allows you to focus on your natural talents while inspiring you to build new ones. The sales field is exciting, and you’ll be able to earn a comfortable income working in it.

Related Resources:

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What is a Technical or Trade School?

Recommended Online Degrees for Sales

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?