This article talks about master’s degree programs in sales and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Master’s Programs in Sales
Few schools, if any, offer a master’s degree program specifically in sales. More commonly, schools offer a master’s degree program in both marketing and sales. Such programs feature two fundamental skill sets: attracting potential customers (marketing) and converting those leads into transactions (sales). Enrolled students become adept at one important skill: the analysis of consumer behavior and market trends and the use of this information in maximizing sales.
Education in public relations is also available in many programs, an essential component of marketing and relationship-building among the customer base of businesses. With salesmanship also a primary focus in most programs, courses may educate enrollees about numerous related techniques. Students learn to build a ‘yes’ ladder, decipher a customer’s needs, and gain knowledge on up-selling, feature-benefit selling, and closing. As in many graduate programs, in master’s degree programs, research is incorporated into the coursework. Schools also offer doctoral programs in marketing.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, and in many programs, a bachelor’s degree is required to be in business. Students are typically required to submit letters of recommendation, a personal essay, college transcripts, and standardized test scores. The admissions process may also involve an interview.
Program coursework combines didactic learning with hands-on learning and commonly involves participation by students in collaborative marketing projects, sales role-play, and simulations. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Consumer behavior and psychology
•Innovation and new product development
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of eight percent has been predicted for sales managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). An increasing number of products drives this growth. In May 2012, sales managers brought in an average annual wage of $105,260 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
Program graduates seeking continuing education may opt for Ph.D. programs in Marketing offered through business schools. However, sales is just one of many courses in the doctoral curriculum, wherein advanced concepts like mathematical modeling are applied to predict consumer choices. A doctorate in marketing could lead to careers in academia or research.