Masters Degree in Sales: Program Information

It is difficult to find a master's degree program specifically in sales. It is much more common to find a master's degree program in both marketing and sales, which trains students on the whole process of a sale, starting with attracting the customer through advertising.

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Master's Degrees in Sales and Marketing

Master's degrees specifically in sales are rare. More common is a master's degree in sales and marketing. Such degree programs teach two fundamental skill sets, including how to attract potential customers (marketing) and how to convert those leads into transactions (sales). One important skill students learn is how to analyze market trends and consumer behavior and use this information to maximize sales.

Many programs also offer training in public relations, which is often an essential part of marketing and relationship-building among a business' customer base. Salesmanship, too, is a major emphasis for most programs. Sales courses might teach techniques like building a 'yes' ladder, deciphering the needs of a customer, feature-benefit selling, up-selling and closing. Like many graduate programs, master's degree programs in business often incorporate research into the curriculum.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission to a master's degree program in sales and marketing, and many programs require students to have a bachelor's degree in business. Standardized test scores, college transcripts, a personal essay and letters of recommendation are also required most of the time. Some programs that focus heavily on sales may require an interview as part of the admissions process.

Program Coursework

Coursework in these programs is often a combination of didactic learning and hands-on learning. Students commonly participate in sales role-play, collaborative marketing projects and simulations. The following are examples of class topics that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Consumer behavior and psychology
  • Market analysis
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • International marketing
  • Innovation and new product development

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the employment rate for sales managers may grow 12% between 2010 and 2020 due to an increasing number of products (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for sales managers was $105,260 in May 2012, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Ph.D. programs in marketing are available through business schools, though the study of sales is just one part of a doctoral curriculum. Ph.D. students apply advanced concepts like mathematical modeling to anticipate consumer choices. Most graduates with a doctorate in marketing pursue positions in research and academia.

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