Earning an online master in sales degree could lead to professional and career growth.
If you’re interested in sales management, market research and analysis, or niche markets, a master’s degree in sales could help you advance your qualifications in this in-demand sector.
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Sales is a massive field, and attaining a graduate degree might act as a strategic stepping stone in positive job growth.
Online Masters in Sales Programs
A master’s degree in sales online program can help you develop your mastery of three key areas of study: research, marketing, and sales.
You can learn ways to research and examine market trends and consumer behavior as well as how to use that information to maximize the sales of a business or client. Depending on the specific program you choose, course topics might include:
- Public relations
- Market analysis
- Consumer behavior
- New product development
- International marketing
Additional topics of study can include laws and regulations, budgeting for a business, building a “yes” ladder, feature-benefit selling, up-selling, understanding the needs of a customer, and closing. You may also be required to conduct independent research of your own.
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Continuing your education can help give you a leg up on the competition in your chosen field. Masters in sales degrees may help you increase your earning potential as well as your qualifications for senior or leadership roles. Some experience sales professionals go on to become executive sales representatives, sales consultants, marketing managers, sales department managers, or sales plan developers.
Sales and Sales Management Careers & Salaries
Many sales professionals work with the public in some capacity or another, but your focus could be far-reaching. It can depend on the business you want to go in, and it can be as niche or broad as your interests. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced sales professionals can work in a range of roles and industries.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$133,380|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$119,860|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,920|
|Buyers and Purchasing Agents||$63,470|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||$62,910|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives||$62,890|
|Advertising Sales Agents||$52,340|
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job outlook for many of these professions will continue to grow over the next decade. These growing positions include sales managers (7% job growth), sales engineers (8%), and marketing managers (10%).
Masters of Sales Curriculum & Courses
Depending on your desired school, there’s a wide array of courses available to you in a master’s in sales degree program. Here are just a few examples:
- Consumer Behavior: This type of course utilizes psychology and insights into consumer behavior to determine promotional and sales strategies.
- Market Analysis: A course on market analysis will cover how to utilize market research and data to adjust sales tactics and better reach target audiences.
- Advertising: An advertising course covers various methods of creating and managing promotional campaigns.
- Public Relations: A course on public relations will explore the promotion and protection of a company or individual’s reputation and brand.
- International Marketing: This type of course explores cross-cultural trade and the global economy as well as marketing and sales practices and strategies in foreign markets.
- New Product Development and Innovation: This type of course covers product design and development, including modern tools and techniques utilized in the process.
- Sales Management: This type of course introduces the many facets of sales management, including the selection, training, and supervision of a sales team.
- Customer Relationship Management: This type of course explores best practices for developing and maintaining customer relationships.
- Business Communications: This type of course explores sales communication principles and skills needed to present pitches or proposals, collaborate with sales team members, and communicate with other departments.
- Sales Analytics: A course in sales analytics will cover how to collect, interpret, and utilize data for making business and sales decisions.
This is just a snippet of course offerings that may be available to you in your given program. Your chosen concentration will affect your curriculum as well.
Each school will have its own admission requirements for its master’s degree in sales program, but here are some common criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree. A bachelors degree is typically required, preferably in business, as well as a minimum GPA.
- Standardized test scores. GRE or GMAT scores are not required by all schools, but some programs may still ask you to submit your scores.
- Letter of recommendation. A letter from an employer or past professor may be necessary to help validate your potential success in the program.
- Personal essay. An essay that describes your interest in the program, professional experience, and academic background may be requested.
Additional materials, including an application, school transcripts, and a processing fee, may be requested as well.
Sales Graduate Programs Accreditation
Regional accreditation ensures that institutions of higher education are credible, provide quality education, and meet or exceed quality standards.
A school’s accreditation status can affect the transferability of your credits as well as your eligibility for receiving federal student aid. Accreditation also allows an employer to determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.
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You can visit the US Department of Education’s website for more accreditation information on the program you’re interested in attending.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you need assistance paying for higher education, you’re certainly not alone. There are many financial aid opportunities available for students who qualify. To see if you qualify for federal aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal aid options include grants, loans, and even work-study programs. Many states offer aid as well.
You can also look into scholarships. There’s a wide range of criteria out there, so you can look for ones that fit your needs. Scholarships can be offered to low-income students, high-performing students, and even students who are specifically studying sales.
Do You Need a Master’s Degree to Work in Sales?
Depending on your personal goals, earning a college education can be a strategic way to advance your career. While not all sales jobs require a master’s degree, it can help you qualify for potential promotions or raises.
For instance, a master’s degree may help prepare you for managerial or leadership positions. The more competitive the position, the more training and experience you might need to stand out from the competition. A master’s degree can also help you advance in more complex and niche markets, as most masters programs let you choose the specific area of study in which you’d like to specialize.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Sales Degree?
Sales is a broad career field with far-reaching opportunities. Some professionals with a masters degree in sales work their way toward the top of the ladder in sales leadership or management, advertising, or manufacturing.
Depending on your interests, your chosen area of specialty can be as niche or broad as you like. For example, if you decide to focus on market research, you may find yourself working on an advertising campaign or even an entire public image for a client or business.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Sales Online?
The amount of time it will take you to graduate with a master’s degree in sales online will depend on the program you choose as well as the extent of your enrollment.
Masters programs generally take 1 to 2 years to complete with full-time study. If it is a 36 credit hour program with no thesis required, it may be completed in 1 year with full-time, year-round enrollment. A thesis component may add some additional time to completion, as will attending only part-time.
What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters in Sales Degree?
To determine whether you want to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a masters in sales, it could help to compare each degree’s focus with your personal goals.
- Master of Business Administration: An MBA offers a broader business education and is often intended for experienced professionals. An MBA program can also offer sales concentration options.
- Masters in Sales: A masters degree in sales offers more specialized study in the sales sector, focusing on the concentration of your choice. This type of masters program is intended for students who have little to no work experience.
While professionals with an MBA or masters in sales may hold similar positions, their study is different in nuanced ways.
Is a Master’s in Sales Worth It?
Yes, a master’s in sales is worth it for many students. In a capitalist world, sales will always be an integral part of our society. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales managers are expected to see 7% job growth over the next ten years, and marketing managers are expected to see 10% job growth.
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Common careers in this field include executive sales representative, sales consultant, marketing manager, sales department manager, sales plan developer, director of marketing and sales, or sales trainer.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Sales Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
AGM University offers a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing and Sales Management. The program is designed for students interested in roles like director of product development, market analyst, or sales operations and consumer relations. The program can be completed online or in person and requires the completion of 42 credit hours.
AGM is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
DeVry University offers a Master of Business Administration in Marketing program that aims to help students stay competitive in the ever-evolving, demanding world of business. The curriculum is designed to teach skills in advertising, market research, and technology. Core courses in this fully online program include business economics, corporate finance, strategic marketing, and leadership and organizational behavior.
DeVry University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a Master of Business in Marketing. Students in the program can specialize in Digital Marketing and Advertising, Sports Marketing, Project Management, or Social Media Management. The program requires the completion of 36 credits, and all classes are offered online. Students can potentially complete the program in just 1.5 years.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Ohio University offers a Master of Business Administration. It is designed for those looking to strengthen their leadership capabilities with new skills in market analysis and business strategy. The program can typically be completed in 2 years and has the flexibility of online classes. Its classes are taught by faculty members who are leaders in their field.
Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Salem University offers a 12 month, 36 credit Master of Business Administration in Sales Management. This online program aims to teach graduates how to make strategic business decisions, lead successful teams, and maintain unparalleled integrity and business ethics. Graduates often pursue careers as sales representatives, advertisers, marketing managers, and training managers.
Salem University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Strayer University offers a Master of Business Administration in Sales. It aims to help students develop a fundamental understanding of key business concepts, leadership skills, and an understanding of how to assess current market trends. The curriculum is comprised of 12 courses. Each course is 11 weeks long and can be completed in a fully online format.
Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Business. The program boasts industry-leading faculty, the flexibility of online classes, and hands-on learning rooted in research. It aims to gives students the tools needed to excel in numerous fields.
Students can typically complete the program in 1 year. Available concentrations include Management and Leadership, Sales Leadership, Management Information Systems, and Supply Chain Management.
The University of Houston is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill offers a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. It aims to teach students how to identify consumer and behavioral trends, utilize cutting edge technology, and develop marketing strategy based on analytics data. Graduates of the program typically pursue careers in market research, advertising, brand management, and public relations.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Toledo offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration in Marketing with a specialization in Sales Leadership. It is designed for working professionals with a variety of work backgrounds and experience levels. Required courses include but are not limited to Financial Systems, Results-Based Management, Information Technology, and Strategic Marketing.
The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
William Paterson University offers an online program for a Master of Business Administration in Sales Strategy. It aims to teach students how to use strategic planning, data, and leadership skills to mobilize change. This 30 credit program can potentially be completed in just a year. The curriculum covers topics such as business analytics, negotiation strategies, corporate sustainability, and global economics.
William Paterson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Master in Sales Online
If you’re interested in advancing in the lucrative field of sales, you might consider continuing your education in a graduate program.
Much like an online degree in marketing, an online masters degree program in sales can help you work toward professional growth. Sales is a massive field with lots of possibilities, so not every program is the same. There are a variety of program options that offer different focuses and specializations. The one that is right for you will depend on your personal interests and career goals.
If you’re ready to advance your expertise in the world of sales, you can start exploring accredited universities today to find the online program that’s best for you.