2024 Best Bachelor’s in Sales Degrees [Degree Guide]

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on April 27, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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If you’re personable and persuasive, then pursuing a sales degree could help you turn those natural inclinations into career prospects.

Best Bachelor's in Sales Degrees

Sales representatives often get to travel, meet interesting people, and challenge themselves to achieve big goals. There are quite a few college degree paths that could lead to a career in sales, so you may want to explore which one would be the best fit for you.

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With the right training, you might end up in financial, retail, insurance, or advertising sales—or another branch of this diverse field.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors 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.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business – Retail Management. It is designed for students with a passion for creating a seamless customer service experience. The 120 credit program can be completed fully online and includes courses in leadership, service marketing, quality management, and sustainability.

ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Sales. The program requires the completion of 120 credits to graduate. Up to 90 qualifying credits can be transferred in from other institutions. Its curriculum covers fundamental sales concepts, such as buyer behavior, organizational purchasing, sales management and strategies, and category management.

Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University offers a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Sales. The program aims to help students gain skills in marketing and advertising, analyzing consumer trends, and conducting research. The program’s 120 required credit hours can be completed 100% online. Most courses are 5 weeks long and completed one at a time.

Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DeVry University

DeVry University’s bachelor’s degree specialization in Marketing and Sales can be selected by students majoring in Business Administration, Management, or Technical Management. The specialization can be completed fully online or in a hybrid format. It focuses on helping students learn strategies for reaching consumers and utilizing new media in market-facing businesses.

DeVry University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Eastern Florida State College

Eastern Florida State College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management with a specialty in Sales and Marketing. The program is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge to succeed in sales roles across a variety of businesses. Courses cover topics in organizational behavior, consumer behavior, marketing research, and supply chain logistics management.

Eastern Florida State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Liberty University

Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing: Sales Management program offers a uniquely Christian perspective. It is designed to give students the tools to pursue their vocational passions as people of faith. This fully online program is completed in 3.5 years on average and spans 120 credit hours that are broken down into 8 week courses.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Miami University

Miami University offers a Bachelor’s in Commerce and Sales Management. Graduates often become account directors, marketing managers, sales consultants, and business development managers or pursue other professional roles. All courses in the program are offered online and in-person, allowing students to cater their educational goals to their busy schedules.

Miami University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Point Park University

At the core of Point Park University’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Sales is the understanding that successful businesses require excellent marketing and sales teams. This fully online program seeks to matriculate students with the necessary knowledge to succeed. It aims for graduates to walk away with key skills in presenting information, negotiation, research, and data analysis.

Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration – Marketing and Sales. The program is designed for those interested in careers in management, sales, and advertising. Classes utilize an online format, and the program begins fresh every 8 weeks, allowing incoming students to begin their classes as soon as they are able.

Spartanburg Methodist College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Weber State University

The Bachelor’s in Sales program at Webster State University boasts expert faculty, prestigious corporate partners, and the flexibility of online, in-person, and hybrid coursework. Key courses cover topics in sales and service technology, customer service techniques, sales proposals, ethics in business, and business communication.

Weber State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Online Sales Degrees

Online Sales Degrees

What makes sales representatives successful? Engaging a customer base and building relationships are helpful skills. Having a firm grasp of their products and services is important too. Plus, sales representatives should understand their demographic market and know how to convince others that their goods will meet a need.

Sales representatives often have a natural knack for these things. Some gain additional skills through on-the-job training. Even still, neither is a substitute for a college education. In a relevant college program, you can learn evidence-based business strategies and hone your sales abilities. Plus, college courses could provide the opportunity for you to develop your expertise in a specific industry.

Topics studied in sales degree programs often include:

  • Business fundamentals
  • Communication
  • Consumer trends and behaviors
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation skills
  • Sales research

Schools often have students immerse themselves in real-world case studies from sales organizations. Challenging students to sales competitions is another technique that some universities use. Internships and other hands-on experiences can bring classroom studies to life.

One of the top benefits of studying sales in college is the opportunity to develop a professional network through guest lectures, practicums, internships, and student organizations. There are professional selling roles in a variety of industries.

Some graduates work in retail settings. Others market products or services to business customers. Pharmaceuticals, insurance, travel, and technology are just a few of the many industries that rely on sales professionals.

Getting a sales-related degree could help you qualify for an eventual management role in sales. Experience alone isn’t always enough for securing leadership promotions. Holding a bachelor’s degree, especially in a relevant field, could make all the difference.

College Majors That Prepare You for a Career in Sales

College Majors for sales degree

There’s not one specific degree for sales representative hopefuls. Rather, several different degree programs could help prepare you for a career in sales.

Understanding what sort of sales job you’d like to hold someday could help you decide which type of degree to pursue. For example, if you plan to sell tech products, you might want to major in information technology. On the other hand, a finance degree could prepare you to buy and sell securities.

Not every track to a sales career needs to be so specific, though. There are other degree options for students who want to acquire a broader set of sales, business, and communications skills. The following majors are some of the most common for people who hope to work in sales:

Regardless of the specialty you select, you will still receive a strong foundation in sales and related courses.

Business Administration

degree in Business Administration

One of the most popular college degrees—and not just for those who want to go into sales—is business administration. In a business administration program, you’ll learn about many different aspects of business, including finance, IT, marketing, human resources, logistics, and management.

Understanding the ins and outs of business can help you get ready for a sales career. It can be especially helpful if you plan to do business-to-business sales. The more you know about what business leaders need, the better you can help meet those needs. Business administration is a huge field, so college programs often include concentration tracks.

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Some schools have sales-specific concentrations, such as professional selling. Concentrations in marketing, advertising, finance, or IT could also be useful for people with sales careers in mind. Some business administration majors launch careers as product sales representatives, advertising salespersons, retail managers, and store owners.

Communications

degree in Communications

Much of selling is being able to communicate well with others. Salespeople spend a lot of time talking to others. They may call people on the phone, send emails, meet face-to-face, or give presentations. Communications programs emphasize all of those skills.

Not only will this degree program teach you the practical ins and outs of communication, but it will also address the underlying science. You can learn about how people process information and make decisions. Your courses will also cover the art of effective persuasion.

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A communications degree is versatile. Learning how to connect with people and demonstrate how your products can meet their needs could help you sell anything from household items to luxury goods. Another advantage of a communications degree is that it won’t lock you into a sales career. If you decide you want to go in a different direction, you could pivot to a variety of fields, such as journalism or public relations.

Finance

degree in Finance

If you work in the finance sector, your clients will expect you to know your stuff. Selling financial products requires a close knowledge of markets, taxes, risk management, and more. For that reason, if you want to go into financial sales, you may be better off focusing on finance studies rather than sales studies in college.

To get a degree in finance, you’ll take classes in accounting, taxation, portfolio management, and economics. You can learn how to invest money in various markets and consider the risks and benefits that come with each option. Financial ethics are covered as well.

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Getting a degree in finance could be useful for starting a career in commodities or securities sales. Insurance and real estate sales are other fields to consider. Outside of the sales world, finance graduates often work as budget analysts, financial analysts, financial examiners, or loan officers.

Marketing

degree in Marketing

Sales and marketing have a lot in common. Marketing a product or service is often the first step to making a sale, so understanding marketing principles can help you succeed as a salesperson.

Marketing is a subset of the business sector, so marketing students often complete a set of core business courses. Other classes for this degree program will likely cover consumer behavior, marketing analytics, and marketing channels. As you earn a marketing degree, you might have the option to take some sales-focused elective courses. Their topics might include business-to-business selling, retail sales, pricing, and management of sales teams.

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Marketing majors sometimes enter advertising careers, and marketing training could also be useful for a job in advertising sales. Other possibilities include retail store management, market research analysis, brand management, or product sales. Paired with industry experience, marketing graduates could eventually pursue management jobs in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Retail Management

degree in Retail Management

If you have your sights set on a career in the retail sector, then you could choose to major in retail management. This degree program focuses on selling as well as organizational leadership skills.

Many of the courses in this program address sales and store operations. For example, you’ll probably study consumer behavior and how to close sales. You’ll also discuss creating displays and offering promotions that encourage people to make purchases. Sourcing goods may be a topic as well.

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Other classes may focus on the team leadership aspect of being a retail manager. This could include studying business communications, human resources, and quality assurance. Retail management skills are often applicable to a variety of sales settings. For example, you might use them when working for a brick-and-mortar retailer or an online one. Various retail organizations might sell clothing, household goods, food, or other products.

Sales and Marketing Careers & Salaries

Sales and Marketing Careers & Salaries

Sales is a diverse career field. Professional salespeople serve as liaisons between service or product providers and the people who purchase them. They may engage in business-to-consumer sales or business-to-business sales. Sales professionals often work in retail settings and typically focus on getting goods into the hands of individuals or families.

Other professionals work in wholesaling and manufacturing sales. These sales experts may sell products or materials to retailers, manufacturers, or other companies. Sales experience could also be beneficial for gaining a position as a marketing or promotions manager. Similarly, people who work as advertising sales representatives may eventually become advertising managers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in sales pay a median annual salary of $30,600, but some jobs have the potential for significantly higher earnings.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Marketing Managers $135,030
Sales Managers $127,490
Sales Engineers $103,710
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents $62,910
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives $62,900
Sales Representatives of Services (All Other) $60,550
Advertising Sales Agents $52,340
Insurance Sales Agents $49,840
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents $48,780
Travel Agents $43,810

Sales representatives often work in niche industries. For example, they could specialize in selling financial services, travel services, insurance products, or advertising space.

Depending on the type of sales, their work may be directed toward businesses or individual customers. Working in one of those sectors often requires industry-specific training. In addition to making their base pay, sales representatives may also earn bonuses or commissions.

Sales engineers also have specialized knowledge. These professionals work in the science or technology sectors, and they sell products or services related to those fields. Success in sales engineering may require advanced training in math, science, or engineering.

Experienced salespeople who also demonstrate leadership ability may become managers. Sales managers often see a significant pay bump compared to what they made as sales reps. Management personnel are needed for retail stores, online shops, business-to-business sales companies, and other sales organizations.

Sales Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses

Sales Bachelor’s Curriculum

The coursework for a sales major is sure to vary depending on which particular program you choose. Even still, various sales degrees often have several courses in common. The following list can give you an idea of what type of courses to expect during your time in college.

  • Business Communication: Sales depends on communication, so you’ll study how to use written and spoken channels to deliver messages and listen to others.
  • Business-to-Business Sales: This course addresses ideas for connecting with business customers and getting them to choose your company for products, services, or materials.
  • Consumer Behavior: Becoming more aware of how to connect with customers’ needs and how to guide their decisions may help you become a more effective salesperson.
  • Customer Relationships: Topics in this class can include making connections, meeting customers’ needs, building loyalty, and addressing complaints.
  • Marketing Fundamentals: Marketing concepts that you may study in a sales program include demographic research, data analytics, digital brand management, and global marketing.
  • Personal Selling: This class teaches you techniques for face-to-face sales meetings and walks you through writing sales scripts and developing a sales process.
  • Pricing Strategies: As you study pricing, you’ll consider how to set your prices high enough to turn a profit and low enough to keep you competitive in the market.
  • Sales Management: In this course, you may learn skills for heading up sales teams and serving as a leader in your organization.
  • Sales Technology: In this class, you’ll get to know Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs, and you’ll learn how this type of software could increase your sales.
  • Supply Chain: You can learn about how goods and materials are sourced and delivered from one place to another, whether domestically or internationally.

Your program could also include courses that introduce you to concepts and products in a specific field, such as technology or finance.

Sales Bachelor Degree Admissions Requirements

Sales Bachelor Degree

In addition to filling out an application form, getting into a college sales program may require submitting a packet of materials. Common elements are listed below:

  • ACT or SAT scores (only required by some schools)
  • Essay that tells the university about you
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from high school and any colleges you’ve attended

Bachelor’s degree programs usually require applicants to hold a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. Admissions committees may also check your transcript to see whether your schooling has included certain core classes.

Bachelors in Sales Programs Accreditation

Bachelors in Sales Programs Accreditation

When you set out to find a college sales program, it’s strategic to check on each school’s accreditation status. As you look for the best program, regional accreditation is one of the top factors to consider.

Regional accreditation increases your chances of being able to transfer credits elsewhere, and it can boost your eligibility for graduate programs. It may even be the clincher that convinces hiring committees that you’re well-trained for a job.

Regional accreditation is granted by independent organizations that evaluate colleges’ quality and effectiveness. You can learn more about accrediting agencies and accredited schools by visiting the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bachelors in Sales Programs financial aid

If you qualify, financial assistance programs can help you pay for a sales manager degree. Getting a hand with the tuition bills may take a load off your mind during your time in school.

As you’re preparing to go to college, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA results will factor into your assistance packages. Both state and federal programs provide support for qualifying students. Many people qualify for student loans that get repaid after graduation. Some students receive grant money as well.

Scholarships are another way to help fund your studies. A college may encourage you to enroll in their program by offering you a scholarship. You could pursue scholarships from other organizations as well. Employers sometimes help with school costs, too, since a good education has the potential to improve your work performance.

What Degree Do You Need for Sales?

degree for sales

Not all sales jobs require a degree. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a high school diploma could be enough for working in ad sales. Even still, college studies could give you a better knowledge of customer behavior, pricing, marketing, and more.

If you decide to earn a sales-related degree, you could consider studying retail management, marketing, or communications. Plus, many business administration programs offer professional sales concentrations. Finance, engineering, or IT studies could also prepare you for sales jobs in those particular industries.

What Can You Do with a Sales Degree?

If you study a sales topic in college, you could be better prepared to work as a product or service sales representative. Many industries—including advertising, real estate, finance, insurance, and manufacturing—depend on sales reps.

Sales professionals with specialized backgrounds might work as sales engineers. These jobs often require training in engineering, science, or technology. Experienced sales representatives may become managers. Some managers oversee retail stores. Others manage teams of business-to-business salespeople. Managers can also work in business departments like marketing and advertising.

Is Tech Sales a Good Career?

tech sales career

Yes, tech sales is a good career for many professionals. People who do sales in that field are often known as sales engineers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales engineers earn a median annual salary of $103,710. Most professionals in this category make between $62,300 and $182,850. Tech sales jobs are on the rise and may grow by 8% over the next ten years. Many industries need tech sales representatives, including telecommunications, computer design, and manufacturing.

Sales engineers may eventually become managers. The median annual salary for managers in professional, scientific, and technical service sales is $161,930 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What Are the Highest Paying Sales Jobs?

Highest Paying Sales Jobs

Sales engineers are some of the highest-paid sales professionals. Telecommunications is a particularly lucrative industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales engineers in this industry earn a median of $116,480 per year.

Sales engineers in computer design, such as software sales representatives, make a median of $127,192. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives can also have above average salaries. Pharmaceutical and medical salespeople may earn a median of $102,690 annually. Sales reps of computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing can make a median of $132,620.

Real estate sales agents typically earn between $28,270 to $102,170 a year, while the median salary for real estate brokers is $62,010 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Sales Online?

You may be able to complete a sales bachelor’s degree sooner than you think. Traditionally, a bachelors degree takes 4 years to earn, with coursework completed over eight 16 week semesters.

Not all colleges use the traditional semester system, though. Online colleges sometimes offer fast-track terms, which can be quicker. With year-round, 8 week classes, you might be able to finish your degree in less time. Full-time students often get through school the quickest, while enrolling part-time typically takes longer.

Is a Sales Degree Worth It?

Bachelor's Degree in Sales

Yes, a sales degree is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, little job growth is expected in the overall sales category over the next ten years. Having a sales-specific degree could help set you apart from the competition when applying for jobs in this field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics specifies that demand will still be high for salespeople in the services and wholesale sectors. For example, employment for wholesale and manufacturing sales reps should increase by 5%. For insurance sales agents, 7% job growth is expected. Overall, sales can be an exciting, challenging field that offers a variety of opportunities to connect with others.

Getting Your Bachelor’s in Sales Degree Online

Sales Degree Online

Sales can be a competitive industry. Earning a bachelor’s degree could help you get ahead of the competition and boost your overall earning potential.

Studies in retail management, finance, marketing, business administration, or a related field could help you develop skills in a particular sector of sales. A growing number of accredited schools now offer sales degrees both in person and online. In addition to online sales degrees, many universities offer online marketing degree and online social media marketing degree programs as well.

For students wishing to go beyond a bachelors degree, a growing number of universities also offer online masters in sales programs.

Taking online classes from an accredited college could enable you to earn college credits while maintaining a full-time job.

You can start exploring accredited sales programs today to see if online studies are right for you.

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