Is a Sales and Marketing Degree for You?

Most higher education institutions combine the concepts of sales and marketing into one bachelor's degree program. Bachelor's degrees in sales normally focus on the basics of providing prospective buyers with a quality product or service. Most bachelor's degrees in marketing focus on the basics of market research, branding, advertising and public relations. Students in a sales and marketing bachelor's degree program will be trained to handle the multifaceted tasks that arise throughout various business situations. Students should be able to gain an understanding of buyer and seller behavior within the context of the overall market environment.

Advice for Earning Your Sales and Marketing Degree Online

Although an education is important to creating a successful career in marketing or sales, experience is crucial as well. Many marketing and sales degree programs incorporate some form of hands-on experience within the field. Some courses may require mock business building or sales pitches, while others may utilize real-life application within the world of business. It is important for students to keep up with trends in the field by studying industry-related articles, networking within the field, and attending marketing and sales workshops or classes.

Required Courses

Sales and marketing students typically take classes from multiple departments. A marketing and sales degree combines the mathematics courses of an accounting degree with the organizational focus of a business program, while also focusing on human behavioral studies. Therefore, students can expect to take classes in principles of finance, business law, statistical analysis, writing, communications, management theory and practices, basic computing, market research, consumer behavior and logistics strategies.

Common Career Paths

Sales and marketing drive all the products and services we use in everyday life. Both fields play a crucial role in the business world since they are responsible for the success of almost all enterprises. Here are some common career paths for those with a sales and marketing degree. 

  • Advertising Sales Agents: Advertising sales agents or representatives sell and solicit advertising space in media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, television stations and the Internet. Typically, sales agents solicit by phone, email or in person. Some traveling may be required, but only with higher level positions. Some persuasive tactics and techniques can be learned through formal education, but in most cases, successful sales representatives need to be naturally charming and have great communication skills to win clients over. Salaries vary tremendously because, in most cases, sales agents work on commission. The median annual salary of advertising sales agents was $45,350 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
  • Market Researcher: A market researcher analyzes an industry to determine the demand for new and existing products and services. This research is completed by studying competitor activity and determining how a new product might be better. It also includes gathering statistics and data on customers' demographics and interests and well as their buying habits. Employment of market research analysts is expected to increase 41 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salaries were $60,570 in 2010. 
  • Public Relations Manager: Public relations managers help ensure that their employers or clients are viewed in the best light possible. Public relations managers often write press releases and host events to showcase and improve their client's image. They are in charge of communicating their client's purpose to an audience, and getting messages and new endeavors across to the public. Employment of public relations managers and specialists is projected to expand 23 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salaries were $57,550 in 2010. 

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