3 weeks ago
May 8, 2024

What Degree Is Best For Sales? (And do you even need one?)

Working in sales is a great career path because there are so many options. Working in sales spans all industries, locations, and professions. Another great thing about sales is that…

Rhys Metler

Working in sales is a great career path because there are so many options. Working in sales spans all industries, locations, and professions. Another great thing about sales is that you don’t need a specific degree to work in the field. Successful sales professionals have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. There are even people without a degree who have had a lot of success. Even so, as a sales recruiter I often get asked about what degree is the best to work in sales. We’ll address this common question here. 

Do You Need A Degree To Work In Sales?

The short answer to this question is, it depends. Having a degree is not always a requirement to work in sales. While certain employers may prefer candidates with a college education, particularly in fields related to business, marketing, or communications, many sales positions prioritize skills, experience, and personality traits over formal education. Successful sales professionals often possess strong communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, along with the ability to understand and address customer needs. 

Additionally, relevant experience, such as internships, sales training programs, or previous sales roles, can be valuable in securing a position in sales. Ultimately, while a degree can be beneficial, it’s not always essential for a career in sales. Employers are most interested is what you’ve accomplished and how you could potentially help their sales team. 

What Degree Is Best For Sales?

There isn’t a specific degree that’s universally deemed best for a sales career. While degrees in fields like business, marketing, or communications may provide relevant knowledge and skills, individuals from various educational backgrounds can succeed in sales with the right training, onboarding, coaching experience, and aptitude for the role. Additionally, specialized sales programs or certifications can also be beneficial for those pursuing a career in sales. Many of these professional certifications can be obtained while you work in the field. Ultimately, the best degree depends on the specific industry, company, and role within sales.

What Are The Best Degrees to Consider For a Sales Career?

If you are planning to go to college or even make a career switch and go back to school with plans to work in sales, there are several degrees that can provide valuable skills and knowledge for a sales career. They are:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com): These degrees offer a broad understanding of business principles, including marketing, management, and finance, which are essential for success in sales roles. This is a great option if you plan to work in a management role. 
  • Bachelor of Marketing: A degree in marketing focuses specifically on understanding consumer behaviour, market research, advertising, and promotion strategies, all of which are highly relevant to sales. This can also help you find roles in marketing or hybrid sales/marketing jobs. 
  • Bachelor of Communication: Communication skills are crucial in sales, and a degree in communication can provide training in effective verbal and written communication, interpersonal skills, and persuasion techniques. 
  • Bachelor of Sales: This is the most relevant degree for a sales career. Some schools offer specialized degrees or concentrations in sales, providing students with targeted coursework in sales techniques, customer relationship management, and sales management strategies. 
  • Bachelor of Psychology: Understanding human behaviour and motivations can be advantageous in sales. A degree in psychology can provide insights into decision-making processes, interpersonal dynamics, and effective communication strategies. This information can help you greatly when working with customers. 

Another approach to consider is getting a degree in a specific field where you want to work. For example, getting a degree in software or app development so you can work in a sales role in this area. Or getting a degree in health sciences so you can work in medical sales. 

A Final Word On Education Requirements For Sales Professionals

While these degrees can be beneficial, it’s important to note that success in sales often depends more on practical experience, skills, and personality traits like empathy, resilience, and persistence. Many successful sales professionals come from diverse educational backgrounds and acquire sales skills through on-the-job training and experience.

More Sales Career Tips From Veteran Sales Recruiters 

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Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.