Education & Degree Requirements for a Career in Sales

As a sales manager, I am usually asked by individuals interested in pursuing a career in sales about what the education and college degree requirements are for a career in sales.  In my own sales career, all of the sales opportunities have required at least a bachelors degree.

The actual major is not usually important but as a bare requirement to enter into a reputable and established company such as those listed on the Fortune 500 or a large global company.  I believe this is usually the case because companies looking to hire sales professionals seek those with the capacity to learn complex product information and have the ambition to pursue and accomplish personal education.

There are many sales opportunities that do not require a college degree, but from what I have seen, these jobs are a lot less secure, ran by smaller companies that cannot afford the costs of hiring a college educated professional.  When I recruit for a sales professional, I will usually pass on candidates that do not hold a college degree.

Some people have also asked me if a master's or MBA will help with getting a sales job.  It is not a requirement, but it does set the person apart from others and it doesn't hurt to have an advanced degree.  It could help in the progression of your career as it opens up different opportunities within the company you are working for.  For example, an MBA with a marketing focus might open up lateral moves into the marketing department.  Some sales management positions require a masters degree because the manager might be managing a specialized sales team that requires a masters that is specialized in a particular field.


The ROI of investing in yourself and obtaining a college degree or advanced degree will pay off in the long run.  Once you complete a degree, you will have it for the rest of your life.  If you pursue a career in sales without a degree, you might get so far, but once you want to make more money or join a top notch company, you will be limited to the opportunities.  If you calculate the higher earning potential of having a degree versus not having one over the lifetime of your career, you will find that it is an investment worth taking.  Below are some links to degree options and some job search for those without a degree, with a degree and those asking for an MBA.
Bachelors Degree - has over 150 schools that offer Bachelors Degrees.

Online MBA programs allow you to earn your MBA from home. Find top MBA programs at

SALES JOBS-  College degree required.

SALES JOBS-  MBA required.

Entry Level Sales Jobs-  Sometimes doesn't require a college degree.


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