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General Sales & Marketing Major

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General Sales & Marketing

2,475 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
570 Master's Degrees Annually
#119 in Popularity
$45,080 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Sales & Marketing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general sales and marketing graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,475
Basic Certificate 1,308
Associate’s Degree 1,004
Master’s Degree 570
Undergraduate Certificate 274
Graduate Certificate 39
Doctor’s Degree 3

What General Sales & Marketing Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to sales and marketing were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Sales & Marketing Majors

Sales and Marketing majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Sales & Marketing Majors

A major in sales and marketing prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities for Sales & Marketing Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a sales and marketing student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a General Sales & Marketing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with sales and marketing:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Demonstrators and Product Promoters 6.5% $28,960
Energy Brokers 9.7% $54,550
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers 4.9% $73,390
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 3.8% $39,630
Parts Salespersons 5.0% $30,430
Sales and Related Workers 10.6% $33,220
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 5.2% $58,510
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products 5.2% $79,680
Solar Sales Representatives and Assessors 5.2% $79,680

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Sales & Marketing?

2,475 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
51% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,475 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general sales and marketing in 2018, making it rank #119 in popularity. Roughly 51% of the graduates are women, and 49% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sales and marketing majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Sales & Marketing Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 239
Black or African American 174
Hispanic or Latino 300
White 1,523
International Students 109
Other Races/Ethnicities 130

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Sales & Marketing. About 4.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Taiwan
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea

How Much Do General Sales & Marketing Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in general sales and marketing made a median starting salary of $40,450 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $32,900 (25th percentile) and $48,725 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to sales and marketing.

Salaries According to BLS

Sales and Marketing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $40,480 to $69,480 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Sales & Marketing Major  ( 40480 to 69480 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with sales and marketing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for sales and marketing careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 5.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 28.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.8%
Some College Courses 11.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 38.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%
Master’s Degree 0.7%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 0.0%

Online General Sales & Marketing Programs

In 2017-2018, 364 schools offered a sales and marketing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 191 31
Certificate (1-2 years) 107 12
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 207 28
Bachelor’s Degree 7 3
Post-Baccalaureate 191 31
Master’s Degree 12 4
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Sales & Marketing Worth It?

The median salary for a sales and marketing grad is $45,080 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 13% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $103,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sales and marketing.

Major Number of Grads
Business Administration & Management 399,810
Accounting 107,851
General Business/Commerce 58,413
Finance & Financial Management 56,960
Marketing 49,179
Human Resource Management 26,853
Hospitality Management 20,194
Business Support & Assistant Services 19,248
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 18,282
Management Information Systems 14,578
International Business 10,536
Entrepreneurial Studies 8,522
Business/Managerial Economics 6,727
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 6,711
Other Business, Management & Marketing 5,750
Real Estate 5,183
Construction Management 3,375
Insurance 2,316
Taxation 1,888
Business/Corporate Communications 1,088
Telecommunications Management 48

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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