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Specialized Sales Major

Specialized sales, merchandising and marketing is a major that typically falls into the Business, Management & Marketing category.

There are 115 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in specialized marketing, 132 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 10 that offer a master’s degree.

Who Is Getting a Specialized Marketing Degree?

Specialized sales, merchandising and marketing is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #95 in popularity. About 3,600 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. The major attracts more women than men. About 86.7% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of specialized marketing majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 3.6%
  • Black or African American: 12.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 12.7%
  • White: 55.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 6.7%
  • Other Races: 9.5%
Specialized Sales Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in specialized marketing. About 6.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending specialized marketing majors to the U.S. are South Korea, China and Canada.

What Will You Learn as a Specialized Sales Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to specialized marketing to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Specialized Marketing Majors

A major in specialized marketing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Specialized Sales Majors

Skills for Specialized Marketing Majors

When studying specialized marketing, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Specialized Sales Majors

Abilities for Specialized Marketing Majors

Specialized marketing majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for specialized marketing Majors

What Can You Do With a Specialized Marketing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with specialized marketing:

Careers Related to Specialized Sales
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Lodging Managers



Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products



Sales Agents, Financial Services






Travel Agents



Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products



First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers



Parts Salespersons



Sales and Related Workers



First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers



Specialized Sales Major Salary

Average salaries range from $40,000 to $69,000 for careers related to specialized marketing. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Specialized Marketing Major  ( 40000 to 69000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Specialized Sales Major Jobs

Some careers associated with specialized marketing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to specialized marketing have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Specialized Sales
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Specialized Sales Programs

There are 132 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in specialized sales, merchandising and marketing, with 10 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Specialized Sales Major Worth It?

The median salary for a specialized marketing grad is $45,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 16% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $123,600 after 20 years!

specialized sales, merchandising and marketing salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Qfamily via License

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