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General Sales & Marketing Major

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General Sales & Marketing

2,473 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
590 Master's Degrees Annually
#19 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,473
Basic Certificate 1,332
Associate’s Degree 1,019
Master’s Degree 590
Undergraduate Certificate 273
Graduate Certificate 45
Doctor’s Degree 2

What General Sales & Marketing Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, sales and marketing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Sales & Marketing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in sales and marketing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

As a sales and marketing major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

2,473 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
47% Percent Women
33% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen business majors. It is the 19th most popular in the country with 2,473 students graduating with a bachelor’s in sales and marketing in 2019. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 47% of the graduates are women, and 53% 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 261
Black or African American 176
Hispanic or Latino 302
White 1,494
International Students 118
Other Races/Ethnicities 122

Geographic Diversity

Sales & Marketing appeals to people across the globe. About 4.8% 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 median early-career salary of general sales and marketing students with a bachelor’s degree is $40,450 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $32,900 (25th percentile) and $48,725 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to sales and marketing.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $40,480 to $69,480 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sales and marketing. 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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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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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 2018-2019, 351 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) 201 36
Certificate (1-2 years) 103 19
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 191 29
Bachelor’s Degree 7 3
Post-Baccalaureate 201 36
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 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Marketing 51,241
Human Resource Management 26,823
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 23,738
Business Support & Assistant Services 19,483
Hospitality Management 19,042
Management Information Systems 14,747
Entrepreneurial Studies 10,427
International Business 10,181
Business/Managerial Economics 6,345
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 5,873
Other Business, Management & Marketing 5,834
Real Estate 5,700
Construction Management 3,664
Insurance 2,218
Taxation 1,783
Business/Corporate Communications 968
Telecommunications Management 71

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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