We're the Only Public University to Offer a Sales Major in Minnesota

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October 31, 2019

Did you know that more than 50% of U.S. college graduates, regardless of their majors, are likely to work in sales at some point?

Professional sales people are trusted advisors.

Additionally, Harvard Business Review cites that of the over 4,000 colleges in the U.S., less than 100 have sales programs or courses.

 To meet that growing need, UMD’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) has added a sales major to its quality educational offerings. LSBE is the only public university in Minnesota to offer a bachelor’s degree in professional sales.

 “Graduates will be fully capable to meet the demands and challenges of a sales career, filling the positions for which employers are having difficulty finding qualified and talented candidates,” said Rajiv Vaidyanathan, marketing professor and head of LSBE’s marketing department.

 There are numerous sales industry occupations with 2018 median salaries over $50,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These include advertising; insurance; real estate; sales engineers; security, commodities, and financial services; and wholesale and manufacturing sales.

 Launched in the fall, the major, which currently has 25 declared students, will allow graduates optimal career opportunities within the vast sales industry in divisions and roles such as inside sales, outside territory sales, new business development, key account management, and sales specialists.

 “Professional sales people are trusted advisors,” said Marketing Instructor John Kratz, interim sales program director. “Sales is about helping other organizations achieve a goal, meet a need, or solve a problem.”

 Along with the professional sales major, LSBE is expanding its professional sales program with plans underway to add a minor and a sales center—an educational space that will have the most current simulation technology to replicate the multiple proven components involved in successful sales.

 The professional sales center will utilize LSBE’s significant partnerships with the business community, such as those with the Fortune 500, Minnesota-based companies of Fastenal and 3M. Most recently, LSBE was named by 3M as one of only 14 universities nationwide to have the distinction of the corporation’s Frontline Sales Initiative program. Students within the sales major have the opportunity to become one of the 3M Frontline Sales Initiative interns for eleven weeks of in-depth, hands-on sales and marketing experience.  

 “LSBE has always been and will continue to be committed to turning out highly qualified employee candidates who meet the needs of the business community,” said Kratz.