The best college programs for sales will vary by individual students, their specific interests and career goals, but the best options do have some similarities. They offer intensive basic selling curricula and specialization options, allowing students to hone their sales skills for particular fields. The Sales Education Foundation, a nonprofit sales organization, ranks programs according to a number of factors, including job placement rate, faculty, internship opportunities and graduate-level programs. Quality college sales programs are available in all regions of the country.
The Princeton Review lists Ohio's University of Akron among the best business schools in the Midwest, and the Sales Education Foundation designates Akron's Fisher Institute of Professional Selling a top program. A 2009 study conducted by the Center for Sales Leadership at DePaul University designates the sales management program as robust, the highest possible ranking in the study, because of the program's variety of sales-specific undergraduate and graduate courses. Students attend a variety of professional marketing and advanced personal selling workshops and develop their sales techniques at the school's state-of-the-art sales laboratory. They participate in negotiation role-playing scenarios and regularly meet with experienced sales executives to discuss trends and other current issues within the sales industry.
California State University, Fullerton's sales training program ranks as an SEF top college because of the university's dedication to improving sales skills and promoting leadership within the industry. CSUF’s Sales Leadership Center helps prospective sales professionals with all aspects of career preparation by promoting professional selling and simulating real-life sales scenarios. Career fairs allow students to learn about potential job opportunities and interact with sales executives. Students participate in interactive learning workshops and on-campus sales competitions. CSUF offers courses in problem solving, closing a sale, customer relationship management and creating value.
The Sales Institute at Florida State University ranks in each of the SEF’s criteria for top colleges. FSU’s sales program trains more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students per year in courses such as the principles of macroeconomics, fundamental business statistics, computer applications and financial accounting. Students participate in research projects, experiments and competitions, explore real-life sales simulations and executive training programs. Dinner events, wine tastings and other activities of the student-run sales club familiarize students to common sales and business scenarios.
The University of Connecticut’s sales major is an SEF top program because of the school’s participation in national sales competitions, high job-placement rate, internships and specialty offerings. UC offers a professional sales certificate program or minor in professional sales. Research opportunities introduce students to various sales techniques, case studies and role-playing scenarios. Pi Sigma Epsilon, a national professional sales fraternity, provides socialization and networking opportunities for UC's sales majors. All students complete an internship and continually interact with sales professionals and sponsors of various sales workshops, experiential learning opportunities or research projects.
- The University of Akron: Academic Programs
- The Princeton Review: The University of Akron College of Business
- California State University Fullerton: Sales Leadership Center
- California State University Fullerton: About Us
- University of Connecticut: The Program for Sales Leadership
- The University of Akron: DePaul University: Best Practices Research Center
- University of Connecticut: Students from the Program for Sales Leadership Compete in the National Collegiate Sales Competition
Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.