The College of Saint Rose is the first college or university in New York State to launch a Bachelor of Science in Sales Management major, helping to meet industry demand for highly-skilled, knowledgeable sales professionals. Starting this Fall of 2020, students will have the opportunity to enroll in the sales program and begin their journey toward a lucrative, exciting career field.
Nationally, Saint Rose is 1 of 32 colleges and universities to offer a sales major, according to The Sales Education Foundation (SEF), a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the benefits of university sales education and change the public’s view of sales careers. The SEF reports that the job placement rate for students who major in sales is over 90%.
The launch of this program came after Saint Rose developed a sales concentration in 2019, offering this opportunity to students who majored in marketing. The success of this concentration catalyzed the need for a comprehensive program, providing students with a more in-depth, rigorous education in sales.
“There is a sales division for almost every business or nonprofit. But, there is a real skills gap in the industry, where critical, high-paying career opportunities are going unfulfilled by talented, knowledgeable sales professionals,” said Dr. Raj Aroskar, dean of the Huether School of Business. “That’s why we established a sales major and brought on a seasoned professional to help lead the way.”
Sales Professional in Residence Mark Michalisin joined Saint Rose in 2019 with 25 years of experience in the business-to-business sales industry. In his time with SCA Tissue and Morcon, Michalisin developed customer bases both domestically and internationally, utilizing his relationship-building and sales expertise.
During his first year at the Huether School of Business, Michalisin formed the Saint Rose chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon, a co-ed fraternity for students interested in sales, marketing, and management, led students in regional and national sales competitions, and invited industry experts into his classroom to help students network and build strong relationships with sales professionals.
“With this new program, students will achieve valuable sales training and expertise before they enter the workforce,” Michalisin said. “As a former sales professional, I know how challenging it is to find candidates who understand the fundamentals of sales, and who can hit the ground running.”
Sales professionals work in a variety of fields across the United States and around the globe and differ from cashiers or telemarketers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for sales managers is $121,000, and the job growth rate is 7%. The median salary for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is $60,000.
Saint Rose’s sales management program will fine-tune students’ skills, providing courses in personal selling and negotiation, data analysis for sales and marketing, and sales management. As with all business students at Saint Rose, sales majors are required to complete an internship, giving them additional real-world experience.
College athletes are viewed as one of the target audiences for this sales program; they can leverage their competitive nature and goal-driven attitude to excel at sales. A sales minor is also available to students who want to broaden their career opportunities or gain important life skills.
“The sales major complements our current business programs and will benefit all of our students regardless of major,” said Dr. John Dion, associate professor of marketing and MBA director. “Eighty percent of transactions are business-to-business — one organization selling to another. Studying sales helps all students understand the business-to-business environment.”