College of Business Administration to offer sales certificate program for Fall 2013

Christina Bucciere

The Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship will be offering the opportunity to earn a Kent State Professional Sales Certificate beginning Fall 2013, one of the few certificate programs offered on campus, said Ellen Daniels, marketing professor and leading force behind the sales program.

“Having a professional sales certificate in addition to whatever your degree is tells an employer that you have taken some additional coursework and sets you apart,” Daniels said.

The 15-credit hour program is open to all majors, and requires two prerequisite courses, Daniels said.

A certificate is different from a degree in that it requires students to take a series of courses relating only to a particular subject, as opposed to a degree that often requires core coursework to support a more rounded education.

A key component of those 15 credit hours is the completion of a sales internship.

Certificate Requirements (15 credit hours):

– 6 credit hours prerequisites:

  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Marketing
  • – 9 credit hours:

    (select one)

  • Personal Selling
  • Sales in the entrepreneurial venture
  • Sales and sales management
  • Advanced Professional Selling
  • Sales Internship

“The purpose of the internship is to give the students as much real-world experience as possible,” Daniels said.

Daniels, along with Greg Graham, marketing lecturer and certificate program professor, said they issued a survey to local business, sales professionals and alumni to ensure that students enrolled in the certificate program will be able to secure sales internships.

Daniels and Graham also consulted with the Kent State sales advisory board, composed of sales and business professionals in the area, to confirm the program was comparable to similar professional sales certificate programs.

The opportunities for sales professionals are widespread, Daniels said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 13 million people working in sales in the United States as of May 2012.

“Sales is primarily the area where we’re seeing a lot of growth, so there’s a lot of opportunities for students to go into it right after college, regardless of your major,” Daniels said.

Students receive a certificate after completion of the program, which can be obtained as soon as the requirements are fulfilled, regardless of class standing, Daniels said.

“A person who is awarded a professional sales certificate is going to make them very employable,” said Paul Albanese, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and certificate program professor. “A lot of our students begin in sales, so this gives them a specialized type of training.”

Daniels said the ability to receive this certificate at any time during a student’s college career also gives them more opportunities if they want to work part-time during the school year or over summer break.

“The certificate in professional selling is also significant because it can supplement any major,” Graham said. “For example, an Interior Design major is going to have to sell their designs to potential clients as well as co-workers.”

Daniels said she hopes program enrollment will be high because the rewards are so significant.

“It’s a great opportunity because the job market is so tough,” Daniels said. “So this just gives students another advantage to help them in their careers.”

Contact Christina Bucciere at [email protected].