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Sales Fields No Degree

What type of sales fields can one enter without having a college degree?

I talked with a VP of sales for a company, and he told me that college taught him nothing about sales, and he said college was a waste of time personally for him.

He personally was involved with credit card processors.

But I was thinking, what fields can one enter then with no degree?

I understand a degree is a must for pharmaceutical and medical. Other than that what other fields is it a must? - by AustinL
I would suggest that seriously consider going to college if you'd like to work at any of the larger - Fortune 2000 - companies. Almost all of them have a requirement that you have at least a college degree.

If at some point you want to move into sales management, most companies have a requirement that you have at least a B.S. Some companies also want you to have an M.B.A.

Obviously this isn't true with all companies. The founder of McDonalds only had a third grade education.

There are colleges that have specialized programs in sales in their business school. - by gstebbins
Hi Austin,

I sort of agree with the VP. I taught 7th and 8th grade for two years, and I can honestly say that my education degree didn't help me much at all. I don't really remember using anything I learned in college to teach school. Everthing was trial and error.

When I went into auto sales, I knew nothing about sales and did very well with that. Now I'm an automotive trainer, and well, pretty much the same. Everything I know I had to learn outside of college.

My own personal opinion, except for certain professions (law, medicine, engineering, etc.) I wish a person could just go to technical or industry-related schools to learn the job they wanted instead of having to struggle through four years of college and all the expense that comes with it.

When it comes to sales, it is a learned skill. You become successful through study, practice and hard work. I've seen many college graduates who didn't amount to anything. And I've seen high school educated people who became a financial success.

The will to succeed can do marvelous things. If there's a sales job you want, and you don't feel qualified, get qualified. Many companies do have on-the-job training. And I know when I interview someone who may not have the experience, but shows a lot of heart and desire, I sure want to give that person a chance.

I can train anyone how to sell. What I can't do is make that individual want to be successful.

I'll let some of the other experts take it from here. Good luck.

Mike - by Mike Whitty
Hi Austin,

Here's my two cents:

Sales is one of a limited number of professions where you can make a good living without a college degree. I recently spent some time with someone who earns in the neighborhood of $200K, and he didn't have a degree. But he is an excellent, polished, effective salesperson.

Having said that, it can sometimes be a challenge finding a position without a college degree.

Companies have varying policies on degrees. Some require it because they feel they get a better quality of employee, others share the feeling of the person you wrote about. My feeling is that there aren't hard and fast rules within industries about the college degree question, and that it's more the preference of individual companies.

One recommendation I have is to take the best sales job you can find, work your tail off for five years and become the best in the company, and at that point a degree will have less importance because you will have a track record.

I hope that helps.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
To get the college degree takes time, if you want to have immediate impact on your career, start with reading books about sales, learn everything form basics on, and then when you will learn about the sales techniques, tools, sort of buyers, why people buy, etc. you will be able to confirm what you learned on your job.
Tweaking your knowledge, approach, sales activities, you will become better, and don't forget - nothing in sales can be gained without real experience.

Saying that, if you want to develop your career down the road, degree can help to get a management position.
Books are most affordable way to start learning about sales, try to listen to many free (or not expensive) materials on the web (webinars, online courses etc), go to seminars in your area, and read as many sales forums (like this one). Good luck! - by AlenMajer
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