he business industry is calling for more graduates with specific professional sales experience, but less than 100 colleges in the U.S. have sales programs or courses, according to Harvard Business Review. Therefore, to meet the growing industry need for professional sales graduates, UMD’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) has added a professional sales major to its quality educational offerings. LSBE is the only public university in Minnesota to offer a bachelor’s degree in professional sales 

Students with an interest in and an aptitude for a career in sales will gain skills that employers are looking for and attain experiential insight into the sales profession.

“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.

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

LSBE is accredited by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Less than 5% of business schools worldwide have earned this prestigious distinction. In Northeastern Minnesota, LSBE is the only school to have attained AACSB accreditation. Its website is lsbe.d.umn.edu.

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Duluth integrates liberal education, research, creative activity, and public engagement and prepares students to thrive as lifelong learners and globally engaged citizens. With an enrollment of over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Duluth campus offers 15 bachelor’s degrees in 84 majors and 72 minors, and graduate programs in 26 fields.

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at system.umn.edu.