Retail sales, not the most exciting career on the surface. However, I may start out with “, and will there be anything else today?” but it certainly does not end there. You might think that you can’t specialize in retail sales in college but you’d be wrong. There are a growing number of certificate programs, generally one year or less, being offered at a number of colleges and universities. Does that mean you need a Bachelor’s degree to sell perfume? Of course not, but having started your career on the “ground-floor” you might want to advance to management and that might just require a degree in management. The interim step would be a Retail Sales Certificate program or a specialization in retail sales in pursuit of your Associates or Bachelors in business. A sale is an art more than a science and as such better learned in a live environment. Management however, is a science more than an art and requires bookwork. This career is the beginning of so many others because it is fundamental. There must be sales people or there will be no sales.
There are 4.5 million retail salespeople working in the U.S. that is a big chunk of the work force. At first blush, it doesn’t sound so exciting. This is the beginning point for any sales career. This is perhaps why the Department of Labor estimates that Retail Sales will generate more new jobs than ANY other profession. Moreover, that does not count professional sales into the picture! There will be no shortage of work if you are qualified and dedicated. When you add in a certified, professional training, you will be even more desirable.
Yes, the recession hit retailers hard and that will continue but consider that an increase is expected in spite of that fact. Like restaurants, retail stores will always be a basic part of the economy and that fact means that the industry will grow. The future however, offers tantalizing possibilities such as virtual sales, international retail sales and other things we have not seen yet. Your career may start with ", will that be all today?" but it will only end there if you allow it to.