We are not the first to cover this topic, as the question comes up often. If someone knows early on that they would like to pursue a career in medical sales, then what degree should they get in college? In this article we cover undergraduate college degrees and then look more broadly at medical sales rep qualifications.
Related: Check out our article on How To Break Into Medical Sales According to Reddit.
Three Best College Degrees To Work In Medical Sales
There is not a perfect science to this. To be a biologist you need a science degree. To be engineer you will need a engineering background. Most medical sales jobs just require a four year college degree. The college major is less important. That being said, getting the right education can help accelerate the path into medical sales. Companies like smart candidates that can easily pick up product knowledge and the science jargon of the industry. At the same time, a bachelors degree in business administration can provide a solid framework in business fundamentals and negotiation.
A biology major is not an easy degree. It requires taking classes such as cell biology, genetics, physiology, and organic chemistry. It requires completing challenging laboratory courses. And it requires keeping up your grades while competing with all the pre med students.
But the degree does pay off. It gives you an ability to understand medical concepts at the fundamental level. This allows you to apply information and draw conclusions in novel situations. It also demonstrates to a hiring manager that you are intelligent and can complete challenging intellectual tasks.
I did not know that candidates with engineering background were valued in the medical device sales space until I got into the industry. Big companies love hiring young engineering students. Engineering degrees are tough, and it demonstrates to company that the candidate was a top performing student.
3. Business Administration
A BS or BA in Business Administration is the most common degree seen among reps in the medical device sales space. Business degrees are broad covering concepts such as accounting, finance, economics, and the like.
The one thing a business degree does is hone a sense of how companies function. It provides an introduction to customer service and gives one an idea on how to think strategically.
Related: Curious about what a medical device sales rep does?
Can You Become A Medical Sales Rep With A Biology Degree?
Yes, absolutely. A general biology degree provides a great educational background in understanding the ins and out of how medical devices function. Rather than strictly memorizing product information to present to doctors, a biology major can understand things at the fundamental level.
The one downside is you will need to develop a business acumen on the fly. Personally, I came into the profession with a science background. I thought a lot of the skills taught in business school were fluff that could easily be picked up. I was wrong. Business undergraduate programs for the most part do a great job in preparing candidates to navigate interviews and networking. These are just the type of skills that are needed to do well in the medical sales space.
Qualifications For Medical Sales
- Four year college degree
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to travel
- Good driving record (requirement for company car)
- Outside business to business (b2b) sales experience
- Self starter and able to take initiative
- Strategic thinking skills
Related: Click here to learn about the Best Medical Sales Companies.
What Degree Do I Need For Medical Sales? What Major Do You Need For Medical Sales?
There is a not a specific degree that will make or break your entry into the medical device sales space. In the end, the ability to sell you education will matter more. What does this mean? You need to be able to articulate how your time in college helped you develop professionally. This could be the development of a general business acumen, interpersonal skills, or even networking.
At the end of the day you need to demonstrate that you can sell yourself. If you can’t sell yourself, how will you be able to move product for a company.
Medical Sales Representative Education Requirements
Okay, in 2021 a four year college degree is a must. But there is even more you can do from an education perspective. To make yourself more competitive, consider the following medical sales rep qualifications:
- An MBA
- Formalized Sales Training
- Public Speaking Courses
- Medical Sales College
- Certification From The National Association of Medical Sales Representatives
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