Did We All Fall In To Sales?

I note the annual catnip for those suddenly ex-students about to embark on a career. Of which jobs freshly minted graduates earn most money in.

A study, apparently, of 120,000 individual cases checking how the grads of five years back fare today.

Sectors of highest attraction are skewed towards the legal. Eye-watering amounts lure those studying law. Fifty grand-plus, rising to treble that upon completion of Articles.

Banksters are not afraid of flaunting either. Again, starters for Fifty to Seventy K not uncommon.

Although in their case, it seems a precise, single discipline from Uni may be more slippery to pin down.

What you can spot (with Law seemingly taken out the equation by the surveyists) is that those degrees offering the highest immediate reward upon entering the workforce, are not the same as those giving highest pay half-a-decade on. Assuming the category 'Engineering' does not cloud this analysis if as likely referring to the trad triplet of 'Mech-Chem-'Lec'. Here's the most financially 'profitable' courses.

First jobs in UK, £32-36k a year;

5. Engineering, 4. Physics, 3. Medicine, 2. Business, 1. Economics.

Degrees yielding highest UK grad salaries 5yrs in, £44-47k p.a.;

4. Project Management, 3. Petroleum Engineering, 2. Computer Engineering, 1. Information Systems.

The study PR labelled this collection, 'dull but lucrative'.

And we wonder why youngsters don't flock to such courses, hey.

I have to put my Sales hat on reading all this.

Yes, I went to B-School. I began worklife on a kind of training scheme year. Going into an Enterprise Sales environment immediately. Selling software-led business tech solutions.

Two years on, cultivating my own patch, with the help of commission earned, I'd doubled my starting salary. By five years in, now at pastures new, I'd more than quadrupled it.

Whether I look back into my cubrep days, or recall the most recent salesteam makeups I've been invited into, it is clear that not one single qualification dominates the backgrounds of those involved.

Surely a double-edge sword.

On one hand a wonderful exhibition of diversity. Our profession really does hold the grail of being open to anyone. Regardless of background. I also happily still come across star sellers without any formal higher education at all.

On the other though, why oh why does our profession still not have any representation within academia?

It is a scandal.

I once got as far as drafting a ten-week term for a B-School for a Masters programme. The module called simply, Sales.

Those involved shuffled around the system, impetus lost, you can guess the rest.

I am also proud of my guest lecturer stint a while back at Judge Business School, Cambridge University. Highly tailored to a specific situation. Teaching, workshopping post-grads from around the world key 'selling' best-practice elements in a three-hour slot.

Business degrees are the worst culprits. How can they offer modules on any and all organisational functions yet ignore Sales?

Yet expand this malaise out.

I once spent time in an Arts department.

I realised students were crying out to be shown the ropes in how to both 'sell' their ideas for funding, and sell their work once done. Giving insight and practice into just a handful of themes and techniques from our world would make a huge difference to them. Throughout their entire career.

Yet perhaps this leads onto my biggest gripe.

This surely is the opportunity most missed.

People just seem to fall into Sales.

I am one of the thinnest of minorities. Choosing at the outset to directly enter Sales.

Would it be too much of a stretch to suggest the majority move into selling after first being involved in an operational, service or delivery aspect of what they then sell?

Noble career and personal development of itself.

Yet despite such experience offering a grounding in a significant portion of what their role entails, the huge gaping hole stares you in the face. One which cannot be filled by watching a couple of videos online, listening to a few podcasts or even (dare I say it) reading an isolated blog post.

How do we fix this for the benefit of all?

And how are you fixing it? For yourself and those on whom you may depend...

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