Is your student great at selling things, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies or candy for a school fundraiser? Do they love discovering new products and telling family and friends about their favorites? Then a career in sales may be a good fit!
Sales Career Description
Sales positions are great for those who love meeting new people, talking on the phone, traveling, making new connections, and sharing a love of a particular product with new people. Sales professionals might attend trade shows, conduct demonstrations, or hand out samples.
Stride Career Prep* offers a rigorous curriculum where students develop skills in pricing, visual merchandising, advertising, special promotions, professional sales, and customer service.
Gain real-world skills through project-based learning.
Stride Career Prep has implemented project-based learning (PBL) for many courses in this pathway. PBL curriculum is designed to hone students’ problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and team collaboration skills. This curriculum is taught by experienced business professionals and includes preparation in the Microsoft Office suite practical, hands-on exercises that require students to analyze a company’s competitors, create an advertising campaign, and observe customer service interactions in their own community.
Our Professional Sales Pathway Curriculum in Detail
All our students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes that students in the Professional Sales Pathway take. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.
CAREER EXPLORATION COURSES These courses provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into potential careers.
CAREER FOUNDATION COURSES These courses are building blocks that prepare students for more specialized pathway courses..
CAREER PREPARATION COURSES These courses prepare students for industry-recognized certification exams.
OPTIONAL CAREER LEARNING COURSES While not required, these courses provide an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and skills that are useful in their chosen careers.
Business & Marketing Explorations Intro to Business Information Management Business Information Management: Data Essentials
Marketing 1 Marketing 2
Professional Sales and Promotion 1† Professional Sales and Promotion 2††
Note: Pathway courses are subject to change. †New in fall 2022 ††New in spring 2023
Get ahead of the competition.
We encourage students to jumpstart the job search by helping them create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo, the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. Plus, they connect virtually to working education professionals through Nepris.**
Find a school near you that offers the Professional Sales Pathway.
The Professional Sales Pathway will be available in fall 2022. Check back to see which tuition-free K12-powered, fully accredited online public schools will be offering this pathway.
Choose a career. Prepare for the future.
Students in this pathway can prepare for a wide variety of careers in the field of sales, including:
Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Real estate agents may specialize in commercial or residential real estate and in working with buyers or sellers. When working with sellers, real estate agents handle all aspects of listing the property, recommend repairs and upgrades and a listing price, advertise through direct mail campaigns and magazine and newspaper ads, hold open houses, and assist the seller in negotiating and closing a deal. When working with buyers, real estate agents identify suitable properties, accompany buyers on property visits, and assist in putting together an offer, negotiating a final contract, and closing the sale. Most agents are self-employed, although many are affiliated with (though not employed by) a real estate brokerage firm (e.g., Long and Foster).
2021 Median Salary $48,770
Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030 Slower than average
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Sales representatives sell their employers’ products directly to customers, often through in-person visits, sales calls, webinars, or appearances at conventions or other industry events. Sales representatives specialize in a particular industry and gain expertise in a particular product line; sales tactics are very industry-specific. For example, pharmaceutical sales representatives market prescription medications directly to doctor’s offices, often providing free samples during in-person visits. However, a sales representative in the software industry may focus more on product demos, whether live or via webinar, for target customer segments.
Frequent travel is often required, and much of the sales representative’s pay may be commission-based (i.e., the sales representative receives a relatively low base salary plus some percentage of every sale).
2021 Median Salary $62,890
Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030 Slower than average
Typical Entry-Level Education Vary with the type of product sold.
For most sales representative jobs, you do not need a college degree. However, for positions that require selling more technical products (e.g., software or pharmaceuticals), a college degree in a related subject (e.g., computer science or biology) may be strongly preferred. For most jobs, though, the principal job requirements are a “can-do” personality and top-notch people and sales skills. Experience with Salesforce or other sales tracking software is often required.
While many real estate agents have college degrees, it is not necessary. The minimum requirement is to be licensed in the state where you sell real estate, which typically means passing an exam. Check out this comprehensive guide to getting your real estate license. Of course, getting a license is only the first step. To be successful, you’ll need fantastic marketing and people skills. Plus, you’ll need to be tech-savvy and super organized—those open houses and real estate mailings don’t organize themselves.
*Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. Some schools offer career exploration in middle school.
**Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.
***Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.