How Students Can Prepare For Medical Pharmaceutical Sales Careers

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I’ve been asked recently by a few college students on how to prepare for future medical sales or pharmaceutical sales careers.  Much to my surprise, I even got a similar question from a high school student.

For students, I can offer a few suggestions in terms of preparations for future careers in these fields.  First, you definitely need a college or university degree, especially in North America, these days for medical and pharmaceutical sales jobs.  In the old days, one could get away with not having a degree if there is a decent sales background.  But not anymore since there are so many qualified candidates with degrees out there.

Need Degrees For Medical Pharmaceutical Sales Careers

So companies will be looking for degrees as a top screening device. Without a degree, they wouldn’t even look at you or call you for an interview.  Candidates without a degree will not make it to the interview list for sure.

Degrees majoring in sciences or business will be best but degree in any field of study are acceptable if communications skills are above average.  It’s the evidence of an actual college degree that counts first rather than the actual major involved.

Get Some Sales Experience For Medical Pharmaceutical Sales Careers

After the degree requirement, I would say that it’s important to get some sales experience.  This type of experience can come in the form of part time jobs or summer jobs in sales.  Any industry of sales whether retail or business type of selling will do.  As long as the job was involved in dealing directly with customers,the experience will be noted by reviewers.

Companies want to know that you are not just a graduate who focused everything on grades.  High grades with no evidence of superior communications and/or selling skills will not get you the job in medical sales or pharmaceutical sales.

So to recap, get the degree and get some working experience in sales.  These are the two most important factors in preparation that students can work towards to achieve.  This will help position them for possible future medical sales or pharmaceutical sales careers upon graduation.

A final word of advice is to take my free webinar on pharmaceutical sales careers.  This will give you some good background information on requirements for the industry.

Creative Commons License photo credit: velkr0

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