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Sales Education Foundation names Widener University on top university sales program list

feature schools imageThe Sales Education Foundation (SEF) released its annual list of Top University Sales Programs, highlighting Widener University as one of the best locations for preparing sales professionals. More than 50 percent of college students in the United States enter sales careers, but a majority fails due to lack of professional preparation. Universities with professional selling programs are receiving significant attention from companies for successful hiring.

"We are happy to see that each year a growing number of universities are offering sales programs because their graduates average 50 percent faster ramp-up time and 30 percent decreased turnover," said Howard Stevens, co-founder and chairman of the Board of Chally Group Worldwide, a sales research firm. "With that level of ROI per hire, it becomes very enticing for companies to partner with these programs."

Sally Stevens, executive director of the Sales Education Foundation, indicates that increased focus on sales and services causes companies to pay more attention to sales program graduates. "Sales students have a job placement rate at graduation of 90 percent in their field, compared to approximately 45 percent in other graduate fields."

Programs recognized in the Top Universities for Professional Sales Education list offer a minimum requirement of three sales-specific courses, university recognition for individuals completing their program and the opportunity for internships.

Widener offers students three sales classes through its School of Business Administration. The personal selling class engages students in role playing with sales professionals, and therefore, gives them the opportunity to interact with about 25 professionals over the course of the semester. Students can also join the university's chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon, the professional fraternal organization in sales, marketing and management, which regularly presents members with networking events. In addition, Pi Sigma Epsilon adviser Dr. Mary Shoemaker, associate professor of marketing, annually accompanies sales students to two national sales competitions: the RBI Sales Challenge and the National Collegiate Sales Competition.

"The students who choose to focus on sales often graduate with multiple job offers and go on to enjoy successful careers," said Shoemaker. "Not only do they have sales focused preparation, but they have a true understanding of the opportunities a career in sales can present them with. They are eager to pursue those opportunities."

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,500 students. Visit the university website,