Retail & Sales (A.A. Degree)
Are you interested in a career in retail or sales? Perhaps you want to open a clothing boutique, sell vehicles, or go into digital marketing. At Dordt, we can help you learn how to enter the world of retail and sales and approach it from a Christian perspective.
Retail and sales involve working with people—whether that is with customers or co-workers. The retail and sales emphasis will teach you about consumer behavior, developing beneficial relationships and partnerships, and marketing. These are all critical skills to develop for any industry you might enter.
What you’ll learn
You will learn the numerous aspects of the sales and retail industry—from purchasing or manufacturing your products to managing your inventory, marketing your products, and making the sale. Learn how to thrive in your industry, serving others well through the world of business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales.
What you can do with a retail & sales degree
With a retail and sales degree, the opportunities are endless—sales and retail are everywhere. With this degree, you offer a wealth of knowledge and understanding, so that you can become a valuable member of any business.
A florist doesn’t just arrange flowers—they manage orders, deadlines, and inventory. Florists need to know when to order their product so that it stays fresh, understand how to order and manage inventory for peak holidays, and provide excellent customer service in this consumer-facing business. Customers can range from someone who might be celebrating an anniversary or mourning at a funeral—all of which require excellent relationship skills.
Veterinary pharmaceutical sales
A veterinary pharmaceutical sales rep is responsible for connecting with vet clinics in their territory, informing them about their product and sharing samples, and establishing a relationship as their supplier for the medicines they use in their practice.
In this two-year program, you will take six core business courses, three four retail and sales courses, and a public relations course.
If you decide you want to continue your studies and pursue the four-year business degree, the courses you have taken will satisfy many of the requirements for the four-year program, so you can seamlessly transition from one to the other.
Computer Literacy for Business
This course teaches important computer skills used in today’s world of business. Areas of study include beginning and intermediate Excel and Word, advanced PowerPoint, an introduction to Access, and Windows and file management basics.
Introduction to Business
This course will prepare you to understand your calling in the business industry. This course will help develop your understanding of God’s plan for business and how you can become an effective kingdom citizen in this area of work. This course will also help you gain a better understanding of the different roles people play within a business and the ways these roles work together for the effectiveness of the business. Finally, this course will provide students with advice on how to be successful within the business major.
Introduction to Accounting (or)
This course provides exposure to basic accounting information concerning the recording of daily business transactions and the preparation, use, and interpretation of accounting records and reports. Business Administration 100 is strongly recommended.
Principles of Accounting
Introduces the concepts and terminology of accounting and financial reporting for modern business enterprises. The course is centered around analyzing and interpreting accounting information for use in making decisions about organizations. There is a special emphasis on analyzing the balance sheet, the statement of income and expense, the statement of cash flows, and the statement of stockholders’ equity. Additional emphasis is placed on problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills that are necessary for forming conclusions about business activities and communicating these conclusions to others.
Principles of Management
An introductory course in management theory and practice. Major topics covered include planning and strategic management, organizational design, leadership and motivation theory, and control mechanisms.
Principles of Marketing
A study of marketing institutions, product development, channels of distribution, price determination, promotion methods, government influences, and ethical problems facing marketing personnel. Includes a foundational study and discussion of business from a Christian perspective.
Professional Practices: Career Preparation and Etiquette
Students will learn the purpose and process of preparing for a career and will learn formal etiquette useful in many areas of life. We will use hands-on learning to ascertain knowledge about finding and applying for jobs, workplace professionalism, professional interviewing, applying for graduate school, and other topics related to career preparation.
Serving Through Selling & Retailing
Using lectures, class discussions, and small group activities, you will learn about the exciting fields of Personal Selling and Retailing. The basic areas of retail management will be covered: buying, merchandising, retail promotion, store location, store layout, credit management, and inventory control. Emphasis is on the practical application of retail management principles. Also includes a study of the discipline of personal selling, including both sales strategies and sales management. Emphasis is given to both personal as well as business and industry sales applications. Topics include sales training, sales preparation, prospecting methods, types of presentations, handling buyer questions, closing methods, post-sales service, and sales management. Both areas will be approached from the perspective of serving others through these disciplines.
A study of how consumers select, purchase, use, and dispose of goods and services. Includes analyses of how markets and others influence these processes. Application of concepts and methods of the behavioral sciences to marketing management decision-making. Considerable emphasis on biblical perspectives on wealth, materialism, and consumption.
As an introduction to public relations, this course will set the background for additional courses in communication and business administration. After a study of the history of public relations, students will learn what is expected of public relations workers, study the various publics, become familiar with current problems and issues in public relations, analyze several cases, and develop a Christian perspective for the continued study of public relations.
One of these three:
Integrated Marketing Communication
In this course, students will study the principles and practices of promoting a product or service including advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, public relations, trade promotions, and the internet, all from a Christian perspective. The importance of integrating all these areas of marketing communications will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Business Administration 206 or Communication 240; junior or senior standing.
An exploration of the methods businesses uses to approach customers in the digital age. This course will equip students with a variety of technical skills and knowledge related to the application of Marketing principles in an online environment. Includes a thorough preparation and testing for three certifications from the American Marketing Association and Google, as well as an exploration of the Sharing Economy - a disruptive movement in the economy today.
Prepares students to manage the interacting forces in the market to facilitate exchange processes between the producer and consumer. Strategic planning and implementation of all areas of marketing within acceptable ethical standards will be discussed. Through case studies and a simulation, students will apply the concepts learned in Principles of Management and Principles of Marketing.
Ready to take the next step?
With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.
With Dordt's help in figuring out her strengths and weaknesses, Erika was able to narrow down the business career paths that were right for her and find the perfect opportunity for her after graduating.
Erika PostRead More
Still looking for the right fit? Here are some additional program options that we think might interest you or are often paired with this program. You can also view the programs page to keep exploring your options.