With a two-year degree in management and marketing from Lake Michigan College, you can build a career in business and industry including retail, wholesale, or non-profit organizations. You will be qualified to find employment in areas such as customer service, retail management, and sales.
- Customer service representative - Cooperate with customers to provide information in response to questions or concerns about a product or service. Must be able to manage and resolve complaints.
- Retail supervisor/manager - Directly responsible for supervising sales workers. May be responsible for purchasing, budgeting, and reaching store sales goals. Also handles personnel issues such as hiring employees, coaching, performance reviews, and reprimands.
- Sales representative (Retail) - Have knowledge of merchandise being sold, promotion campaigns, and be able to work with others. The main objective is to sell.
These careers are centered on customers. Whether you are on the sales floor, taking customers' phone calls, or managing a department, customer satisfaction is the common denominator.
As a customer service representative, you may work either in a retail store or in a call center answering telephone calls from customers. Many employees work in shifts with varying hours. Most jobs will require you to work weekends, evenings, and holidays. Overtime may occur during busy times of the year. Customer service representatives may have their own desk or cubical to take customers' phone calls. Managers may also have desk space to complete and file paper work.
Retail supervisors and managers often have their own office space within the store or department they oversee. However, minimal time is spent in the office. Most of a supervisor's or manager's day is spent on the sales floor. With varying work hours, including evenings, holidays, and weekends, most supervisors and managers work a minimum of 40 hours per week. Schedules may change every week, so flexibility is a must.
Sales representatives often work in retail stores where they are required to stand for long periods of time. Evening and weekend work should be expected, particularly during peak retail periods including special promotions and holidays.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in the areas of customer service, retail management, and sales is on the rise at the national level. Customer service representative openings are expected to see a 17 percent national employment increase by 2018 and, in Michigan, a 15 percent increase is foreseen by 2020.
Retail management positions are expected to experience a small national increase by 2018, with the state of Michigan expecting a three percent increase in job openings by 2018. Sales representative positions are expected to increase 11 percent nationally by 2018.
Most advances will be determined by job performance and experience. An associate's degree can help you advance to management level positions more rapidly. Promotions can happen quickly, depending on your sales performance, professionalism, and perseverance. Some companies offer additional training workshops to help you advance your skills while on the job.