… one of the most popular careers for STEM grads is sales!

By now we’ve all heard how important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is for the jobs of the future. But there are certain jobs that are more people than technology focused, right? Well, maybe not.

While traditional selling tactics relied heavily on personal relationships, sales people are now interacting with buyers who have more information at their disposal than ever before. As a result, today’s deals are more often closed over spreadsheets and analytical forecasts than longstanding relationships and rounds of golf.

With more informed buyers to contend with and data as their most powerful sales weapon, sales teams are incorporating more STEM backgrounds within their ranks.

According to a 2017 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seventh most popular career for STEM graduates in the United States and most popular non-computer related role is in sales. The study found that 750,000 STEM graduates found employment in computer and information related positions last year–such as software developer, computer systems analyst, and network systems administrator–while wholesale manufacturing sales representatives of technical and scientific products accounted for nearly 350,000.

“We are seeing thousands of jobs across the United States in which sales teams are looking for people with STEM related skill sets,” says Glassdoor community expert Scott Dobroski. The job listing and recruiting website has seen a huge spike in postings for positions that blend sales with STEM skills.

“We’re seeing job titles such as sales engineer, technical sales engineer, technical sales representative, and sales data analyst, just to name a few,” he says. “Sales engineer and sales data analyst are the two in highest demand; those did not exist several years ago.”

The demand for STEM skills within sales teams is representative of a seismic shift in sales strategy. This transition has been enabled by technology and the availability of information, both on behalf of the buyer and seller. While the salesperson used to be the primary source of information for their products or services, buyers increasingly have access to specs, samples, and independent reviews.

While sellers are able to access information and insights about prospective buyers that would have previously been only accessible through personal interactions, the inclusion of more hard sciences and math skills in the selling process is likely to be unwelcome to those who have held sales positions since before this transition began.

This article was taken from fastcompany.com > Jared Lindzon