Online Customer Service Degree Programs
Online Customer Service Degree Programs
Customer service is an essential part of many different industries and excellent customer service is often necessary for success. Online customer service degree programs provide students with a solid customer service foundation to provide quality customer care that fosters a successful career in many different fields. Students develop and build upon fundamental business skills in customer relations, communication, personnel supervision, marketing, conflict management, and management information systems. Students also develop the essential keyboard, data entry, computing, arithmetic, and telephone skills. Read more about online customer services degree programs.
In 2006, there were 47 bachelor degrees and 6 master degrees conferred in customer service management (1). In 2006, customer service representatives held 2.2 million jobs, with about 23% being in employed in the insurance and finance industries. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers (including customer service managers) held 1.4 million jobs in 2006. (2).
Employment outlook for customer service careers varies greatly among field, degree, and position. Employment of customer service representatives is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 25% and adding 545,000 new jobs. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers are expected to experience slower than average job growth, increasing 6%, and adding 82,000 new jobs (2). Customer service representatives with less than 1 year experience earned average hourly rates between $8.57 and $12.30 (3).
Customer service degree programs offer many different specialties including customer service management, call center operations, human resources management, teleservice operation, retail management, customer care management, professional sales, food service, hospitality, financial services, insurance, and marketing. Students who are interested in a specific specialty should choose schools that offer strong programs in that particular area of interest.
What to Expect
Customer service degree programs provide students with a solid educational background in general business practices while focusing on customer service. Undergraduate customer service degree programs usually require general education courses in English, composition, mathematics, science, history, and electives. The core coursework will vary by program, but many customer service programs require courses in communication, public speaking, quality assurance, the global marketplace, business principles, conflict management and negotiation, organizational communication, business communication, human resources management, effective customer care, and customer service techniques. Graduate customer service degree programs focus more on in-depth customer service instruction and prepare students for higher level positions.
The End Result
Undergraduate customer service degrees can be applied to a variety of different career fields and the degree opens the job to many career options. Many customer service professionals are employed by the insurance, finance, retail, food service, and hospitality industries. Students who obtain graduate degrees will be able to transition into management and other upper-level positions. Customer service jobs may also serve as a springboard to advanced positions in a company or organization. Career opportunities for customer service graduates include:
- Customer Service Representative
- Customer Service Manager
- Customer Service Supervisor
- Lodging Manager
- Food Service Manager
- Help Desk Technician
- Insurance Sales Agent
- Bank Teller
- Customer Service Executive
- Call Center Representative
- Customer Relations Administrator
- Human Resources Specialist
- Retail Store Representative
- Client Service Coordinator
A customer service career will be rewarding for individuals who enjoy working with the public and providing excellent customer care. Customer service professionals must have sound knowledge of their companies’ policies and regulations and their industry, service, or product. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are necessary as they provide quality service to a variety of customers.
(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report