Honors Theses


Jacob Cress, Ph.D., P.E.


Engineering Management, Systems, and Technology

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


This research paper reports the investigation of the theory-practice gap that exists for engineering graduates transitioning into sales engineering or technical sales roles. Sales engineering is the practice of employing technical knowledge to facilitate the sales process of complex engineered products and services, acting as a bridge between engineers and customers. A balance of technical knowledge and sales acumen are critical to success in these positions. To investigate this theory-practice gap, the researcher employs a mixed-method design consisting of self-assessment surveys directed at current and previous sales engineers to gauge their readiness and skills at graduation versus the skills they have acquired throughout their career. These surveys explore the aspects of missing skills, if any, that they have observed in their industry experience. This research provides valuable insights for educators, industry professionals, and aspiring sales engineers, facilitating a more seamless integration of theory and practice in this growing field.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research