The Ultimate Guide to Careers in Marketing

Working in marketing isn’t all advertising jingles and billboard mock ups. Working hours will often be the standard nine-to-five though you may find yourself working longer if attending events or close to the end of a project. There are often opportunities for travel, both in the UK and abroad. Networking is a big part of the industry and you may end up combining your working and social lives. Seeing the results on billboards can be hugely satisfying and provide a fulfilment that is lacking elsewhere. Keeping everyone happy can be a challenge but can also be quite exciting. Such a fast-paced industry can also be a challenge, but one that some people relish.

Marketing is all about promoting the goods or services of an organisation and takes place in all areas of industry. It involves researching markets and planning how best to promote and distribute products. It’s important to have an understanding of consumers and build up good relationships with suppliers and clients when you’re working in a marketing role but what does it really take? Jobs with companies like are open to graduates of any degree, though a qualification in marketing or communications may give you an advantage. You may work for an agency or in-house, either as part of a dedicated department or allied to the PR or communications department. Many large organisations will have a dedicated marketing stream as part of their graduate scheme, or offer a marketing placement as part of their rotations. Smaller companies may occasionally offer marketing assistant roles.

They are less likely to have a structured scheme but will provide on-the-job training to enable you to build the practical skills required.

Speculative applications can be a good way in, particularly to smaller companies, but ensure you have researched the organisation well and expressed your skills and abilities through your CV and covering letter. Careers fairs and other networking events can be a good way of finding contacts and help you get into a role. Specialist agencies can also be a good way of breaking into the sector.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) suggests that the average starting salary for marketing roles is a very reasonable £22,000, though this may differ considerably if you are employed within the marketing department of a business that operates in a different sector. Salaries of £50,000 and beyond are not unknown for senior roles. Agencies are typically a freer, if more high-pressured environment. The client cannot walk over to your desk every hour to check your progress, but there is more riding on success. There is more variety available, and a stronger sense of teamwork. You can gripe to each other about the client because you won’t be working for them forever.

Working in-house will mean that you are quite focused; responding to the needs of the business. However, you may find yourself performing the same tasks year after year. What’s more, there will be company politics to deal with. On the plus side, you will know the company more intimately, and be better positioned to answer its needs.


Author: Melissa Robinson

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