Careers Service Occupations




People working in marketing help organisations connect with their audiences and promote their brands, products or services.

Careers advice

Careers Service

See our Creative Careers site which includes highlights from a session held on digital marketing. You can read advice and tips from speakers working in digital marketing and communications. 

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

This professional association offers getin2marketing, an advice resource for those wanting to enter the sector.


The Guardian

Marketing Careers features articles and Q&As with valuable advice from marketing experts.

Industry news

Brand Republic provides marketing and communications news, company profiles and a careers section.

The Drum is a source for news and jobs while The Wall is a social media and marketing blog.

Marketing Week and Marketing Magazine are online and print publications.

Exchange is the online magazine from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Promotional Marketing is an online magazine and 1000heads: blog provides industry updates.

Alltop: Social media links to social media resources while The Guardian has a Digital marketing hub.

Research MagazineMarket Research World and MrWeb provide news and jobs information.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.


Market research

Making contacts

Making contacts is essential for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts. 

Regular events for this sector include our annual Creative Careers with speakers from a range of careers in the creative sector.

For more events for this sector see Careers Service events or External Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Advertising or PR.

Or see our other Sector-specific pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

Marketing opportunities can be found across all sectors - from banking, retailing, food and media industries to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations.

Marketing professionals can also work in full service marketing agencies. They provide marketing and communications services to external clients.

Employers in marketing value real experience over further academic study. While some postgraduate courses do include a work placement and have links with industry, a postgraduate qualification is not essential for entry into the sector and does not guarantee a higher salary.

Another option is to complete industry-recognised professional qualification once you are in employment. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is a provider.

For information on postgraduate courses and funding see Further Study.


Marketing executive

Marketing manager

Digital marketer

Social media manager

Creative director

Digital copywriter

Web content manager

SEO specialist

PPC specialist

Product manager

Sales promotion account executive

Market researcher

Market research interviewer

Consumer psychologist

Skills employers look for

Employers look for skills including:

  • attention to detail and excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • drive, motivation, initiative and the ability to think creatively
  • good organisational and planning skills, with the ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • the ability to lead and motivate a team
  • good business sense and budget awareness
  • foreign language skills, which can be useful for international marketing jobs

Gaining Experience

Getting into marketing is competitive, so the more knowledge and relevant experience you have, the more chance you have of getting into this sector.

You don't have to have a degree in marketing, but you do need to show you have the key skills employers look for.

Several large graduate recruiters, such as L’Oreal and Mars, offer students paid summer internships or placement years

Work experience with smaller companies is not always advertised. You may need to contact the employer with a speculative approach.

Look at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s guide to getting into marketing. 

Finding work experience

Internships & placements

Specialist recruitment agencies

Pathfinders media recruitment can arrange vacation and two-week unpaid work placements in London agencies. F1 Recruitment is a London-based recruitment agency that offers work experience for students.

Finding companies

Find agencies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Other ways to gain experience

All work experience is valuable, so if you can't find a marketing internship why not try some of these alternative ideas:

You can also gain an understanding of SEO (search engine optimisation), PPC (pay per click) and Google Adwords for digital marketing. See Econsultancy’s jargon buster for definitions and Moz’s guides to learning SEO and Search Marketing.

Google Digital Garage has free online marketing training, including on content marketing, search and analytics. 

Digital Business Academy has free online courses, including on planning your marketing and understanding what makes a strong brand.

The University Library has useful resources on market research.

Finding Jobs

Many large recruiters offer graduate training programmes in marketing.

You can also find graduate jobs advertised all year round. Competition is strong, especially for entry-level positions.

Industry bodies also advertise graduate positions. See About for a list of organisations.

For smaller companies, a speculative approach is common. Research companies that interest you and send them a well-tailored CV and covering letter

Express your enthusiasm for the field and show you have researched the company.

Use these resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications:

Vacancy sites


Market research

Graduate schemes

  • DAS Accelerate - graduate programme offering five placements over 16 months with different marketing agencies
  • Ipsos MORI – offers a graduate scheme in market research
  • GFK - offers a graduate training scheme and student internships
  • Government Statistical Service - includes opportunities for graduate statisticians

Specialist recruitment agencies

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You could approach marketing agencies or find work through networking in the industry.

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

In the North East

See Researching Employers for more ways to source and research companies.

Work for yourself

Working as self-employed or freelance is quite common in the marketing sector.

For more information and advice on freelancing and self-employment, visit Work for Yourself.