Careers Service Occupations

Marketing

Marketing

About

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)

See their Get into Marketing section, with advice for those wanting to enter the sector.

General

The Guardian

The Guardian has a Digital marketing hub. See also Marketing Careers for articles and Q&As with valuable advice from marketing experts.

Industry news

CampaignThe Drum and Marketing Week include marketing and communications news, reports and a jobs section

Exchange is an online magazine from the Chartered Institute of Marketing

IPM Bitesize is a source of news, reviews, features and analysis about promotional marketing from the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM)

1000heads: blog provides industry updates

Alltop: SEO links to popular search engine optimisation (SEO) blogs and sites 

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.

Marketing

Market research

Find professional bodies outside of the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides. 

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:

Events

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

Regular events for this sector include the Careers Service's Creative Careers which takes place around March each year with speakers from a range of roles 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 Explore Occupations 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 an industry-recognised professional qualification once you are in employment, for example, through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

For information on postgraduate courses and funding, see Further Study.

Roles

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.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing has information and articles on how to make it in marketing, including the key skills marketers will need to have on their CVs in future. 

Finding work experience

Internships & placements

  • Search for vacancies on MyCareer
  • Apply to become a paid intern or placement year student for the Careers Service's Marketing and Events team, promoting our activities and events. Applications typically open in semester 2 for the following academic year and are advertised on MyCareer.
  • Careers Service: Internships, placements & shadowing - search for opportunities with employers in the UK and overseas
  • The Careers Service also manages flexible term-time and summer internships with North East employers, many in a marketing role. You can search for these under Vacancies on My Career - look under 'Vacancy Type' for Term time or Vacation Work Experience
  • The Data & Marketing Association (DMA), part of The Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM), offers a week-long summer school and creative data labs - 1-day hackathon style lab to get a taste of what working in data and marketing is like. The DMA also offers a Creative Data Academy: 3 day immersive academy exploring career paths in data within the marketing industry.
  • MRS: Work placement & intern opportunities - links to organisations who may offer market research work experience
  • w4mpjobs - search for internships in government agencies, think tanks and not-for-profit organisations
  • The Dots  - creative network, includes marketing and digital marketing. Search for internships and job opportunities
  • 02 GoThinkBig - includes work experience opportunities, including marketing and digital media
  • EurActiv JobSite - internships in the EU with opportunities in social media, marketing and communications
  • Follow companies and accounts on Twitter and Facebook and set up alerts on LinkedIn

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. These typically open in September and can close as early as December.

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

To find sources of vacancies for both graduate jobs and graduate schemes, visit our Graduate jobs page.

Prospects lists marketing graduate schemes with large employers and 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 the following resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications:

Vacancy sites

Marketing

Market research

Specialist recruitment agencies

See Recruitment Agencies to find more.

To find opportunities outside the UK, see GoinGlobal and International Jobs.

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You could approach marketing agencies directly 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

UK wide

Find organisations on MyCareer - log in, then click on ‘search organisations’ under the Vacancies tab. See also 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.