Careers Service


Marketing involves identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. Marketing is not the same as selling, rather, marketing creates the conditions for the sale to take place. Related functions such as advertising and PR usually play an important part in a company's overall marketing effort, so if you want to get into marketing it is worth learning about these areas too in order to broaden your understanding of the field.

Marketing roles tend to be based either in dedicated marketing or communications agencies or in the marketing departments of large or medium-sized organisations. As marketing is considered a core business function, many small organisations will employ someone in a dedicated marketing role too.

Marketing is quite a broad term encompassing many specific functions, including marketing strategy, design, direct marketing, market research, social media and digital marketing. SEO (search engine optimisation), online advertising (on search engines, websites and social networks) and website usability are now important to many businesses in their marketing. You can find out more about these roles on our digital media page.

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Getting in and getting experience

Graduates can generally enter marketing from any degree discipline, but as this is a very competitive field, it is usually necessary to gain relevant work experience.

Specialist degrees in marketing, communications or business with a strong marketing component can be an advantage, and are required by some organisations.

Here are some suggestions for how you can demonstrate this and get relevant skills and experience:

  • Get work experience. Look for advertised summer placements or contact local marketing agencies directly with a very targeted speculative CV and covering letter.
    Consider volunteering for your local charity to help with their marketing and/or communication needs.
    Part time jobs like Student brand manager are common and give you the opportunity to run campaigns on campus.
  • Develop marketing skills. Planning, organising and promoting events for a student society or charity can demonstrate a lot of transferable skills which marketing job roles will require, such as budgeting, time management, teamwork, communication skills, organisation skills and social media skills.
  • Joining a professional association such as The Institute of Direct Marketing can be impressive to an employer and these often have insider news and job vacancies, as well as providing networking opportunities.

Where can I find out more about marketing careers and jobs?