Marketing & Media

A popular choice for graduates, especially amongst students of the arts and humanities, careers in marketing and media remain ever-popular and fiercely competitive. Nevertheless, a career in this sector will teach you plenty of meaningful skills and is a super rewarding experience. Here’s our ultimate guide.

1

What is Marketing & Media?

The marketing industry can be broken down into three main subsets: marketing, public relations (PR), advertising. Your typical marketing role is quite broad, particularly in smaller companies, and will feature a little bit of all of these – just how much depends on your job title. Jobs might also involve elements of planning, promotion, market research and media relations. The general objective of each different area of the industry is to develop and enhance public interest in a brand, organisation, person or product.

Marketing and media essentially exist at the junction of data and imagination. Creativity is important but the industry would not be able to function without essential research, planning, and strategy. Your typical person working in marketing is highly organised, energetic and has excellent communication skills. We’ll dive into the specific skills you need a little later on.

Marketing and media essentially exist at the junction of data and imagination.

2

Job Roles

In such a diverse industry as marketing and media, you can definitely expect a huge variety of job roles, all of which will require different skills. Here are the main ones you can expect to get into at graduate level:

  • Data planner
  • Media buyer
  • Public relations (PR) Officer
  • Market research analysts
  • Media planner
  • Sales executive
  • Social researcher
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Advertising account executive
  • Exhibition organiser
  • Graphic designer
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Content creator
  • Marketing executive
  • Public affairs consultant
3

Qualifications

Although you can study a specific Marketing degree and be successful in the industry, you don’t have to. Most jobs in marketing or media will take candidates from a range of different degree disciplines. Those which give you relevant transferable skills you can apply to Marketing include English Language, Maths, Computer Science, History and more.

More importantly, it’s vital to gain a wealth of relevant experience before applying to any graduate roles in marketing and media. That may sound daunting but there are a number of ways that you can achieve this through doing part-time work alongside your studies. Certain part-time jobs like retail, hospitality, childcare and street teaming provide a good taste of life in the industry and will demonstrably boost your CV if you can get your hands on them.

It’s vital to gain a wealth of relevant experience before applying to any graduate roles in marketing and media.

4

Skills you need

One thing you will need to do if you’re going to work in marketing or media is build your own personal brand. This will show a potential employer that you know how to sell the most important product of all – yourself. Check out our guide on personal branding, then get cracking on your own blog, professional social media account, side hustle or anything else you feel comfortable doing.

Marketing and media is a fast-paced industry that needs new ideas to thrive, so creativity is a must have trait. Firms love graduates who can bring a fresh approach to their work, so you’ll be sure to succeed if you’re the type to think outside the box. At the same time, it’s important to be able to look at data critically and determine a plan of action from it, so the best marketeers also have superb analytical and digital skills.

You’ll also need stellar communication and public speaking skills in order to get your ideas across, as well as being adept in negotiation and stress management in what can be quite a crowded and noisy industry.

One thing you will need to do if you’re going to work in marketing or media is build your own personal brand

5

Industry Insights

The marketing and media industry has long been a safe space for graduates. By Creative Skillset’s count more than 150,000 people work in marketing and of those, 70% are graduates. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for progression, as many do continue in the industry until they reach the directorial level, where salaries can climb to between £70,000 and £90,000.

Marketing is a dynamic sector which is constantly evolving to gel with the needs of consumers. The advancement of technology has allowed for this to happen in a more efficient, less expensive way. While offline marketing methods such as radio and print are still present, they are used in conjunction with digital marketing developments. As a result of the greater use of mobile and social media, as well as a growing digital skills gap in the UK, marketers with technology skills are favoured when breaking into the sector.

More than 150,000 people work in marketing and of those, 70% are graduates

6

Work experience

Work experience is crucial part of graduate recruitment in marketing. Many large companies and agencies put on paid work placements in the summer for students in final year, which can then lead to a graduate position if you play your cards right. Some employers also offer paid marketing internships or vacation placements to first-year students. You can also attend open days, taster experiences and short introductory courses to increase your chances of getting a foot in the door.

The most effective way to find work experience, however, is to be proactive. Make speculative applications and go networking as often as you can. Voluntary organisations sometimes also have opportunities in their marketing or PR departments. You could also work in a marketing or communications role within your students’ union, or a university club or society.

7

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
It’s an exciting and dynamic work environment, with the potential for work in a variety of different areas.You might be expected to work long hours to complete projects and attend events.
It's a youthful industry, and there will be plenty of fellow grads to meet!It's a constantly evolving and changing industry - you’ll need to make a conscious effort to stay on top of it.
You can tangibly see your results - on billboards, on the web etc.Starting salaries often aren't as high as in other industries.
There are few wrong answers, so you can be as creative as you like. It can be difficult to separate your work and social life.
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