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Where Can A Career In Marketing Take You?



Those working in marketing might be responsible for elevating client brands and spreading their positive messages far and wide, or for making sure everyone knows about the great work that is going on in their own companies.

Employees with marketing skills are needed around the world and across every industry, from education and healthcare to automotive and luxury fashion. It\'s a popular sector, and one that lots of graduates find themselves working in.

Jobs in this area are fast-paced and creative, with staff constantly needing to come up with new ideas and think on their feet. You might work within an organisation, developing strategy for and organising in-house events or campaigns, or you might work for an agency, organising advertising campaigns, conducting research or developing strategies for clients – including both companies and individuals.

In general, and especially in big companies or agencies, you are likely to work within a team that includes events assistants, designers, copywriters and other staff members. Your team will work together to ensure that all aspects of the campaign come together seamlessly. You will also be responsible for reporting back on the success of a campaign once it has ended, and you might be involved in bringing new clients on board in a new business function.

Roles within this sector vary hugely – if you work as an events manager for a local venue, for example, your job is likely to be centred on this specific location. If you work for an international marketing agency, however, your job could involve international travel and meeting and pitching to client stakeholders across the globe.

Types of jobs within marketing

For a marketing campaign to be successful, it takes a large number of people with a huge number of varied skills – from those in new business and sales to those on the ground at events, deploying campaigns and ensuring that they run smoothly.

Some of the jobs you’re likely to find in marketing include:

Marketing assistant, executive or manager – various levels of general marketing, taking on a number of marketing specific activities and managing processes where needed
Junior Brand Manager - taking responsibility for a specific brand within a business, developing annual marketing plans for that brand and liaising with agencies to execute campaigns
New business executive – filtering and managing inbound enquiries, liaising with potential clients, and working with other team members on pitches
New business manager – managing the whole of the new business operation, to ensure the company brings on board fresh clients
Research executive - preparing and conducting market research (quantitative surveys or qualitative research, i.e. focus groups) on behalf of clients
Account executive - acting as the link between a client and an agency’s project teams, ensuring that campaigns and projects come together seamlessly to deliver to the client’s specifications
Copywriter – creating the words, tone and messages that go into campaigns
Designer – creates the visual look of the campaigns, whether digitally on physically
Social executive – works on social campaigns on behalf of the client or company
Media planner – working out where advertising spend should be invested across the media
PPC specialist – working specifically on Pay Per Click, to drive direct results via search engines
Events manager – ensuring that experiential events go smoothly and are a success for the client/company

Skills & interests required

Different roles will ask for different skills, some of them more technical than others. Being personable and able to talk to people and build relationships easily is also a very important part of working in this industry.

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Commercial Awareness
- Creativity
- Data Analysis
- Networking
- Quantitative Research
- Research skills
- Teamwork
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication

Typical Career Progression Routes for Graduates in Marketing

Career progression in marketing is fairly established and well-structured, meaning you’ll always be aware of the next step to aspire to. Although it may change slightly across different companies, the general structure is as follows:

  • Assistant

  • Executive

  • Senior executive

  • Manager

  • Senior manager

  • Director

Expect to stay in each of these roles at least a couple of years, before being given the opportunity to prove yourself and move up.

There are a large number of organisations that can offer professional qualifications in this area. You can use Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to build on or update your knowledge, and to increase your chances of promotion. One key body that offers CPD courses is the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Alternatively, there are courses available at the Market Research Society (MRS) to develop your skills in market research techniques. Many employers will offer you support (including financial support) to achieve these CPD courses.

Tips for getting into the field

Marketing is a popular industry, so it’s worth knowing what employers will look for when you’re applying for roles.

Obviously, a business mind-set and some creativity are both essential.

There are also a large number of general, non-industry-related things that you can do to put yourself in a good position to start applying for jobs. These include:

  • Tailoring your CV for each specific role - making sure you focus on previous experience and relevant skills

  • Applying for internships and/or work experience – this is a no-brainer: as well as ensuring that you’ve experienced the field before you start applying for jobs within it, it’ll show that you’re committed and allow you to start acquiring the practical skills you’ll need in your future job

  • Take on similar roles – for example as a marketing assistant or intern, during holidays or whilst you apply for higher-level roles right after graduation

  • See what the top companies in the field require – start by looking for case studies from the bigger companies or agencies, and note what backgrounds and skills their current employees have

  • Get the relevant accreditation – in this case, professional organisations in the marketing field can advise you on which professional qualifications might be best suited to your goals

  • Use your contacts – university professors, those you met on work experience, people you can approach through social media or LinkedIn – they’re all potentially the stepping stone to your next role, and they might very well be happy to help you

Earning potential

Because there are so many jobs at so many different levels within this industry, you will find a huge variance in salaries.

When starting out in the industry your salary is likely to be modest, but due to the responsibilities placed upon you and the level of organisation and skill required, as you progress you might see your pay cheque increase quickly.

Marketing salaries differ with experience and depending on the size and sector of the company that you are working in. The particular field that you are working in marketing for and the clients you work with can often also dictate salary levels. Entertainment marketers are likely to be paid less than those organising campaigns and brand messages for corporate clients, for example.

Average salaries , according to Pay Scale, are:

Marketing executive - £23,172
Marketing coordinator - £21,918
Marketing manager (entry level) - £29,229
Marketing manager - £32,907
Senior marketing manager - £48,407

Market Research Executive - £28,700
Market Research Manager - £40,100

Events Co-ordinator - £19,600
Events Manager - £25,846

Art director - £36,064
Senior graphic designer - £34,661
Copywriter - £23,497
Senior copywriter - £39,001

Qualification requirements & subjects to study

Graduates from all degree backgrounds can progress in to a marketing career, and many do – the soft skills taught across most subjects mean lots of people find that this career area suits them.

Many marketers have degrees in the following subjects:

  • Marketing

  • Communications

  • Economics

  • English

  • History

  • Social sciences

  • Languages

  • Business

  • Events

  • Fashion

Industry bodies

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Direct Marketing Association

Market Research Society

Marketing Agencies Association

The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing

The Institute of Promotional Marketing

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