Marketing is a popular career path for many graduates, so whilst there are many job opportunities available, competition is keen. Expect the possibility of travel, long hours - including some evenings and weekends - and lots of phone calls and spreadsheets! You must be able to work well under pressure and thrive off meeting deadlines. Strong oral and written communication is key, and independent and thorough research is regularly required.

Career Prospects

Marketing has the flexibility to offer you both the chance to work independently as well as in a team, and responsibility is usually delegated on the first day so expect to get into the thick of it relatively sharpish.

A career in marketing can take you in many different directions. Marketing is needed in almost every company in every industry, from small, up-and-coming businesses to manufacturing giants and local government, so the opportunity to advance in your career is virtually unlimited.

The satisfaction you can get after seeing your marketing campaign implemented is thoroughly rewarding for most and outweighs the long hours.

What are employers looking for?

Strong oral and written communication is key, and you will need a sharp eye for grammar and spelling mistakes as you’ll be expected to write lots of emails and documents.

As competition is fierce, most companies will be looking for individuals with at least a 2:1, but work experience can help you greatly in marketing. Gain as much experience as you possibly can, show enthusiasm and do your research about the company and the role you’re applying for before the interview.

You will need to liaise regularly with colleagues in various departments, so teamwork is important. Some marketing interviews will ask for you to participate in an assessment centre, so it’s the perfect venue to showcase your team-working and creativity.

Is it the right career for you?

While many jobs are office-based, you may find yourself travelling long distances to visit clients and attend events. Be prepared to work long hours and meet deadlines frequently. Organisational skills are crucial in keeping up with your workload.


Estimated graduate starting salary: £15,000 - £25,000

Typical salary after training: £25,000 - £37,000 


Advertising is a consistently popular career choice among graduates so competition is fierce. Internships and related work experience are beneficial. Individuals in advertising need to be creative, analytical, persuasive and innovative, and must always be on top of the latest news and trends.

Career prospects

Advertising is effectively the merger of sales, PR and marketing. You are first and foremost selling a product or an idea, and you need to sell it in an innovative and eye-catching way, whilst ensuring you’re appealing to your target audience.

Whilst advertising can be glamorous and well-paid, it can sometimes involve long hours and you won’t always get to do it your way. Advertising can be a very lucrative career, but many graduates can spend a long time working their way up the ladder, so you will need to build good relations with your peers and superiors.

If you decide that advertising is the career path for you, you will discover a range of opportunities to work with all aspects of marketing from strategy to concept.

What are employers looking for?

While employers accept graduates from a wide range of degrees, those with numerical-based degrees are more sought after. They will be looking for individuals with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, who can show they are a good team player. If you were part of a sports team at university or were involved in a society, this would be perfect to highlight your effective team-working skills.

Employers also like candidates that show a real passion and understanding for the industry, so make sure you thoroughly research your role before you apply. Candidates that can highlight their creativity and ingenuity will also be more successful.

Is it the right career for me?

Advertising is a large, money-making business, so there’s no shying away. Confidence, perseverance and determination are key. You’ll need to build up good relations with not only the people you work with but prospective clients also. Networking can help you make the contacts you need.

You will need to keep up to date with current trends and affairs, and always know what’s coming round the corner. Innovation and creation are crucial in advancing in advertising.

Much of your salary may be compensation-based and advertising is constantly evolving, so be prepared to keep up with a highly pressurised and competitive environment.


Estimated graduate starting salary: £15,000 - £25,000

Typical salary after training: £25,000 - £37,000 


Public Relations is all about reputation so good communication skills and building good relationships with clients and the media are crucial. It’s all about who you know, what you say and what you do, so you must always be aware of current trends and always be one step ahead of your competitors.

From media relations to online viral campaigns and sponsorship, people in PR are considered the spokespeople of the company and regularly deal with press, consumers, the media, employees and investors.

Career Prospects

Building relationships with clients and media figures is crucial and you will be spending a lot of time responding to requests from journalists or clients. Starting salaries can be low and working hours long. Almost every industry will have a PR department, so you could find yourself working for all kinds of companies, from big retail giants and global engineering firms to private companies and local government. You will need to know your company well in order to promote the firm effectively, and you must remember that you are promoting an image at all times. Some of the roles you can find yourself undertaking are:

  • Media executive
  • Online communications manager
  • Press officer
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Public relations executive

While the hours can be long, it can involve a lot of travel and it usually does involve attending a number of social functions, from work dinners to celebrity parties. You will need to learn quickly and identify what your clients do and want in order to communicate their message effectively.

What are employers looking for?

There is no specific degree that all employers look for, but those with business or management-related degrees will have an advantage. The ability to demonstrate good written and oral skills are essential, as your role is to effectively promote the company to numerous different sectors. Public Relations is all about reputation, so your appearance and your interaction with others will be crucial. The majority of your role in public relations will be to deal with the media and varying people, so ensure you demonstrate good communication and negotiating skills.

Is it the right career for me?

Confidence and strong written and verbal communication skills are essential as you may be producing a range of emails, press releases, articles or reports. You will need strong negotiation skills, work well under pressure and be able to prioritise your workload efficiently. Hours are varied, so be prepared for early starts and late evenings, sometimes including working weekends. You should be outgoing, a quick thinker and willing to be assertive. Lastly, you will need to be creative and stay on top of current trends and news to ensure your company is ahead of its competitors.


Estimated graduate starting salary: £16,000 - £25,000

Typical salary after training: £25,000 - £45,000+


Key advice articles for marketing, advertising and PR graduates

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