Working in marketing, sales and advertising with a degree (or similar)

Many employers recruit graduates and they are especially interested in people who want to move into management jobs in marketing, sales and advertising.

Employers will usually take on graduates with a degree that isn’t related to marketing or advertising and then train them in the business. For a job in technical sales, you may need a higher education qualification in a subject such as engineering, electronics, technology or science. It is also possible for people who have gained the necessary technical knowledge elsewhere to move into this kind of sales work without a degree.

Case study

Get as much experience as you can working in different industries as marketing isn’t always the same in every company.

Sally Day, marketing and communications manager at the University of Arts, London

Example jobs

Marketing manager
Planning the promotion of a company’s products, service or message to as many people as possible.

Event and exhibition manager
Responsible for planning and running events.

Sales manager
Setting sales targets and managing a sales team.

Advertising account planner
Responsible for targeting advertising campaigns at the right audience.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Bonuses are common in sales work and so earnings can vary widely.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • Your work will be office-based, but may involve travel to meet clients and attend conferences, exhibitions and product launches.
  • The work is likely to be creative, but it can be pressured because of deadlines and targets.

Qualifications needed

To be employed by a company's graduate training scheme, you will need to have a university degree. You will then receive on-the-job training by your employer. You could also study for postgraduate qualifications from professional bodies such as the CIM or the Communication, Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Education Foundation.

If your job involves direct marketing, you could study for qualifications from the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), including the Certificate and Diploma in Direct and Interactive Marketing.

Career path

People with marketing management experience and who have either gained the professional diploma or have a degree can take postgraduate qualifications to further their career. For example, you could work towards becoming a marketing director. There are international jobs available at this level, which may require travel or living in other countries. You may need language skills for these jobs.

Useful links

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The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM)

The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)