Sales and Marketing
Overview of the Sector
In 2018 there were 977 thousand sales, marketing and related associate professionals employed in the UK (Statista).
You can find sales and business development roles in organisations throughout the private sector. Marketing roles can be found either in-house in organisations across different industry sectors or in specialised Marketing or Multi-Service Communications agencies. Market research roles exist mainly within Market Research organisations.
- Typical Jobs in Sales and Marketing:
Marketing Executive – develop marketing plans and campaigns for a product, service or idea
Market Researcher – use qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect and analyse information on behalf of clients.
Sales Executive – building relationships with customers, understanding customer needs, maintaining in-depth product knowledge, meeting targets
Digital Marketer - use digital platforms to promote and raise awareness of a brand or service
Sales Promotion Account Executive - design and deliver promotional marketing campaigns to boost and promote sales
- What do I need to do to get graduate employment?
- Enthusiasm, drive and resilience
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – able to negotiate and persuade.
- Creative problem solving
- Commercial awareness – understanding business priorities
While a degree in Business or Marketing may help to demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for the work, most placements, internships and graduate schemes for this type of work are open to students of any degree discipline.
For in-house market research roles, a degree in a subject related to the industry sector can offer an advantage e.g. for a role within the life sciences sector, a degree in a life sciences subject can give an advantage in understanding products and terminology.
Marketing roles – there are opportunities for students to gain experience through placements and internships with some employers offering graduate schemes in this area. Most of these will be well advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites. Prospects provides an overview of Marketing Graduate Schemes.
Market Research roles – there are a few graduate schemes with large Market Research companies e.g. Gfk, Ipsos Mori and Nielsen. There are fewer internship or placement opportunities to gain experience but a part-time job as a market research interviewer can be a good way in.
Sales roles – there are a few graduate schemes which are well advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites. There aren't many internship or placement opportunities to gain experience but typical student jobs in retail and hospitality provide excellent experience. Prospects provides an overview of Sales Graduate Schemes.
Other great ways to gain useful experience:
- Develop a strong social media presence – essential for this type of work.
- Volunteer – many charities advertise voluntary marketing and media volunteering roles through e.g. Volunteer SU and Volunteer Now
- Clubs and Societies – to gain experience in promoting events and encouraging new members to join
- Part-time work – ideally retail experience understanding how to merchandise stock, to up-sell products or to meet/exceed sales targets
- Keep an eye out for Brand Ambassador roles with employers keen to promote awareness of their opportunities on campus. Again, these are often advertised on MyFuture.
- Key Employers
Key Employers– Northern Ireland:
Multi- service agencies: Ardmore ASG Smarts Genesis MXB
Key Employers – UK and Global:
Multi-service agencies: Market Research: AMV BBDO Leo Burnett Gfk Adam & Eve OMD Ipsos Mori Guerilla TBWA Nielsen Havas Worldwide Intro
For opportunities in the Republic of Ireland take a look at some of the Graduate videos related to Marketing on the GradIreland website which profiles some graduate schemes including Jameson Irish Distillers
- Local/ Northern Ireland Opportunities
On Campus resources –
- Careers Fairs – Many of the employers who attend the Graduate and Placement Fair in October and the Work Experience and Placement Fair in January will be recruiting for roles in Sales and Marketing.
- MyFuture – Internships, placements and graduate opportunities.
Many of the in-house roles will be well-advertised on MyFuture and other student and graduate job websites.
For Market Research graduates schemes, in addition to the above, check the companies own websites
Marketing/Communications agencies may advertise junior roles, but speculative approaches can be a more effective way of securing work in these organisations than waiting for junior roles to be advertised.
Unadvertised roles & networking
Self-promotion is important for these types of roles, so take every opportunity to present yourself professionally at employer events on campus and online.
Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:
UK and Global Opportunities
On Campus resources–
- ‘GoinGlobal’– MyFuture/Jobs/GoinGlobal– database of international jobs and internships, key employers and country guides
- Opportunities to internationalise your degree - see the Global Opportunities section of the careers webpages.
- Graduate Recruitment & Placement Fair– annual showcase of NI and international firms with vacancies
Useful sites for finding student and graduate jobs in this sector in UK, Ireland and further afield:
- Professional Related Bodies and Organisations
- Further Reading and Information
Further information resources are available at the Student Guidance Centre Hub (Opening hours: Mon- Fri 09:00- 17:00), including free copies of Gradireland, TargetJobs and Prospects guides plus self-help guides and employer brochures.
This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.
We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.