Advertising, marketing and PR

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This sector not for you?  Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.

This broad sector is a popular career area for many as it welcomes graduates from many different degree disciplines. Understanding people and why they make the choices they do, then putting an effective strategy in place to influence those choices is at the heart of marketing.

A key decision will be whether you would prefer to work "in house" within a marketing department, or for an agency offering marketing services to a number of clients. Although the tasks may be similar, working relationships will be very different and will require different sets of skills.

Find out about advertising, marketing and PR

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:

  • trade news from Campaign, Marketing Week and The Drum
  • social media accounts of marketing, advertising and PR companies, who often post about sector developments
  • reference books and journals in the Careers and Placements information room:
    • Campaign
    • PR week
    • Campaign: the A list.

What skills do I need?

There are many different jobs in this sector, but these skills are common requirements:

  • communication
  • negotiation
  • using your inititative
  • problem solving
  • time management and ability to work well under pressure
  • organisation
  • numeracy
  • creativity and innovation
  • commercial awareness
  • IT.

You don’t need a degree in marketing, advertising or PR to work in this sector, as many employers value your skills and experiences over what you’ve studied.

However, a relevant degree, including any that develops your creativity and communication skills, could help you demonstrate your skills and interest in the sector.

The diagonal thinking tool is designed to help you assess your suitability for this sector.

Work experience

Competition for graduate schemes and graduate level jobs in this sector is high, so getting work experience while you study is essential. Read the information sheet on getting work experience to get an idea of how to go about this. You could:

  • Consider a summer internship - many of the large graduate recruiters in the sector also offer internships, as well as the Student Internship Bureau in Careers and Placements.
  • Look into doing a placement year - you'll learn more about the sector and increase you chances of getting a graduate job.
  • Send speculative applications to small firms - many smaller companies don’t advertise formal internships but are willing to offer work experience if you impress them with your CV.
  • Volunteer in your local community - there are many opportunities to develop your marketing and communications skills.

Finding jobs

Jobs are advertised on:

You will find major graduate schemes advertised on Careers Gateway and other graduate job websites like Target Jobs and Prospects Jobs.

What can I do at York?

Use your time at York to develop your skills and experience to help you get a job in this sector. You could:

  • Apply for an internship through Careers Gateway - the Student Internship Bureau advertise summer internships exclusively for York students.
  • Consider volunteering in the local community. We advertise events and marketing opportunities each year for students interested in developing their skills.
  • Join a student society and get involved - as well as having fun, you'll be developing skills such as teamwork, organisation, project management and more.
  • Keep an eye out for events organised by Careers and Placements, including recruitment fairs and talks by employers.
  • Start networking by reading about York graduates on York Profiles and Mentors and sending questions to people working in advertising, marketing and PR. Use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to build your network - read our information sheet on networking for help.
  • Take advantage of free access to trade journals like PR weekly and Campaign, which you can read in the Careers and Placements information room.