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Advertising, Marketing & PR

These sectors are increasingly popular. They are open to graduates from all disciplines, constantly changing and extremely diverse in terms of job role and working environments. You could work for a big corporation, public sector organisation or within the third sector. You might work in-house, within an agency on client accounts, or for yourself.

Examples of jobs in the sector include marketing executive, account manager (advertising agency), PR consultant, copywriter or media planner.

Because of the range of roles and employers, it’s important to research well and not over generalise when thinking about if these sectors might suit you or not. Some careers will suit a creative skillset, or love of presenting and building client relationships. Others are much more based on data analysis and working across an organisation on business strategy. This variety can be found across seemingly similar sounding organisations, for example media agencies. Or across roles with the same job titles, for example, marketing executive.

For sector statistics, please visit the Media (including Advertising and Marketing) Industry Report on My Career Zone Digital. Note that this report is media focused, so also includes publishing and it doesn’t represent marketing particularly well. So do use alongside other resources below, for a more accurate overview of careers in these sectors.

Don’t let popularity put you off considering a career in advertising, PR or marketing. There are many opportunities and different ways in, post-graduate study isn’t essential (though may be part of your development), and there are chances to build your experience all around you.

Career Zone Employability Schemes

These employability schemes can help increase your work experience and networks in this area.

  • Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremelyuseful, so try to get relevant vacation work or placements.  
  • Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Pathways to Marketing: A sector specific training programme, consisting of courses and a paid week-long internship that takes place in June or July.  

Information Resources 

Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector. 

To see if there are any Exeter alumni working in this sector that you can get in touch with, go to the LinkedIn Alumni tool

If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful: 

For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.

As many large organisations have their own marketing departments there are graduate schemes available across most sectors. Graduate schemes are focused on training on the job, supported by professionals experienced in the area and by training and development opportunities. Sometimes this will include industry qualifications specific to marketing, but you may also have a variety of projects in other parts of the business over the duration of the scheme, in order to give you a broader understanding of the organisation as a whole.

Advertising and PR agencies, or in-house roles are more commonly graduate jobs at assistant level, rather than a scheme. Many graduates also enter marketing as a marketing assistant, within a central marketing department, or within another part of the organisation.

The Bright Network provides a useful summary of graduate schemes in marketing and graduate roles in Advertising and PR.

Make the most of the employability schemes listed above, but don’t worry too much if you don’t secure something officially advertised as an internship. As with graduate jobs, speculative approaches may be needed.

Equally valuable experience might be to take on voluntary or personal projects. For example, marketing or PR for a student society, charity, or a small business owner you know. These really are areas of work you can get involved in quite easily, compared to some sectors. You can also demonstrate your interest with short courses, reading case studies, attending events and following media campaigns to stimulate your own ideas and opinions. Professional bodies are a good way to learn about these opportunities.

For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful: 

As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively

Being a member of a professional body is optional. However, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector. You don’t need to be a member to access lots of useful information.


If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study. 

It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).