Marketing is a popular field, which can make breaking in challenging. The industry allows you to be creative and there is enough diversity in assignments that you will rarely be bored. While not the best compensated career at the entry-level, there is tremendous opportunity to grow. Every field, from tech to healthcare, requires a marketing department. Due to its popularity, it can be stressful due to the challenges in finding a job. The good news is that once you are employed in the field, you should be able to move up the career ladder based on your merits. If you are interested in sticking with marketing long term, finding that initial job is worth the effort.
Have a College Degree
Lower level work is often made up of individuals who were promoted into those jobs from administrative positions. While this makes it seem like an undergraduate degree may not be necessary, you are making your life more difficult by skipping this step. Once you are ready to progress out of the entry-level work, you will find a degree is an important tool. Your competition will likely have their degree. Having an undergraduate degree helps level the playing field.
If finances are a concern, consider taking out private student loans. These loans allow you to cover all costs associated with your degree, including living expenses. This is valuable as it frees you up for internships and other opportunities that you may miss if you are trying to work and go to school at the same time. Private student loans do require qualification by checking creditworthiness. Having a cosigner for your private student loans increases your odds of approval. A family member with solid credit makes an excellent cosigner.
Work with your college to find available internships. Marketing is a field where a solid internship experience can make the job hunt much easier. You may get a return offer from the same company after graduation, or you may find the networking involved opens doors at other companies. If your school doesn’t have a strong internship program, you may be on your own to find a position. You can find internships listed on many job boards. While holding down an internship, treat it like a job. Even if it seems you are just making coffee and answering the phones, you should always pay attention to what is going on around you. Projects can move slowly for a while, then reach a frantic pitch as deadlines approach. If you have been paying attention, and letting others know you are available for an assignment, you may find yourself recruited for some marketing duties when crunch time hits.
Once you land that first marketing job, you may feel like you will never want to leave. However, marketing has a great career path and you will want to move up the ladder. While many companies promote from within, you may find that advancing this way limits your salary. Often making jumps to competing companies to move up the career ladder is the best way to make sure your salary keeps pace with your title.