It is possible to find a way into a marketing career without going to university or doing a professional qualification but what you lack on paper you will need to make up for in experience.
If you are considering bypassing further education or university to try and get straight into marketing, then you do have a number of options available to you:
Are you looking to move away from your current career and into marketing? Check out our guide to transferring careers.
You need to be able to package up your existing experience in a way that applies to the role in marketing you wish to pursue.
Is it really possible to have a career in Marketing without going to university?
Yes, in fact its a great career path for that very reason but the only way you will be able to get employers to pay attention to your CV is if you can demonstrate a good understanding of marketing disciplines and techniques relevant to the role you want alongside some actual marketing experience.
Listed below are a couple of things you can do to improve your CV without having to invest in expensive qualifications.
Attend events and workshops
A great way to keep up to date with what is happening in marketing, learn new skills and network. You can find local marketing events on CIM, IDM, Orchard, Econsultancy and Marketing Week websites as well as our own event calendar, and be sure to see what’s on at local colleges and universities as they sometimes offer lectures and seminars in marketing.
Join an institute
This gives you access to additional marketing resources and reduced rates to events. Affiliate membership with the CIM starts from £124 a year and once you have joined you can enroll onto the CPD programme, if you can demonstrate 35 hours of learning a year you qualify for the CPD certificate, it’s not a qualification but it is a great way to boost your CV and show employers you are an up-to-date marketer for very little money. Click here for our overview of professional memberships.
Starting a blog or website is a great way to show off your digital marketing skills and also develop them. Your blog could be about marketing, your hobbies, or even just to write about the events you are attending and add some commentary about the topics.
Blogging will allow you to flex some marketing muscle and show employers you know how to operate a website platform (like wordpress), use CMS, write content for the web and promote your blog through social media – all of which most marketers will be expected to use on a day-to-day basis.
Check out our complete guide to setting up a blog.
Networking will connect you with other marketers and potential employers, its always useful to have industry contacts and it also gives you the opportunity to speak to people about their career journeys.
Check out our events calendar for marketing networking events in your area and meet-ups is also a great website to use. Click here to see our full guide on networking.
LinkedIn is one way you can network from the comfort of your own home. There are many marketing groups on LinkedIn and most conversation threads are open to everyone; it’s a great way to learn from experienced marketers and to share your own insights.
Don’t get put off
by job applications that suggest a degree or professional qualification as a pre-requisite, having a qualification is an indication of knowledge, it doesn’t prove you can do the job and employers will not overlook your CV if you have plenty to suggest you have up-to-date marketing skills.
There are plenty of graduates out there with marketing degrees lying dormant because they didn’t bother to gain enough experience to break through into the industry so their CVs were overlooked.
Some industries may be tighter on the requirement of having a degree or qualification – this tends to be more common in industries like finance and law – but if in doubt ask, email companies you like the look of and see what they say, you don’t ask you don’t get!