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Studying a marketing degree – what you need to know

Deciding to go into further education is a great move.  You may be deciding between a few subjects and may be considering marketing. Fortico Media has lots of marketing professionals and many of us studied marketing at university. We’ve been through the process and seen the other side. So we are here to guide you in choosing a marketing degree and what you can expect from studying marketing.

Deciding whether you should do a marketing degree

There are many factors on deciding what degree you should do and depends on what kind of person you are. There are two types of marketing degrees – Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS).

Bachelor of Arts

A BA usually focuses on the humanitarian side of marketing. This involves more theoretical and more creative work. If you enjoyed studying English, graphic design, media studies or any art then you will most likely enjoy marketing courses with a BA.

Bachelor of Science

A BS usually focuses on the economic impact and scientific side of marketing. It usually involves more statistical, business-related and psychology side of marketing. If you enjoyed science, psychology, economics or maths subjects then you will most likely enjoy marketing courses with a BS.

It is worth pointing out that most courses are not solely scientific or creative. Many courses will modules have overlaps of creative and scientific subjects. Many BA courses will have an economic module and many BS will have a creative module.

Choosing a university

Once you have decided on a degree to choose, the next step is choosing a university to go to. There are 106 universities to choose from in the UK and many have their disadvantages and advantages.

Course Quality

Your first priority is to choose a university that has a good rating for the degree you wish to do. Considering you will be saddled with 35k-40k worth of debt, you better make it worth it. You can check the best universities for your subject here. Consider checking forums, such as The Student Room, to see what current students think of the course at a specific university. For marketing, the best course (according to The Complete University Guide 2017) is at the University of Bath.

What Grades You Will Need

Getting into university will depend on your ability to achieve the grade requirements. A better university will most likely require a higher number of UCAS points. For example, the University of Bath requires AAA or A*AB at A-Level. It is always good to aim for a better university. But have a backup university with a lower entry requirement in case you get the grades.

Employment Rates, Masters & Professional Accreditations

Consider the success rates of employment/doing a post-graduate degree after graduating from each university. There’s no point in going to university if it isn’t going to enhance your future employment prospects. Some university offers services that help their graduates get into employment. So it is worthwhile checking to see whether they provide this.

Some universities will allow students studying marketing to gain extra professional accreditations, such as a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), a PRINCE2 or become Google Certified. When deciding, see if these can be achieved while studying.

Campus or Town

Choosing between these depends on what kind of learning environment you like. If you like being at the heart of the university, with little distractions, then a campus university is for you. On the flipside, if you want to be at the heart of a bustling city with plenty of amenities, then a university within a town may be ideal.

Both have their up and downsides. One such example is the ability to find a marketing placement while at the university. A town-based university will be easier to find compared to a campus university.

What is life like once I start studying?

Our experience varies from university to university. One thing we can all agree on is that university was the best time of our lives. We all made great friends, probably had one too many nights out, learned a lot and achieved the results that we needed to get into an entry-level position within marketing.

Life studying marketing was good but not always easy. There are lots of late nights writing essays for looming deadlines and cramming for exams the next day (imagine reading Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection at 3 am on a Monday morning and you get the gist).

Lectures would sometimes drone on and on with a dull PowerPoint presentation. But these would normally be backed up with a really enthusiastic teacher or a really interesting subject. Debates were also the greatest part of university as it tested your intellectual ability and knowledge on a subject. With marketing, since large parts are theory-based, there is no right or wrong. But it is always fun to try and convince your fellow student and lecturer to your way of thinking.

Can I Get into Marketing Without Going to University?

Many marketing positions now need a university degree to be considered for that role. That said, it is possible to get into a marketing role without having a degree. But by not going to university, it will make a hard task even more difficult.

Many agencies and marketing departments within companies do apprenticeship schemes to 18-year-olds. These are found on job sites and the government apprenticeship website (www.getingofar.gov.uk). Apprenticeships don’t pay well (the minimum wage of apprentices aged 16-18 or if you are in your first year but over 19 years old it is £3.30 an hour). However, some prestigious apprenticeships can pay up to £500 per week. But these are much harder to come by.

The experience you can gain at work is sometimes more valuable compared to the experience at university. Having hands-on experience within the industry is extremely desirable. A candidate with experience that is backed up with education is exactly what many agencies are looking for.

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