How can my daughter get into marketing?

10 March 2014


My daughter wants to get into marketing. Her university adviser has told her that she's doing the wrong degree for a career in marketing, as she's studying English literature. Should she have chosen a marketing degree?Also, can she complete further studies with a marketing angle or should she try to get a job in marketing using her current degree? She is due to finish in May 2014 with a first or 2:1.
Helen Booker/via email


It's great to hear that your daughter has an interest in a career before graduation, although I'd like to know more about how she has decided on marketing as it has a very glamorous reputation and not everyone appreciates that it can be very hard work.

Vocational degrees have their place where there is no choice, such as medicine. However, going for solid and more traditional subjects such as English or History gives one greater flexibility and a broader range of transferable skills.

So I think she has made a good decision in choosing an English literature degree because it is an excellent grounding for marketing: it teaches analysis and a range of communication skills within a broad context. What is more, an English degree has far greater scope should she decide, at any point, that she wants to pursue other options.

The most important thing to decide with any degree choice is how good you are at it. The class of the degree is often more important than the subject, with many employers offering full training programmes, so all your daughter needs to focus on is getting that 2:1 or first.

Then her priorities should be trying to get some relevant work experience. I think it is always better to start work as quickly as possible and gain any further qualifications supported by an employer in a relevant environment.

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