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Sales & Marketing

OVERVIEW

A career in sales can offer very exciting opportunities. The sales environment can be fast-paced, exciting and it can also be hugely rewarding personally (and financially if you are good at it!).

A role in the marketing industry can incorporate many different elements, from running promotions, to designing advertisements. A marketing role may also include some aspect of business development and sales.

Both industries are linked together as both help to generate revenue, though both offer different career paths and job opportunities.

Marketing

A career in marketing can be either in-house (marketing for one company) or in an agency (working on projects for lots of companies). An in-house role allows you to focus your attention on promoting your own company. An in-house marketing department will create the overall strategy for all marketing communications and campaigns, helping to promote the company’s products or services to its customers.

An agency differs in that you create marketing campaigns for external companies. You could be working on many different projects at any one time, and this can involve many different types of marketing (online, offline, events, PR etc), depending on the budget that has been allocated.

A career in marketing will see you use creativity to help devise new campaigns and ideas, but it also involves a lot of organisation, research and planning.

Sales

A career in sales isn’t just about making the customer aware of the product or service, it involves actively persuading them to purchase it. This can be done over the phone, on the internet or even door-to-door. Sales roles are available in many different industries, including tech, healthcare, insurance and tourism. You can also have a sales-focused career in industries such as recruitment or in the charity sector.

A career in sales can be lucrative, but it requires you to be target-driven and dedicated. The target usually involves you having to generate a certain amount of sales revenue for the company each month, which is done by selling. With a target comes commission, and this is where you can earn lots of extra money. If you meet or exceed your target you usually receive a commission payment or a bonus, which can sometimes double your wage! Some people love the idea of having a target which they can smash each month. If you don’t like the idea of a target hanging over you each month, a career in sales is not for you.

KEY SKILLS

Creative Analytical Confident Target-driven Communication Project Management Organisation Time-management Commercial Awareness Planning Research Customer Service

MAJOR PLAYERS

Northern Ireland has lots of opportunities in the sales and marketing industry. With successful marketing agencies such as Jago Communications, AV Browne, Yellow Design and Origin Digital working with some huge names such as Moy Park, Deloitte and Danske Bank, a career in this industry can provide great opportunities for you to get hands-on experience in a variety of exciting projects with big brand names.

There are also opportunities for sales roles within these agencies, as some may require Account Managers to manage relationships with clients and generate additional sales through up-selling or cross-selling for example. Many different types of employers will require salespeople to work for them, from recruitment agencies such as Abacus Careers, to healthcare companies who need Business Development Executives to go out and generate business.

Job Opportunities

Job Title
EY Technology Consulting Graduate Programme
Belfast
Up to £20,000
Graduate Job
Large (250+ staff)

What is Technology Consulting at EY? Our job is to understand what technological challenges our clients are facing, and then find the best solutions to help them improve how they work. Our teams specialise in a range of skills from those with existing programming expertise to those from an unrelated background but the desire to […]

Job Title
EY EMEIA Tax Centre Graduate Programme
Belfast
Up to £20,000
Graduate Job
Large (250+ staff)

“The scope and role of the tax function are changing. Disruptive forces, such as globalization, transparency and digitization, have given rise to both enhanced regulatory scrutiny and more complex business models. The tax function’s focus is consequently expanding from technical reporting, compliance and tax planning, to technology and digital tax, tax-related risk management and business-enabled […]

See all available jobs in the Sales & Marketing Sector

View Sales & Marketing Jobs

KEY FACTS

£21,875 is the average salary for a graduate in marketing

37 courses offering marketing in Ulster University

In a survey of 4,084 marketing professionals, 54% said they do not have a marketing qualification

PERKS AND BENEFITS

Salaries on a graduate scheme tend to be bigger compared with the salary for an entry level position. The salary for a graduate scheme can start anywhere from £21,000 up to £24,000, whilst entry level jobs usually start around £18,000-£20,000.

Everything is online now (as we all know), which has brought a growth in demand for digital marketers. The more experience you have in this area with knowledge and results that you can demonstrate, means you can earn slightly more in this area compared with other areas of marketing.

In a sales role the starting salary might be £18,000, but (with commission), you can potentially earn up to £30,000 or more if you meet targets.

A recent salary survey of marketing employees found that the top benefits in the eyes of Marketing professionals in the UK were:

  • Flexible working
  • Contributory pensions
  • Training courses
  • Bonuses
  • Healthcare

Benefits will vary depending on the employer, the role and the industry you enter. For example, if you start a business development (sales) role in a tech company, you may receive a company phone and laptop. However, this may not be the case if you start an entry level job as an admin assistant in a small company. Other optional benefits an employer may offer include: discounted meals, flexible working hours, subsidised gym membership and dental care plans.

perks and benefits

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TYPICAL ROLES IN MARKETING

1
Digital Marketer
2
Market Research
3
Marketing Executive
4
Public Relations Officer
5
Marketing Assistant
View Sales & Marketing Jobs

Typical Roles in Sales

1
Sales Advisor
2
Recruitment Consultant
3
Sales Representative
4
Business Development Executive
5
Sales Promotion Account Executive
View Sales & Marketing Jobs

VIDEOS

What is a graduate programme?

From Sales Graduate to Sales Manager

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ROUTES TO ENTRY

If you want to pursue a career in sales & marketing you have lots of options available. Ulster University offer 37 undergraduate courses that contain Marketing, ranging from a pure Marketing degree, to Communication, Advertising & Marketing, Law with Marketing. Or you can choose the more general course of Business Studies, which teaches you lots of different areas of business. Queen’s doesn’t offer any specific marketing courses, however they have a variety of business courses such as: Business Economics and Business Management.

There are lots of companies out there who offer internships and graduate schemes for marketing or business students. Internships can be undertaken during your study and although they may be unpaid, they can lead to an offer of a permanent (paid) role. Graduate schemes can be very competitive and many employers ask for you to achieve a 2:1 or higher in order to secure your place.  However, in the marketing world, experience can be golden so if you have a 2:2 and also have lots of experience, this can be more impressive to an employer than someone with a first-class degree with no experience.

The best time of year to look for these kind of roles is from September up until Christmas time. Deadlines will come quicker than you think and applying whilst you are juggling uni work can be a bit manic, so it is important that you get your CV and cover letter up to date sooner rather than later.

If an internship or graduate scheme aren’t for you, you can always hold out for an entry level job. You can find these on job boards (like this one right here!), search engines or through social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, which is becoming more popular.

Courses Available

Ulster Uni

Ulster University

37+ Courses
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WHAT IF UNI ISN'T FOR ME?

The sales and marketing industry is different to some other industries in that you don’t always need a degree to have a career in it. Some roles will require it, but some may not and may be more interested in your experience. Explore the market for roles such as Marketing Assistant, as roles such as this won’t always ask for a degree. Another possible route to entry could be starting off in a sales role and working your way into a marketing role should you show good potential.

Undertaking an internship at a firm to try and learn the ropes is a good way to add to your CV and gain some experience. If you have a particular interest in writing content for example, working freelance for a company on their website blogs can be a way to hone your skill and gain some experience. Try and keep up to date with the latest industry developments by subscribing to sites like Marketing Week.

Higher Apprenticeship
Degree Apprenticeship
Degree
Foundation Degree
what if uni isn't for me?

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Industry Partners

The Chartered Institute of Marketing

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is a professional marketing body. It has over 30,000 members, including more than 3,000 registered Chartered Marketers.

visit website
The Chartered Management Institute

The Chartered Management Institute is an accredited professional institution for management based in the United Kingdom.

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Sign up to radar

Sign up to Radar for the latest student and graduate opportunities from across Northern Ireland, receive careers advice, and be the first to know about our careers events. Find your career today