Joining a marketing programme gives you an insight into the marketing functions of a business and how this fits in with the overall company vision

A graduate scheme can provide you with the high-level training and support needed to develop your skills, while encouraging you to take responsibility for your decisions, come up with new and innovative ideas, and learn from your leaders and peers.

The media industry

Whether you have a marketing degree or not there are lots of opportunities available in the media sector.

While Virgin Media doesn't run a specific marketing scheme, its two-year customer graduate programme is split into six-month placements across its commercial, marketing, product and digital teams.

As well as a 2:1 in any subject you'll need a head for business and an interest in commercial revenues, marketing and data. Based in Hammersmith you'll be rewarded with a £30,000 salary and a £2,000 welcome bonus.

Upon completion of the scheme, it's expected that you'll be ready to take on a managerial position in one of its business divisions, where you can put your finely-honed marketing skills to work.

Mobile and internet

Leading mobile network operator and internet service provider BT runs a two-year marketing scheme, working across its marketing and sales divisions.

You'll be involved in everything from content production and market research to social engagement and internal communications. In your second year you'll have the opportunity to study towards your Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Diploma in Professional Marketing.

Based in London you'll need a 2:1 or a 2:2 with a postgraduate qualification to get onto the scheme. Once on the scheme you’ll be rewarded with a salary of £28,250.

Vodafone offer a number of two-year graduate programmes many of which have a marketing element to them. For example, the commercial programme covers brand and digital marketing, customer experience and products and services.

You need a 2:2 ideally in a digital marketing or business-related degree, creativity, resilience and a curiosity and passion for technology and the future of digital.

Hospitality and events

If food and drink is more your thing then you could join the 12-month marketing graduate scheme with Mitchells & Butler. Comprising several rotational placements within the brand marketing team you'll focus on the digital, CRM and PR elements of marketing. A line manager, placement manager and a buddy will help you through the programme.

The company asks for three A-levels (ABB), a 2:1 degree and some experience of operations/retail work. A brand new company car, a starting salary of £27,500 and discounts across all of its brands are just some of the benefits on offer.

While many of the other businesses within the hospitality and events management industry are small and medium-sized enterprises, other graduate programmes with the option to focus on marketing include Compass Group UK & Ireland and Whitbread.

Marketing programmes in other sectors

  • Finance - The two-year KPMG Business Services graduate programme gives you the opportunity to gain experience as a sales and marketing professional.
  • Consumer goods manufacturing - Nestlé (Shredded Wheat, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Purina) Unilever (Dove, Flora, Comfort, Lynx, Marmite), Procter & Gamble (Ariel, Fairy, Gillette, Oral-B, Pampers), Associated British Foods (Jordans, Twinings, Kingsmill, Patak's) and Diageo (Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness, Captain Morgan) all have marketing programmes for graduates.
  • Energy - Centrica (British Gas) runs a scheme in commercial marketing, which lasts for two years and three months. It's initially available UK-wide, but it culminates in a job based in Staines or London.
  • Healthcare - There are two commercial management streams (consumer healthcare or pharmaceuticals) on GSK's (GlaxoSmithKline) Future Leaders programme for those looking to mix commercial expertise with knowledge of healthcare products. Both programmes, of one to three years in duration, include a rotation in marketing.
  • Retail - The corporate strand of the Morrisons graduate scheme also provides an opportunity for graduates to work in the retailer's marketing team, and cosmetics company L’Oréal's management training programme also has a marketing component.

Advertising graduate schemes

Top UK agencies that annually recruit for their advertising graduate schemes include the likes of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which is looking to take on graduates through its AMV Academy, M&C Saatchi, with its M&C Saatchi Future training scheme that also encourages applications from those without a degree, and Publicis Worldwide UK.

PR graduate schemes

Public relations, public affairs and the corporate communications industry is another popular career destination for graduates. Employers running PR graduate schemes include

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