Employability is the combination of factors and processes that enable people to progress towards or get into employment, to stay in employment and to move in the workplace.
The purpose of this report is to discuss the opportunities I as a graduate go through after the completion of my degree, what the employers are looking for in an employee, as well as the role marketers or marketing related careers play in enterprises, then finally the knowledge, skills and attitude I have and hope to obtain.
I have always wanted to work in the marketing sector so I have compiled analysis of six different companies, which consist of large-scale companies, small, and medium sized companies.
I have used a mixture of analysis to compare various methods that can be used to start a career in the marketing sector and also be successful in the field.
I have decided to work in the marketing sector because it provides many job opportunities such as personal selling, advertising, packaging, transport, product development and retailing.
2. OCCUPATIONAL RESEARCH
This section of the report would examine the factual reflections of the findings from the occupation.
2.1 Terms of reference
The purpose of this report is to look at the graduate opportunities in the UK marketing sector. Research will be made on six different organisations in this sector. The main aim is to show what has to be achieved and how to achieve it.
The methods used to approach this research were carried out through primary and secondary resources. The primary research was used to exchange e-mails with one of the staffs of Business Monitor International and PKF to clarify some issues. However most of the research done on this report was from information gathered online which is the secondary research such as graduate job websites like prospect, inside careers and also watching some videos on employability. The companies’ websites were used to get more information. The organizations used in this reportare Standard Life, Glaxo Smith Kline, Akzo nobel corporate, Business monitor international, PKF and Sanofi Aventis.
2.3 Main findings
In marketing, there are variety of challenging and interesting job opportunities such as retailing, market research, personal selling and wholesaling. In addition from my findings, there are so many individuals who are employed in non-business organizations that are also engaged in marketing activities. The skills from marketing are used to promote civic, political, cultural and charitable activities, even if an individual earns a living through marketing activities or performs them without compensation in non-business settings, the knowledge and skills gained from marketing are valuable assets. Our highly complex economy relies heavily on marketing activities. The economy produces the profits that are necessary for the growth of individual businesses and also provide health and ultimate survival for the economy as a whole. In essence the general employment trend must be known. According to the survey by BBC, it claims that graduate unemployment rose by 25%. The higher education policy institute said in December 2008 the unemployment level rose from 11.9% to 25% among graduates aged under 24. It also said that 17.2% of male graduates were out of work compared with 11.2% of females as at the end of 2009. The report from the institute came a day after a research body had warned that unemployed graduate level could hit record levels as a result of planned public spending cuts. The Higher Education Career Service Unit (HECSU) said that because so many college leavers join the public sector, they were especially vulnerable to cuts. According to the guardian survey, it claims that the unemployment figures are set to rise by 22,000. However those leaving university during the summer face the most difficult job market in more than a decade. There are up to 22,000 more graduate whom are likely to be unemployed this year compared to last figures. The Higher Education Career Service Unit (HECSU) calculated at least one in 10 of this summer’s graduates would not be successful to find a job after six months they leave university, which is equivalent to about 35,000 and 40,000 graduates out of the 350,000 leaving UK universities after first degrees. There are many opportunities for marketing degree holders. There are lots of organisations that are recruiting graduates in marketing or marketing related occupations. According to the Witan Jardine growth statistics marketing opportunities have grown by 47% from last year and experienced growth of 5% over the last quarter. The opportunities in the marketing financial sector grew by 30%, which made an increase of 29% over the last quarter. The media sector roles in marketing for graduates increased by 25% year on year. The professional services marketing roles have soared by 77% compared to January 2006. (Ambition, 2009)
Marketing is a very popular career for graduates. Last year, there were 17,000 students who graduated with degrees in marketing, and the research by the Marketing and Sales Standard Setting Body (MSSSB) claims that 580,000 people in the UK are employed in marketing roles. (Inside careers, 2011)
There are important roles for graduates in the marketing sector in the future especially those who want to go into retailing. The retail sector is said to accounts for more than 10% of jobs in England. There were 2,777,000 people employed in the retail sector in 2002, the amount of people employed in the retail sector was predicted to rise to 2,869,000 in 2005 and continued growth forecast through to 2012. In 2012 it is predicted that over 250,000 new jobs are expected in this sector. However, there is going to be replacement demand whereby there will be need for new people to replace those leaving the sector is predicted to be five times this figure, with sales and customer service occupations alone needing almost half a million people to replace those leaving the sector (National Guidance Research Forum, 2010). As a marketing graduate your responsibilities can vary depending on the size of the organization and sector and also whether the focus is on selling a product, service or raising awareness of an issue that affects the public.
A recent marketing degree holder can play roles in organization such as liaising and networking with wide range of stakeholders like colleagues, customers, partner organizations and suppliers. One could also communicate with his target audience and also managing their customers’ relationships. One can also generate advertising opportunities and placing adverts in the press locally, regional, national and specialist publications or on the radio, depending on the organization and the campaign. As a marketing degree holder, one could ensure there is effective distribution of marketing materials, and also maintain and update customer database. One could also attend and organize events such as seminars, conference, exhibition and receptions. Marketing graduate could organize marketing research such as creating customer questionnaire, focus groups and also contributing to the development of marketing plans and strategies (Prospects, 2009). These jobs are advertised in newspapers and magazines such as marketing week, they can also be found online in job search sites like prospects, graduate-jobs, inside careers etc. Based on the research done on the organisations, there are some key skills, knowledge and experience expected from a marketing graduate. These organisations are looking for people that are highly organized and proactive, with the ability to do different tasks simultaneously to meet deadlines. They are interested in people with the ability to work both independently and in a team environment. A core skill expected is ability to interact and maintain beneficial relationships with other teams across the business. High level of competency in Microsoft office, particularly excel is expected. They also search for people with good skills in leadership with ability to influence without authority in a matrix environment. They are also interested in people who have excellent written and verbal communication skills and also those that can speak good English. As a marketing graduate a lot is expected, only in very exceptional circumstances that organisations accept application from people who don’t meet their academic requirements. This means that the applicant has to provide strong justification for why the organisation should accept him/her. The minimum academic criteria expected by their organisations are minimum of at least 280 UCAS points with a first class or 2:1 degree.
The selection process is done step by step. It is a chance for the graduate to show the organisation what they are made of and that they have the skills required. The first step is to fill in an online application form. This gives you the chance to tell the organisation a bit about yourself and also include your CV and cover letter. The second step is to take an online verbal and numerical reasoning test. The third step is a telephone interview to discuss your understanding of the role you have applied for. The forth step is to attend an assessment centre to meet members of the organisation. The fifth step is to receive an offer.
3. PERSONAL REFELCTION
In this section of the report, I am going to reflect upon and evaluate my current skills, knowledge and experience in relation to the ones required by the organisation I have researched on.
3.1 Personal analysis
During the course of my study, I developed some key skills such as working both independently and also as a group. I worked as a group in my coursework that enabled me to play roles like encouraging the group when motivation is low. During my research, I identified that I need good leadership skills. These leadership skills have been achieved as a group leader in university coursework that also enabled mi to take responsibility for the direction and action of the group. I have developed my interpersonal skills, I have also developed skills to be able to use my own initiative as well as problem solving skills. I strongly believe with my academic achievement, skills and experience, I definitely have a career in marketing.
3.2 CV & Covering letter
My CV and covering letter are addressed to Business monitor international. See appendix
3.3 Gap analysis
Gap analysis is the space between where we are and where we want to be. I have developed some skills that I am confident in. I am confident in my team working skills. I have good interpersonal skills especially in the way I carry myself. In general I have most of the skills these organisations are looking for. However, there are some areas that I really need to focus my personal development like my presentation skills; I lack the confidence to speak in public. I also lack a little bit of computing skills such as using Microsoft office excel. I intend on improving the skills that I am weak at by going for public speaking programmes and career fares to improve on my confidence level. I also plan on using self guide on how to use Microsoft excel to improve on my computing skills.
3.4 Career action plan
See appendix 6.3 page 11
In conclusion, this research has given me wide range of knowledge about the recent employment trends for graduates in the marketing sector and also more knowledge about different roles and skills required. While I was doing this report, it helped me realise what knowledge and skills I have now. In general, my career action plan would also help me as a guideline to enable me meet my goals.
5. REFERENCES AND BIBILIOGRAPHY
Akzo Nobel (2010) What do we look forAvailable at http://www.akzonobel.com/careers/graduates/what_we_look_for/index.aspx [Accessed 15th march 2011]
Ambition (2008) Marketing & Sales Recruitment Trends, Available at http://www.ambition.co.uk/sales-marketing-jobs/recruitment-trends.asp [Accessed 19th march 2011]
BBC (2010) Graduate unemployment rate rises 25%, Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10500124 [Accessed 20th march 2011]
Business Monitor International (2011) Employment listing, Available at https://www5jh.openhire.com/epostings/submit.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=173530&company_id=1005&source=ONLINE&JobOwner=992284&bycountry=1&bystate=0&bylocation=GB%2E&keywords=&byCat=38747&tosearch [Accessed 14th march 2011]
Glaxo Smith Kline (2010) Experienced hires: search and apply, Available at http://www.gsk.com/careers/uk-saa-jobsearch.htm [Accessed 15th march 2011]
Inside career (2011) skills required for marketing, Available at http://www.insidecareers.co.uk/__802574D800556E37.nsf/id/7nwndntden!opendocument [Accessed 20th march 2011]
National Guidance Research Forum (2010) LMI future trends, Available at http://www.guidance-research.org/future-trends/retail/info/futureemp [Accessed 20th march 2011]
PKF accountants and business advisers (2010) The PKF experience, Available at http://www.pkf.co.uk/pkf/careers/work_experience/home [Accessed 15th march 2011]
Prospects (2009). Marketing executive: Job description and activities, Available at http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk/p/types_of_job/marketing_executive_job_description.jsp [Accessed 22nd march
Sanofi Aventis (2010). Job Details, Available at http://www24.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_sanofiaventis01.asp?s=bkMjPUrEcTFkHhTcz&jobid=54551,2221122152&key=12073363&c=865256627269&pagestamp=sewfxdjbvkssyzdycm [Accessed 22nd march 2011]
Standard life (2011) sales and marketing, Available at http://www.standardlife.com/careers/graduates/grad_sales_marketing.html [Accessed 15th march 2011]
The guardian (2009) Graduate unemployment figures set to rise by 22,000, Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jul/02/graduate-unemployment-rise-recession-jobs [Accessed 20th march 2011]