Your Guide to Landing an Entry-Level Marketing Job

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover the different options available in the marketing industry and how to start your career with entry-level marketing jobs. Learn about the qualifications and how to progress further in the marketing industry.

[Featured image] A woman is at home using her laptop to search for entry-level marketing jobs.

A marketing career offers many options, with a host of specializations from content marketing, digital marketing, to advertising. With no set pathway to enter the profession, it’s common to start in a junior or entry-level position to gain experience and transition to a more senior role. 

Learn more about different types of entry-level marketing jobs, how to prepare to enter the industry, and how to expand your qualifications once you're there.

What is marketing?

Marketing is how companies attract customers by promoting and selling their products and services. The term is broad and includes market research and analysis, advertising, as well as delivering a message through digital means, wording, and branding. Marketing can be further broken down into types or strategies:

  • Social media marketing: Using social media to promote and introduce products and services.

  • Influencer marketing: Collaborating with credible individuals who endorse products through social media, links, and online content.

  • Content marketing: Creating and sharing material online with blogs, videos, articles, and social media posts to promote products and services.

  • Affiliate marketing: Collaborating and compensating a third party to promote products and services.

  • Email marketing: Promoting products and services via email by creating a mailing list. 

  • Telemarketing: Marketing products and services via the telephone, either with warm leads or cold calling. 

  • Public relations marketing: Building a public company image to facilitate marketing activities. 

How do I prepare for an entry-level role in marketing?

Entering the marketing industry involves gaining some experience and qualifications. You can start by choosing from many entry-level marketing roles to later transition to more senior positions. To maximize your chances of being awarded an entry-level position, consider working on the following:

Get experience.

To gain an entry-level marketing role, you often need to show some experience. To determine the kind of experience that’s most valuable to you, think about the area of marketing that interests you the most.

Internships are a great way to gain on-the-job experience by working with local businesses or charities. Internships may also help you generate projects using your own initiative, examples include:

  • Creating a blog and marketing yourself

  • Creating a Facebook group about an interest 

  • Marketing your creations to others

  • Hosting a fundraising event and marketing it to your local community

Get qualified.

Entry-level marketing positions are competitive, and even though they are an entry point into a profession, they typically still require a certain level of education. Some companies may accept someone without a degree, but having one is usually a minimum requirement, even more, if you’re looking to progress to senior roles.

Having a degree in either marketing, public relations, communication, or a similar field will typically be advantageous; however, employers are looking for relevant skills and experience, so other degrees will often suffice. Since marketing is broad, you may, go into a more technical career, such as analytics, where a computer science degree would be a good match. 

 If you don’t have a degree, or your degree is in an unrelated discipline, taking a marketing course, whether accredited or otherwise, will show your interest and knowledge. Several beginner courses are available to help you enhance your skills in certain areas, like the Meta Marketing Analytics Professional Certificate and Northwestern's Social Media Marketing Specialization.

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professional certificate

Meta Marketing Analytics

Launch Your Career in Marketing Analytics. Build in-demand skills and gain credentials to go from beginner to job-ready in 5 months or less. No degree or prior experience required.

4.6

(984 ratings)

24,307 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Marketing Mix Optimization, Statistics for Marketing, Advertising Effectiveness Evaluation, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Python Programming, Tableau Software, Data Visualization (DataViz), Statistical Analysis, Linear Regression, Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Marketing Mix Modeling, Marketing Plan, A/B Testing, Meta advertising, Social Media Marketing, Ads Manager, Marketing Science, Facebook Advertising

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specialization

Social Media Marketing

Manage Your Social Strategies. Expand your online audience and establish your social brand in five courses.

4.7

(4,271 ratings)

88,967 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Business Planning, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Analytics, Social Marketing, Social Network, Social Media, Marketing Strategy, Writing, A/B Testing, Budget, Planning

Network

Networking is very valuable for building professional connections in the marketing industry. Knowing someone in the field could help you gain an internship, a volunteer role, or even your first entry-level marketing job. You can network with people you already know, sign up for networking events, network online with websites like LinkedIn, or join social media business groups.

Read more: How to Use LinkedIn: A Guide to Online Networking

Entry-level marketing jobs

Now that you’ve learned how to search for a marketing role, it’s time think about the type of role that interests you. Consider the following entry-level marketing jobs that span the various aspects of the field:

*All base salary data sourced from Glassdoor as of June 2022

Marketing assistant

A marketing assistant monitors the success of marketing campaigns. You will generally support the team by identifying ways to improve the campaign results and assisting with marketing projects. This role will allow you to try some of everything, so it’s often an advantageous experience if you’re looking to progress to more senior roles. 

Annual base salary (US): $41,056

Social media assistant

As a social media assistant, you support your team in delivering marketing campaigns across social media platforms. Your job will involve tracking ad results, interacting with followers, and working with content creators to grow a company’s audience.

Annual base salary (US): $37,830

Copywriter

A copywriter can be an entry-level position, though this role can progress with experience and a great portfolio. An entry-level copywriter will usually work in-house for a media agency or company and is responsible for writing content across blogs, social media, ads, and websites. 

Annual base salary (US): $57,599

PR assistant

A PR assistant will assist in writing press releases, researching relevant press outlets to approach, monitoring a company’s public opinion, and ensuring the media portrays the facts accurately. 

Annual base salary (US): $38,376

Media assistant

A media assistant typically processes ad and media contracts, as well as takes care of advertising budgets, tracks ad outcomes, and researches ad data. In this role, you may work with a range of people and help put together media campaigns and determine budgets. 

Annual base salary (US): $42,076

Sales associate

A sales associate takes responsibility for direct sales, which means you approach companies or customers to see if they’re interested in your products and services. This may be face-to-face, over the phone, online, or a combination. While a sales associate is an entry-level role, there is the potential to earn more through bonuses. 

Annual base salary (US): $31,860

Read more: Marketing Careers: 6 Areas to Explore

Qualifications to help advance in your marketing career

Once you have started your marketing career, you may be looking to progress further. Gaining extra qualifications is an effective way to do this. You can look to earn a certification, certificate, a degree in marketing, or you can specialize in an area that complements your experience. Progression in the industry is mainly based on experience so in-house training will often be beneficial too, as well as a willingness to undertake professional development. 

Professional certificates

Earning certificates and digital badges in marketing can enhance your ability to qualify for promotions or change jobs as you progress in your field. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) offers internationally recognized certificates, including its entry-level Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing and executive-level Certificate of Professional Digital Marketing.

On Coursera, pursue a number of Professional Certificates offered by highly competitive organizations to boost your knowledge and employability, such as Social Media Marketing by Meta and Digital Marketing and E-Commerce by Google.

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professional certificate

Meta Social Media Marketing

Launch your career in social media marketing. Build job-ready skills and credentials to go from beginner to job ready in about 5 months. No degree or prior experience required.

4.9

(10,438 ratings)

134,788 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Performance Advertising, Digital Marketing, Brand Management, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Media Marketing Strategy, Content Development, content management, Marketing Content Development, Campaign Management, Ad Management, Meta Ads Manager, Meta advertising, Marketing Optimization, Digital Analytics, Marketing Strategy, Communication, Ads Manager

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professional certificate

Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce

This is your path to a career in digital marketing. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that can have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(2,438 ratings)

107,629 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 8 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing, E-Commerce, display advertising, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Customer loyalty, Marketing Analytics, Customer Outreach, Website Structure, Customer Awareness, Google, Search Engine Marketing, Social Listening, Social Media Bidding, Customer Engagement, Social Media Analytics, Social Media Branding, Email Writing, Email list segmentation, Email marketing strategy, Email marketing analytics, Contact management, Digital marketing KPIs, Spreadsheet management, Presenting to stakeholders, Media planning and strategies, Fulfillment and delivery, E-commerce platforms, E-Commerce Strategy, Seasonality, Job preparedness, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Portfolio preparation, E-commerce store optimization, Building customer loyalty

Certifications

A number of other certifications are available that can add weight to your resume and demonstrate your skills in a particular area. Great examples include:

  • Digital Marketing Pro (DMI x AMA Dual Certification)

  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification 

  • OMCP Digital Marketing Certification

  • Hootsuite Academy Marketing Certification

  • Google Ads Marketing Certification

  • HubSpot Content Marketing Certification 

Degree-level training

A degree in marketing, communications, or a related subject is often useful and may be essential for some roles if you’re looking to advance in your career. To accommodate your schedule as you pursue your career, consider the flexibility of an online degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of London.

Also consider degree-level training, which may take less time than earning a bachelor's or master's but exposes you to graduate-level learning. Some options include the Marketing Strategy Certificate from the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode and AI Marketing Certificate from the University of Virginia.

The CIM also offers degree-level diplomas in marketing, including diplomas in professional marketing, sustainable marketing, and digital marketing at the undergraduate level and a diploma in professional marketing at the master's level. 

Read more: What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree? 11 Job Paths

Get started

As you consider which entry-level marketing jobs to pursue, think about the roles that interest you, whether you enjoy writing, designing, advertising, or analytics. Choose from the number of ways to start your marketing career, from gaining experience to taking a course to getting a degree. 

Consider taking a general marketing course to get started, such as Introduction to Marketing offered by Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera.

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course

Introduction to Marketing

Taught by three of Wharton's top faculty in the marketing department, consistently ranked as the #1 marketing department in the world, this course covers ...

4.8

(11,702 ratings)

323,459 already enrolled

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Positioning (Marketing), Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Customer Satisfaction

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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