If you are interested in a job where you get the chance to think creatively, and influence how other people think or act, then working in the communications and media industry is the place to be.
We all watch TV, including the adverts, and are targeted by marketing campaigns. We read books and newspapers. We very often take on board the attitudes promoted by people who work in this industry. We want to have the products they advertise
There are many different types of careers to choose from in this sector, including: advertising, marketing and public relations (PR); journalism; media and broadcasting; and publishing and writing.
To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.
For some careers such as TV or journalism, you would work for a specific type of company, but in areas such as PR and marketing you could be working for a company in any type of industry.
Possible employers include:
If you want to enter work in any of these sectors, entry is very competitive so you will need determination and persistence to get into many careers. With the exception of marketing and printing, short term contracts and freelance work are common.
The UK advertising industry is the largest advertising market in Europe and one of the leading advertising markets worldwide. In 2022, there were 225,000 people working in the UK advertising and marketing industries (compared to 197,000 in 2020). Of those, 26,188 were working as advertising agency employees. In 2022 advertisement spending the UK amounted to £35 million, enjoying a second year of growth following the Pandemic.
The UK’s flourishing publishing industry is the largest exporter of books in the world, reporting an annual turnover of £6.9 billion in 2022 (up 5% from 2020). It directly employs 29,000 people and supports more than 70,000 jobs. It is one of the largest and resilient of the UK’s creative industries, which has grown at twice the speed of the UK economy average since 2011.
Publishing Scotland reports there are 116 publishing companies in Scotland, mostly based in the central belt – some are large firms, and part of global corporations, such as HarperCollins, while many others are very small - yet successful - prize winning firms.
The world of journalism encompasses both print and online media content. According to NOMIS, in 2022 there were 52,700 people working in the UK as newspaper and periodical journalists and reporters. Of those, 2,800 were working in Scotland. The popularity of online digital content keeps opportunities open for other roles in publishing, such as web content creation, web copywriting and content management.
Last year the UK film industry led Europe as the premier entertainment and media market, netting £97 billion in revenue, and producing 220 films. There were 16,240 film and video production companies in the UK - London is the main location for the majority, although there are significant production hubs in Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow. The popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has also affected the UK film industry, with an increasing trend towards producing streaming content.
ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills charity for the screen industries. Find out more about various careers by visiting their website www.screenskills.com.
The BBC have a great careers section with information about getting into the industry via work experience, trainee schemes and apprenticeships. Check out the site at www.bbc.co.uk/careers/trainee-schemes-and-apprenticeships.