Professional marketing qualifications: Are they worth it?

AD | This blog is in partnership with Oxford College of Marketing.

One of the most frequently asked questions about working in our industry is: what qualifications do you need for marketing?’ The honest answer is, it depends. Do you need a marketing qualification to pursue a marketing career? Not necessarily.

However, in most situations undertaking a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) marketing qualification will be an invaluable decision for your professional development. If you’re always looking to undertake new challenges and expand your marketing skill set, studying for a marketing qualification is the best way to stay up-to-date on your knowledge. 

Why study for a professional marketing qualification?

I decided to complete the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing with the Oxford College of Marketing (OXCOM), one of the UK’s leading marketing training providers, and it enhanced my professional development beyond belief.

There are tons of other reasons why studying for a CIM qualification with OXCOM could benefit your career and open the door to more opportunities…   

Professional development

Previously, I didn’t have a formal education in marketing, so when I started in my first marketing role, the imposter syndrome crept in. By learning with Oxford College of Marketing, I gained a strong theoretical understanding of the marketing principles and practises that I was using every day helped to dispel any doubts that I had in my own abilities.

CIM qualifications aren’t just for new marketers, though. Students studying for, or who have recently completed, a CIM Accredited Degree from one of over 130 CIM accredited universities have the opportunity to study for a CIM professional qualification alongside their degree or in a shorter period after completing it. 

Choosing a CIM Accredited Degree provides you with exemptions from CIM qualification modules meaning that you may only have to submit one assessment instead of the usual three. This can reduce the time it takes to complete a CIM qualification and reduce the CIM qualification cost by up to £300 – it’s a win-win!


After finishing my undergraduate degree, I quickly began to get the studying ‘itch’ and it wasn’t long before I decided to look into flexible study opportunities in marketing. 

One of the most appealing things about studying for a CIM qualification with Oxford College of Marketing is that I was able to complete the course whilst working full-time. The workload was the perfect level to enable me to complete the qualification alongside my full time job and also maintain an active social life. 

I began the qualification studying in face-to-face classes (one intensive weekend per module) through the Oxford College of Marketing with additional support and resources via its comprehensive learning platform. This blended approach gave me the opportunity to meet others on my course and share experiences whilst also having the additional virtual support from my tutor whenever I needed it.

Employability prospects

As well as the personal desire to take on a new challenge, the opportunity to gain new skills that enhance your future employment opportunities is an undeniable incentive!

According to a CIM alumni survey, almost half of CIM graduates are promoted or receive a pay rise within 12 months of graduating and 60% of CIM graduates are given more responsibility in their roles. This is likely as a result of the huge confidence boost that comes with gaining a professional marketing qualification. 

Proving that you understand the theory that underpins successful marketing is incredibly empowering and definitely makes you feel that you’ve earned your seat at the proverbial marketing table.

Is a CIM qualification worth the money?

Since completing the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing with OXCOM I have gone from strength to strength in my marketing career, quickly gaining a promotion and recently securing a new job. With these promotions in mind, the course has essentially paid for itself!

I have also joined the wonderful Girls in Marketing team in the role of Membership Coordinator, supporting our members, helping to develop new resources and implementing overall strategy growth.

These career successes can be partially attributed to the additional knowledge and experience I gained from taking the course. It may seem like a high-ticket financial choice, but it is high-reward too and well worth the investment long-term. The flexible interest-free payment plans also make the investment much more manageable!

What is it like studying with Oxford College of Marketing?

Oxford College of Marketing stood out to me as an organisation that really cared about helping people to succeed, both personally and professionally throughout my studies. I received immediate communication from OXCOM upon enquiring about study options and I was guided carefully through my options before making a decision about undertaking a qualification.

Due to personal circumstances, I postponed my studies with OXCOM for a while and resumed my studies in 2019. The team was incredibly understanding and stayed in touch with me until I was ready to resume my studies. In March 2020, OXCOM pivoted quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to move all of their sessions online and managed to do so without losing any of the quality of teaching, interaction or support provision that we were used to.

The support that I received from my tutor Red Barrington and the other tutors on my course was outstanding. Their expertise and support in helping me to apply my learning to my organisation was invaluable and the feedback that I received on my work was incredibly helpful. As a result, I achieved a Distinction in all of my three modules: Applied Marketing, Customer Insights and Planning Campaigns.

If you’re looking to progress in your marketing career I couldn’t recommend studying with the Oxford College of Marketing enough. I am even strongly considering returning to study for a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. The key takeaway is: never stop learning. 

Find out more about studying for a CIM qualification through Oxford College of Marketing here.

Training opportunities for your marketing team

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