How to become a strategist: Nicola's story

Meet Nicola and learn more about her life as a strategist. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Immerse yourself in whatever you’re interested in.

  • Nicola works at Mixcloud, an online music streaming service; distributing radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts. She works on the brands partnership team

  • Nicola took four A-levels: English Literature, Religious Studies, Economics and Politics. She went on to study Ethnology, which does not relate to her work but has helped her understand people and their behaviour

  • Alongside her job at Mixcloud, Nicola also has a side hustle as a music journalist. She finds this complements her day job nicely

  • Nicola feels that some of the greatest advantages of her job are the networking opportunities and working with big brands.

Nicola is a strategist. A similar role to a strategist is a marketing manager. Marketing managers plan how to promote products, services or brands and oversee all marketing activity.

What to expect if you want to be a marketing manager

  • Marketing manager salary: £25,000 - £55,000 per year
  • Marketing manager working hours: 37 to 40 hours per week. You could also work on evenings or weekends.

What qualifications do you need to be a marketing manager?

  • Typical entry requirements. You'll usually need one or two A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher national diploma or two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree in related subjects like marketing, business management, digital marketing or advertising.
    You could also do a marketing manager degree through apprenticeship. You'll usually need four to five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (or equivalent).

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Swarzy: radio presenter
Tommy: audio engineer
Jess: Festival PR director