OXFORD, England, February 2 /PRNewswire/ -- During recent months, the major Business and Law Schools in the UK have seen an upsurge in graduates applying for relevant Masters or career conversion programmes, hedging their bets that a further two years of investment in pursuing a legal education or an MBA will enable them to ride out this economic downturn immersed in learning. This makes both financial and economic sense for those that can afford it, as career uncertainty in traditional industries such as banking means that many are reassessing their futures. Additionally, for those that have been working for some time and perhaps have cleared debts from previous programmes of study, may well find that investing their redundancy payment in further studies, rather than perhaps starting their own businesses (which has been the trend recently), is the better option.

Oxford College of Marketing has seen an upsurge in graduates applying for relevant Chartered Institute Professional marketing courses. In fact enrolments have increased by 25% when compared to last year. As Rosie Phipps (Principal of Oxford College of Marketing) says, Vocational qualifications that easily transfer into the workplace are the differentiator that prospective employers are looking for, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications are designed to make people effective in the workplace.

Comparing the last major economic downturn of 20 years ago to now, the fundamental difference is that the business world is now flooded with well qualified young adults. A degree no longer guarantees the attractive career path it once did. In the present economic climate, educated job seekers have to find new ways of clinching the best opportunities, and are increasingly opting for more innovative was of gaining the attention of prospective employers.

For those working in the area of marketing, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) - the world's largest professional body for those pursuing marketing related careers - are encouraging the acquisition of professional qualifications as economic conditions worsen. CIM's programmes range from Introductory Certificate in Marketing and the Professional Certificate status (for those new to marketing) to that of the Professional Diploma in Marketing and the Post-Graduate Diploma studies (for experienced marketers or those holding first degrees in marketing), as well as the opportunity to achieve Chartered Marketer status.

Recent research for the Institute, undertaken by Croner Reward, has shown that qualified marketers can earn more than their unqualified or part-qualified counter-parts. This survey also revealed that professionally qualified marketing directors earn an average of GBP10,000 more than part-qualified marketers, whilst professionally qualified marketing officers can expect to earn in the region of GBP4,000 more than those who are part-qualified.

As competition for the few new jobs currently available in marketing intensifies and employers become increasingly more selective, those with professional marketing qualifications will have an advantage over other applicants, helping them at least to get through to the interview stage of the recruitment process.

Notes to editors

About Oxford College of Marketing

Oxford College of Marketing is one of the largest CIM accredited Marketing Colleges in the UK. With study centres in London, Gatwick, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Reading, Brighton, Sheffield, and of course Oxford, the College has been running qualification Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) courses since 1997, with superb student results. The College offers CIM Introductory Certificate, Professional Certificate, Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma qualifications through a number of study options, including distance learning, as well as short and one-day marketing courses and tailored in-house training programmes.

For further information on any CIM training or Oxford College of Marketing's one-day marketing courses contact Jane Young, on +44(0)1865-515255 or janey@oxfordcollegeofmarketing.ac.uk

For further information on any CIM training or Oxford College of Marketing's one-day marketing courses contact Jane Young, on +44(0)1865-515255 or janey@oxfordcollegeofmarketing.ac.uk