career: Publishing

What's it all about

In any publication, whether that’s online, print, books, newspapers, magazines, instruction manuals, or TV guides, there is a process to getting those words out to the public.

Although the most common area of publishing is editorial – there are many other job roles on offer including marketing, sales, publicity, design and even legal rights.

Even in the editorial sector, there are plenty different potential professions to choose from, not all of which require a degree.


Types of publishing jobs

  • Commissioning editor
  • Copy editing
  • Proof reading
  • Editorial photography
  • Editorial assistant


Publishing degrees are a popular choice among people who have decided university is for them. Some even go on to get MAs and PHDs in the subject, before beginning their career.

Some would prefer to go into a specialised part of publishing, for example focusing on science or history publications. In this case, a student might choose to study that particular subject at university instead.

For those who have decided uni isn’t for them, there are alternative routes into the career. Apprenticeships are available in arts, media and publishing which covers a variety of different types of publishing – from print to online.

However, if you’re looking to go straight into work there entry-level jobs available that don’t always require a degree. Many start out in the industry as editorial assistants and work their way up over time.


In fact, the global publishing house Penguin Random House recently announced that job applicants will no longer be required to have a university degree. Director of human resources, Neil Morrison said:

“We want to attract the best people to help grow and shape the future of our company, regardless of their background – and that means that we need to think and act differently. Simply, if you’re talented and you have potential, we want to hear from you. This is the starting point for our concerted action to make publishing far, far more inclusive than it has been to date. Now, we need to be more visible to talented people across the UK.

“We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.”

We’re still on the hunt for a fabulous case study to show us how it’s done. Are you #DoingItWithoutADegree in this field? Then get in touch by emailing hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out how you can inspire our ambitious school leavers.



Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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