In-house or Agency?

In-house or Agency- Where is best to kick-start your marketing career?


Marketing professionals usually have the choice of two different career routes to explore; they can go down the in-house path, becoming truly specialised in their chosen brand’s industry or they go down the agency route; where they will work alongside creative individuals and work ahead of trends.

 I’ve worked with candidates who are looking to move from agency to client side and also vice versa, so it really boils down to personal preference. So, for a candidate who is fresh out of university wondering which route to go down, here are some useful pros and cons to consider when looking for your first opportunity in this field.


  • You are fully immersed in that one brand, getting to know the ins and outs of the organisation and industry

  • You have access to all internal teams, so naturally communication is easier - they may even be sitting right across from you

  • Job security – where in an agency, the risk of losing a big client can be detrimental, there tends to be more security client side

  • Your voice is heard more – especially if you are the only person or part of a small team - you may be given more control or asked to give your opinion more on what is possible for a project

  • Salary/benefits tend to be better



  • Quite often, agency-side you may be working with a number of different clients from a number of different sectors, so if you get bored easily this may be better for you

  • It can be highly competitive to get into an agency, you’ll need to make sure you stand out from the crowd - think about what sets you apart, where you could add value and really think outside the box.

  • The experience you can gain from the variety of clients you will work with can be a great route into client-side in the future

  • Success is celebrated – with plenty of awards ceremonies out there, it can be a great chance to showcase your work

  • The office environment can be more relaxed and you may even get the opportunity to have an office dog as one of your colleagues


I’ve noticed a big recruitment pattern shift in the last 18 months with clients bringing a lot of functions in-house. Historically, if you saw a role advertised for graphic designers or copywriters, they would likely be for one of the many agencies out there. Now, a lot of clients are upskilling their existing teams with talent in this area – which in turn can give them more control, save on agency costs and allow things to be turned around quicker.

 Saying that, there will always be a need for agency. Particularly in Edinburgh, we have some of the top agencies here and a lot of talent within them. Having a relationship with a top agency can do wonders for your brand and offer levels of creativity you perhaps didn’t know existed!

If you are looking for support in finding your next role within Marketing & Communications, please get in touch with Scott Caithness on 0131 297 2715 or scott.caithness@merakitalent .com