Should I Earn an Advertising Degree?

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An advertising degree is a specialized academic degree awarded to students who have completed a college, university, or business school program with a focus on advertising.

Types of Advertising Degrees

There are four basic types of advertising degrees that can be earned from a college, university, or business school:

Although it is not absolutely necessary to earn a degree in advertising to break into the field, many employers prefer applicants who have some college as well as experience in advertising, marketing, or a related field.

An associate's degree, which can be completed in two years, may be acceptable for some entry-level positions.

Employers who are looking for advertising managers generally prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing, or a related field. A bachelor's degree program in advertising can usually be completed in four years. However, accelerated programs are available.

Students who have already earned a bachelor's degree can go on to earn a master's degree in advertising, which is recommended for advanced positions in the field. Most master's programs take two years of full-time study to complete. After a master's degree is earned, students can continue their education in a doctorate degree program in business or advertising. A doctorate degree is recommended for professionals who are interested in teaching at the university level.

Choosing an Advertising Degree Program

An advertising degree can be earned online or from a campus-based program.

Some programs will focus exclusively on advertising while others emphasize advertising in addition to marketing or sales.

When choosing an advertising program, it is important to look at a variety of different factors. First and foremost, you should choose an accredited school. Accreditation ensures the quality of the program and increases your chances of earning transferable credits and post-graduation employment.

Other factors to consider include school/program reputation, class sizes, teaching methods (lectures, case studies, etc.), career placement data, retention rates, tuition costs, financial aid packages, and admissions requirements.

It is important that you choose an advertising degree program that fits your academic needs. Think carefully about what type of job you want to get after graduation and then evaluate the school's ability to help you achieve your goal.

What Can I Do With an Advertising Degree?

Advertising professionals can be found in nearly every industry imaginable. Marketing and advertising is a huge part of sales and essential for most successful businesses. Both large and small organizations utilize advertising to launch, grow, and maintain their standing in the business world. As an advertising professional, you could work for one of these organizations. You may also find employment with advertising agencies and consulting firms. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can join the many self-employed advertising professionals who either freelance or run their own business. Specific jobs that are common in the industry include:

  • Copywriter - Copywriters are responsible for the catchy text in advertising. Their job is to write persuasively and convincingly so that customers are attracted to a particular product or service. Most copywriters work for ad agencies and print publications.
  • Advertising Manager - Advertising managers oversee advertising strategy, sales materials, and other aspects of a marketing campaign. They are usually in charge of entire departments or groups of account executives.
  • Advertising Account Executive - These advertising professionals act as a liaison between advertising agencies and their clients. They don't handle the creative side of the business—they focus solely on communication and customer service.
  • Creative Director - Creative directors are experienced advertising professionals. They commonly work for advertising agencies. In addition to supervising copywriters, advertising executives, designers, and other members of the creative team, creative directors design and oversee advertising campaigns and deal directly with clients to make sure every need is met.
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    Schweitzer, Karen. "Should I Earn an Advertising Degree?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 19, 2018, thoughtco.com/earn-an-advertising-degree-466413. Schweitzer, Karen. (2018, March 19). Should I Earn an Advertising Degree? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/earn-an-advertising-degree-466413 Schweitzer, Karen. "Should I Earn an Advertising Degree?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/earn-an-advertising-degree-466413 (accessed May 28, 2018).