For the average American, the results of an advertising degree can be seen in everyday life. From TV commercials, to magazine covers, and product labels, the job of an individual with an advertising degree focuses on persuading consumers to buy or use a product or service, making these goods desirable or even seem necessary in order to continue or enhance everyday life. As a result, jobs in advertising have evolved to fit not only the needs of the companies, but to also guide clients into habits of consumption through guided market exposure.
In order to pursue a career in advertising, potential advertising specialists have a variety of options that prepare them for these business-oriented careers. First, students can choose between a bachelor of arts (BA) in advertising or a bachelor of science (BS) in advertising. The distinction between both degrees, although both degrees include core knowledge and skills pertaining to advertisement, may impact the focus in how a student could use their degree in a business setting. Note, in some programs, students can pursue degrees that also teach complementary fields such as advertising and public relations degrees or advertising and marketing degrees. Nevertheless, regardless of the program type or specialty, most advertising programs usually require a high school diploma or a GED along with typical college requirements in order to enroll.
In a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in advertising, students are exposed to an interdisciplinary field that focuses on both the basic principals of advertising along with other general courses. The BA advertising degree typically allows students to learn the communication and problem solving skills necessary to enter into a career of advertisement while giving students the flexibility of a liberal arts education. In a BA advertising degree program, students can study other fields such as psychology, statistics, law, ethics, and philosophy, along with other required core classes such as English, writing, foreign language in order to enrich and expand their knowledge of advertising. Overall, graduates with a BA degree in advertising are expected to know how to:
- Analyze and manage the communication efforts within a company in order to create a positive image for a company or brand
- Develop and manage relationships for a company’s shareholders or investors
- Cultivate a reputation for the image or service of a company in order to generate revenue and a client base
- Plan projects or ventures in order to maintain the company’s image, promote a product or person, or elevate the recognition of a service
Essentially, BA in advertising graduates receive a well-rounded liberal arts education along with the communication skills and techniques to pursue a job in advertising.
Similarly, a bachelor of science (BS) in advertising focuses on presenting the fundamentals of advertising skills and communication to the forefront of a student’s education. Nevertheless, current BS in advertising degree programs focus more on integrating the growing importance of social media, technology, and media to this advertising expertise. For BS in Advertising programs, students can still expect coursework such as:
- Business Ethics & law of mass communication
- Brand Management
- Market research
- Market Strategies
- Writing for the Media
- Media relations
Nevertheless, courses or fields of specialization like social media and gaming, collaborative advertising, media marketing, and viral campaigning have started to define a BS in advertising. Overall, students learn to integrate their knowledge in advertisement and analytical skills into the increasing technological habits of consumers.
Graduates with a Bachelors in Advertising degree may expect a positive outlook for prospective jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advertising, promotions, and marketing careers have a projected job increase of 9% from 2014-2024. Moreover, advertising graduates do not have to limit their job search to only marketing manager or advertisement positions. Depending on the company, graduates have a variety of entry-level positions to which they can apply. Some of the most popular career choices in advertising have been:
- Marketing manager
- Marketing Coordinator
- Account Executive
- Account Manager
- Assistant Account Executive
- Marketing Director
- Assistant Media Planner
Moreover, the average salary across these positions range from $33,000--$81,000 depending on the individual’s experience or leadership level and responsibilities. The most popular and well paying cities for individuals looking for a career in advertising include: New York, New York; Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; San Francisco, California; and Los Angeles, California.
Ultimately, individuals interested in a career in advertising will enter a growing field where they will have the skills and influence to directly impact the growth of their companies and use the media he or she prefers to communicate with a world of consumers.