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Degrees and Schools
Most advertising managers have a bachelor's degree from a college or university in journalism or advertising.
Students of advertising typically study:
- Advertising theory and marketing strategy
- Communications and sales
- Business management and law
- Consumer behavior and psychology
- Accounting and finance
- Media management
- Statistics and mathematics
- Creative writing and journalism
- Market research and data analysis
- Graphic design, photography and art
Significant lab time is usually required to learn graphic design and other software and equipment. Participating in an internship during school, or gaining related work experience, are excellent ways to bolster employability. Job seekers can also gain leverage by obtaining optional certification through organizations such as The Public Relations Society of America.
Online Classes and Programs
There are a few online degree programs for advertising. For the most part, because of the need for significant lab time, complex group projects and internship opportunities, on-campus programs are more common. Online programs ideally should be accredited through direct-learning oversight organizations.
Most employers consider a bachelor's degree in journalism or advertising to be the minimum requirement for hiring advertising managers.
How to Evaluate Advertising Manager Schools
Aspiring advertising students should evaluate degree programs for:
- Course offerings - Does the program prepare the student for both entry level and management positions? Is significant lab time required?
- Tuition, fees and amenities - What financial aid options such as grants, scholarships, student loans and work/study are available? Are computer labs well-equipped with state-of-the-art software and technology? Are students required to purchase expensive software programs and manuals?
- Class size and experiential learning - What is the ratio between students and teacher in popular classes? Does the program coordinate internships and if so, is there a good selection of desirable ones from which to choose?
- Graduate success - What is the percentage of students who find employment in their field upon graduating?
- Reputation - Is the program recognized as a leader by industry associations and word-of-mouth?
Advertising Manager Job Description
Advertising is a form of marketing used to communicate the availability and benefits of products, and motivate customers in target markets to buy. Constantly looking for new ways to promote brand awareness, advertising managers plan and implement advertising campaigns through different channels including:
- in print through magazines, newspapers, catalogs
- on radio through advertisements and interviews
- on TV through commercials and infomercials
- through product packaging and coupons
- on the Internet through banner ads, videos and sponsorships
- through direct advertising such as mailed flyers, postcards and letters
- on bulletin boards and sports fields
- sponsoring or coordinating promotional events
- through purchasing commercial property such as stadiums or buildings
- on software, DVDs, CDs and other media
- on buses, taxis, trucks and other transportation
Advertising managers may oversee:
- account executives, who assess the need for advertising for the company or clients
- media directors, who select the advertising channel to use and oversee the dissemination
- creative directors, who manage the design and written copy of advertisements
- activities of advertising and promotions agencies that have been hired as contractors
Many small businesses either outsource most of their projects to an advertising firm or expect advertising managers to do a lot of the implementation work themselves within tight budgets. Larger companies may combine teams with outsourcing, using multi-million dollar budgets.
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