All companies need to find ways to sell products or services. Advertising specialists promote a company's products or services in the hopes of making sales (at a profit). Advertisers can work in advertising firms (which are contracted by companies to run their advertising campaigns); in the marketing division of their company; as independent consultants; or they may fulfill many marketing and sales roles in a smaller company.
The day-to-day duties of advertisers vary. They may design ads; run an Internet sales campaign; supervise research; meet with bosses, clients, or stockholders; analyze sales results; and much more. Travel (to conferences or to meet clients or other firms) is often required, and advertisers work long hours under intense pressure when deadlines loom near (and they always do!).
Advertising specialists may, with experience, be promoted to management - which means higher pay and compensation, more respect and responsibility, and sometimes better job security (mergers and profit losses mean a higher-than-average lay-off rate for the average advertiser).
Students might want to focus on the more up-and-coming fields (such as biotechnology or online sales), rather than manufacturing and other fields that are petering out or are oversaturated. Computer skills, design and graphic arts skills, and communication skills are essential.