Advertising careers span a spectrum of job duties, from writing and design to layout and sales. The degree one needs depends on the advertising specialty they are interested in. An obvious degree choice is either an associate or bachelor degree in advertising. Those interested in art might consider graphic design programs, while copywriters might consider English, journalism, or other writing programs.
Many schools offer advertising programs that include marketing and public relations studies, while a marketing path by itself is also a great way to break into advertising. New York University offers a marketing major with an option to focus on advertising and promotion.
For people interested in the public relations aspect of advertising, public relations majors are available. Students at Heidelberg College often double-major in public relations and English to balance the business and technical side of the profession with creative and writing-intensive duties.
Schools such as Platt College in Aurora, Colorado, offer a bachelor of arts degree specifically in advertising graphic design, while the University of Florida offers a bachelor degree in advertising with courses that include strategy, research, copywriting, and sales, preparing graduates to work in all facets of the advertising industry.
At Brainco, the Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design, and Interactive Studies, students can specialize in art direction and design, writing, branding, account planning, media arts, or interactive arts. Another advertising-specific school is the School of Advertising Art, or SSA, in Kettering, Ohio, where students study art for advertising exclusively. An all-arts curriculum leads students to a diploma of advertising art or an associate degree of applied business in advertising art.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers tend to prefer students with degrees in their chosen specialty, but they are typically not a hard and fast requirement. A lot of weight is placed on strong portfolios and experience. A great place to start a portfolio and gain experience is through a degree program at a school where internship placement is available.