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Best Degrees for a Career in Advertising

A career in advertising can be creative, challenging, and exciting. It can also be difficult to obtain. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many jobseekers are drawn to the glamour of the advertising industry, making advertising jobs highly-competitive.

So what's the best way to prepare for a job in advertising? Know the top degrees in advertising for some of the major careers in the industry. With this information in hand, you can choose a degree path that helps make you a competitive job applicant.

Best College Degree for Advertising Sales and Account Management

The best degree in advertising sales or account management is one that builds skills in marketing, communications, and business. An associate's degree in advertising or related field may be sufficient for you to secure an entry-level job��either in a sales department at a small advertising company or as a customer service representative or telemarketer.

The top college degree for entry-level positions in sales and account management, however, is undoubtedly a bachelor of arts, with a major in advertising, communications, business, or public relations.

Employees often advance through work experience, rather than higher education. Nevertheless, if you aspire to obtain a management-level position in advertising sales or account management, a masters in business administration with a specialization in advertising or marketing is your best degree option.

Best Degrees for Positions in Creative Departments

As the generators of the ideas, words, and images that make up advertisements, people working in creative departments hold highly-coveted jobs. While a two-year degree in fine arts could qualify you for an entry-level position as an assistant art director, the top college degree for creative work is a bachelor's degree. A bachelor of fine arts is preferable for those working in image production, while a bachelor of arts with a major in English, journalism, or communications is best for copywriters.

Best Degree Programs for Advertising Research and Account Planning

Account planners and researchers generally work at a strategic level, analyzing consumer behaviors and trends, competitive sales and customer information, consumer demographics, and more. Many people working in these positions have bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts��the top degree for entering this career. Helpful courses and majors include psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and statistics.

Because research and analytical skills are essential to these positions, employees desiring to advance sometimes find master's degrees useful for building the expertise they need. The best degrees for high-level positions in advertising research and account planning include a master's in marketing research and an MBA with a concentration in marketing or statistics.

Top Degrees for Advertising Directors, Executives, and Consultants

Many advertising directors, executives, and consultants hold master's degrees in management, whether a master's in business administration or master's in management. Some, however, obtain doctorate degrees, most commonly in public relations, advertising, and applied communication. These degrees are best for those wishing to teach at a college level, as well.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in advertising and public relations services should grow 8 percent from 2008 through 2018. While competition for jobs is expected to be keen, those equipped with the skills and education to excel in the field should have the best prospects.

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