Advertising Director: Education Summary

Advertising and marketing are closely related fields of study. Continue reading for an overview of these majors, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Advertising directors are required to have a bachelor's degree, although some employers prefer a master's degree. It is necessary to obtain experience in the field, which can be done through internships.

Essential Information

Advertising directors oversee and design promotional campaigns for clients or the companies for which they work. They often work with marketing directors, with whom they have several overlapping duties. Marketing directors create marketing plans for company products, perform research for potential products and keep track of consumer trends. A bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing or a related field is the typical education required for these careers.

Career Titles Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Manager
Required Education Bachelor's degree is typical; master's degree preferred for technical companies
Other Requirements Work experience in the field
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% for all advertising, promotions and marketing managers
Median Salary (2015)* $124,850 for advertising, promotions and marketing managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Although advertising and marketing directors are similar, the majors associated with these careers are somewhat different. Read on to learn about the education needed for each of these positions.

Advertising Director

Although there are no set educational requirements to becoming an advertising director, employers generally prefer candidates who have bachelor's degrees. Aspiring advertising directors may consider majoring in advertising or journalism while in college. Advertising majors may study copywriting, advertising design and public relations research methods, while journalism majors may take courses in media law, print design and feature writing.

Some programs allow advertising majors to specialize in a field, such as creative or managerial advertising. Students in creative advertising may focus more so on design while those in managerial advertising may concentrate on account planning and campaign promotion.

Marketing Director

Aspiring marketing directors may benefit from majoring in marketing or business administration as an undergraduate. The curricula for students in these majors may include business writing, marketing management and business finance. Advanced coursework may delve into areas like retail store layouts, sales promotion and persuasion.

For positions in technical companies, employers typically prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in a basic science or engineering, as well as a master's degree in business administration. Master's degree programs may be completed in 1-2 years and explore topics in business strategy, marketing research and consumer behavior.

Internships and Work Experience

In addition to a college education, employers seek prospective directors with a fair amount of work experience in the industry. During school, students may look into internships in the advertising or marketing departments of companies. Interns may assist with producing marketing templates, scheduling events and implementing social media strategies.

College graduates may begin gaining experience by working for advertising agencies or marketing firms. Employees may be able to take advantage of company sponsored educational seminars and classes at local colleges and universities. Topics may range from brand management to research analysis.

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't cover advertising directors or marketing directors specifically, but it does have information for managers in these fields. In the years 2014-2024, the BLS predicts a 9% job growth for advertising, promotions and marketing managers. Advertising, promotions and marketing managers earned a median salary of $124,850 in 2015.

With a projected growth rate of 9% through 2024, there will be many opportunities for advertising directors. Those entering the field can gain experience through internships, and those who complete a master's degree will be ideal candidates for all employers.

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