Advertising Major: Easy, Fun, Well Paid?

You seem to have superb convincing power, which is why you tend to get things your way most, if not all, of the time. And it’s because of this why you believe that you would fit right into the world of advertising.

Enrolling in an advertising program is ideal for degree-seeking students who prefer a not-so-difficult major but also want to be trained for a career in a highly competitive industry. Advertising is a major recommended for individuals who intend to work one day in a subset of the marketing discipline.

Before you add advertising to your list of college majors, keep reading.

In this post, practically everything you need to know as a future advertising expert will be talked about, from what makes it different from marketing to which college or university you should attend in order to major in advertising.

advertising degree

Advertising vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Marketing is all about the preparation of products or services in a way that meets the needs of the customers after identifying exactly what they want. On the other hand, advertising, which is a component of marketing, is the promotion of products or services to make them known to the target audience.

Before you choose to major in advertising, it’s a must that you know some of the things that differentiate it from marketing. After all, many people seem to make the honest mistake of using advertising and marketing interchangeably.

There are many different advertising strategies or activities. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Contests
  • Discounts
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer advertising
  • Loyalty programs
  • Native advertising
  • Promos
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Social networking ads
  • Sweepstakes

Various advertising methods may have different approaches, benefits, costs and reaches. However, there is one thing that they share in common. And it’s none other than supporting the overall marketing goals.

It’s exactly because of this why advertising is a subset of marketing.

Marketing majors focus on stuff such as research, management and communication in order to identify the needs of the target customers as well as make sure that products or services will be able to meet those needs. Marketing majors, needless to say, spring into action even before advertising majors step into the scene.

On the other hand, advertising majors concentrate on making sure that the target customers are made aware of products or services. They do so by designing and implementing campaigns through various paid channels.

Is Advertising Hard in College?

Advertising is one of the easiest majors around. As a matter of fact, it’s #6 in the Top Easiest Majors ranking by CollegeVine. However, for students who lack creativity, communication, research and management skills, it can prove to be challenging. Advertising majors study an average of 12 hours per week.

Before anything else, let’s make one thing clear: just because it was mentioned above that advertising is an easy major doesn’t mean right away that you will pass a bachelor’s program in advertising for certain.

If your eyes are not on the prize, failing is very much likely.

When it’s time to take core courses as an advertising major, you will have to spend plenty of your time exploring and mastering various principles. Some of the core courses you may encounter include:

  • Advertising strategy
  • Advertising writing
  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • Data analytics
  • Digital media sales
  • Graphics
  • Principles of advertising

In order to have a well-rounded college experience and a more rounded-out degree, it’s important for advertising majors to choose the right minor. Opting for one that complements the major allows degree-seeking students to gain added knowledge and skills that can make them even more marketable in the specialization of their preference.

Some popular minors among undergraduate students in advertising are:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Digital studies
  • Journalism
  • Language
  • Legal studies
  • Photography
  • Psychology
  • Studio art
  • Writing

What Can You Do With Degree in Advertising

As of this writing, advertising managers make a median wage of $133,380 per year, which is 66% higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Besides advertising managers, advertising majors can choose to take on other jobs, too, many of which are still in the marketing and advertising industry.

Degree-seeking students who enroll in a bachelor’s in advertising will be equipped with knowledge and skills that can help businesses stay afloat by publicizing the products or services they offer.

Because of this, advertising majors can also excel in jobs other than advertising managers, such as:

event planner

Event planner

  • Median annual salary: $49,470
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 18%

The planning and arrangement of the various details and aspects of business or corporate affairs are left in the hands of event planners. It’s critical for event planners to be very good at time management and handling stress because they tend to travel a lot and work overnight or on weekends, especially when beating deadlines.

Art director

  • Median annual salary: $100,890
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 11%

What advertising majors working as art directors do is come up with the overall styling of packaging and the printed and digital advertisements of products or services. Art directors usually head a team of graphic designers and meet with clients, so having leadership and good communication skills is a definite must for success.

Graphic designer

  • Median annual salary: $50,710
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 3%

It’s true that there is such a thing as a graphic design degree. However, since advertising majors possess outstanding visual imagination and a sense of aesthetics, many of them make for some of the most talented graphic designers. Graphic designers can either be employed in advertising and design companies and others or self-employed.

Marketing manager

  • Median annual salary: $133,380
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 10%

Usually, marketing managers need to have at least a bachelor’s in marketing, advertising, communications, business or any other related field. What they are tasked with is coming up with campaigns and other activities whose primary goal is to grab the attention of target customers and make sure that they become aware of products or services.

Exhibit designer

  • Median annual salary: $57,701
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 3%

Besides planning and developing physical displays at universities, galleries, museums, retail stores and many others, exhibit designers are also tasked with communicating with owners and top executives, sealing the deal with contractors and suppliers, building the design team and, in many instances, answering the questions of the audience.

Web designer

  • Median annual salary: $77,200
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 13%

Minoring in computer science, programming, web development or graphic design can make advertising majors marketable as web designers. Having extensive knowledge of HTML programming, various programming languages and multimedia publishing tools is certainly a huge plus for individuals who want to design web pages.

Sales representative

  • Median annual salary: $62,890
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 5%

Sell manufacturers or wholesalers’ commodities to businesses, companies, governmental agencies, healthcare facilities and others — such is the primary role of sales representatives. Good communication, public speaking, negotiation, rapport-building and organization skills are very important for sales representatives to possess.

social media planner

Social media planner

  • Median annual salary: $62,800
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 11%

Advertising majors possessing social media savviness may consider working as social media planners, who are responsible for creating and maintaining social media trends in order to make products or services popular and in demand. It’s very much possible for social media planners to be self-employed and be their own bosses.

What are the Best Schools for Advertising Major?

Many of the best schools for students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree in advertising are highly ranked. The vast majority of them are public or state universities, which offer cheaper advertising programs, especially for residents. Various accredited online schools have a bachelor’s program in advertising, too.

After figuring out that majoring in advertising for you comes another challenging task. And it’s none other than deciding which institution with an advertising degree program you should attend.

Here are some of the top ones you might want to consider adding to your balanced college list:

University of Florida$21,431 (in-state) and $42,648 (out-of-state)
University of Texas at Austin$28,928 (in-state) and $57,512 (out-of-state)
University of Georgia$27,658 (in-state) and $46,698 (out-of-state)
University of Miami$73,712
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign$31,102 (in-state) and $48,552 (out-of-state)
Pennsylvania State University$36,962 (in-state) and $54,026 (out-of-state)
Southern Methodist University$79,050
Brigham Young University$19,594
Michigan State University$29,230 (in-state) and $54,536 (out-of-state)
Pepperdine University$77,912
Iowa State University$21,940 (in-state) and $37,128 (out-of-state)
University of Central Florida$22,838 (in-state) and $38,170 (out-of-state)
University of South Carolina$29,121 (in-state) and $50,361 (out-of-state)
University of Oklahoma$30,374 (in-state) and $45,755 (out-of-state)
Syracuse University$75,652
Washington State University$28,520 (in-state) and $43,463 (out-of-state)
Drake University$60,328
Texas Tech University$27,156 (in-state) and $39,426 (out-of-state)
Best Schools for Advertising

Best Online Schools for Degree in Advertising

Prefer to earn an online bachelor’s in advertising rather than the traditional kind? There are many online schools offering it. But make sure that the one you apply to is a fully accredited school and not a diploma mill.

The following are three of the best that you might want to consider checking out:

Academy of Art University

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Cost: $917.00 per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Accreditor: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Appalachian State University

  • Location: Boone, North Carolina
  • Cost: $163.00 (in-state) and $660.00 (out-of-state) per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 82%
  • Accreditor: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)

Florida International University

  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Cost: $205.57 (in-state) and $618.87 (out-of-state) per credit hour
  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Accreditor: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Just Before You Enroll in an Advertising Degree

Advertising is undeniably a good major for degree-seeking students who are determined to become professionals in the marketing and advertising arena one day. It equips them with various skills, soft and hard alike, that also enable them to take various career paths, albeit most options have something to do with promoting products or services.

Related Questions

Is there a master’s degree in advertising?

Many colleges and universities offer a master’s program in advertising. Taking around one to two years to complete, a master’s degree in advertising gives the holders an edge in the job market, allowing them to take on managerial and executive roles for high-profile companies with a competitive hiring process.

Is being in advertising a fun career?

People in the marketing and advertising industry often travel and attend events, thus making their job exciting and interesting. However, they usually have to spend long hours working, meet specific clients’ needs and preferences and beat deadlines, which can make being in the industry stressful and demanding.

Read Next: Is Accounting Major Good?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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