What Are the Different Types of Advertising Qualifications?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Advertising qualifications may include formal degrees obtains from a college or university, or professional association certifications or memberships. For some jobs, one may also count life experience and work history as part of their advertising qualifications. The amount of education needed will depend on each job and company, but for most advertising professions, a bachelor's degree is recommended. Sometimes advertising professionals can land work without a formal education if they have a portfolio of excellent work to show potential employers or clients.

An English or communications degree could help an individual to secure a job in an ad agency.
An English or communications degree could help an individual to secure a job in an ad agency.

One of the most commonly recognized advertising qualifications include college degrees obtained from a legitimate university. A four-year degree is standard, but there are advertising degrees offered at the associate's level in some areas. Marketing courses may also cover some aspects of advertising, and these can include both two- and four-year degrees. Most ad agency jobs now require a four-year degree, although some may consider equivalent work experience to be sufficient.

Advertising refers to the methods by which companies showcase their products or services. This can include television commercials, print advertisements in newspapers or billboards, or radio spots. Online advertisements, such as pay per click ads, are also growing increasingly common. There are various jobs involved in creating advertisements, and the qualifications may be different for each of them. Graphic designers or web developers often need two to four years of school, but these creative professionals can sometimes break in without doing this. They usually have to have a body of work to show employers known as a portfolio.

Copywriters are also advertising professionals who can often begin with or without an education. To get work in an ad agency, most writers need a four-year degree in advertising, communications, or marketing. Sometimes an English or journalism degree is also acceptable. Writers who have experience working with private clients may be able to get a job with a strong portfolio, even if they have no other advertising qualifications.

Aside from formal education and work experience, advertising qualifications can also include professional associations or club memberships. Many of these associations offer ongoing educational opportunities for members, including seminars and online training. Some social media websites or job sites also have tests that can be taken in order to show competency in a particular area. Although these tests are often not enough to get one started in a new career, they can help a candidate stand out and further the career of someone who is already partially established.

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    • An English or communications degree could help an individual to secure a job in an ad agency.
      An English or communications degree could help an individual to secure a job in an ad agency.