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What Types of Jobs can I get As an Advertising Major?

By Ron Marr
Updated May 16, 2024
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In difficult economic times, companies both large and small dramatically scale back their advertising budgets. This fact, in turn, has led to downsizing and cutbacks within advertising agencies and design houses. To land a good advertising job, a college advertising major should make certain they are well-versed not only in sales, copywriting, and promotion, but also in graphic design.

The most frequently available job for an advertising major, and the spot where most recent graduates end up, will involve advertising sales. Openings for ad salespeople are common with newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations. You may well be hired on a trial basis, and the turnover ratio of employees is very high. Only the best producers survive for the long term.

Depending upon your sales ability, and the size of the firm for whom you’re working, payment for these jobs can be either straight commission, a draw against commission, or salary plus commission. Strive for the latter, but realize that your job security depends upon your ability to not only service current clients, but also to bring in new business. This will involve numerous “cold calls” to businesses that may or may not have any interest in buying airtime or ad space. If you dislike hearing the word “no,” or take rejection personally, then the advertising sales job is not for you.

Most advertising majors seek to work for a large advertising agency, however the road to dealing with national clients and receiving lucrative salaries begins at the bottom. Established advertising account executives guard their clients as if they were gold, and you will have to prove your worth. Generally speaking, an advertising major who lands a job with an agency will begin as a copywriter. Attempt to be as creative as possible, while at the same time keeping within the parameters of the ad campaign. Quite a few copywriters, if they display great ideas and have a personality to match, will eventually move up to a junior account executive position.

If an advertising major has gained proficiency in design, even more doors will open. Opportunities for this creative production position abound in the print industry, but even more important, you will discover a nearly infinite number of smaller, freelance jobs. The key to success in this area of advertising is to build your client portfolio. As a rule, the more satisfied clients you can acquire, the higher the rates you can charge.

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Discussion Comments

By comfyshoes — On Jan 04, 2011

SauteePan-Advertising costs can really vary according to advertising medium and market size.

For example, if a media buyer were considering the purchase of advertising space for a client with the use of radio advertising, they may opt to go into the New York City markets which reach the most people but are also the most expensive. Here a typically week on a top radio station could cost up to $10,000 and the frequency of that ad would run about 20 times per week.

These are the considerations that every media buyer has to make for their client. They have to weigh the costs of the advertising with the potential outreach of consumers.

Their advertising strategy has to be perfect because if they fail a client will not give them another chance so they really have to make the best use of their product with respect to its advertising potential.

By SauteePan — On Jan 02, 2011

Suntan12-I think that if you are looking for a job working for a major advertising company you may need to relocate to New York City.

New York City is famous for its Madison Ave advertising companies and anyone serious about developing a career in this field should consider the move.

There are jobs in Production management in which you are responsible for the physical development of the ads and must have a great relationship with advertising producers.

There are also media planners that actually know everything about all of the markets including the demographic information.

They usually buy advertising space for their clients based on the market that they are looking to reach.

The copywriter writes the ad copy that will be memorable and succulent enough for people to remember the product.

There are also graphic designers that design the layout and typography of the ad.

By suntan12 — On Dec 31, 2010

Cafe41-I remember hearing about that on the news and I don’t think that I would buy a Toyota now. I think that the staring point when working in a major advertising agency or working for advertising firms in general is to begin as an Account Executive.

Here you are responsible for a specific account and every aspect of that account. You have to create and design as well as implement the advertising campaign that will be most successful.

This job can be a bit stressful at times and requires the ability to meet strict deadline. Also, a high degree of creativity is necessary because you will need to think out of the box in order to create an advertising campaign that will make your client’s products or services shine.

You are responsible for the general advertising strategy and advertising management of the campaign.

By cafe41 — On Dec 30, 2010

Those with an advertising degree really have many options. They can work in advertising public relations.

A public relations specialist is in charge of everything that relates to the brands image with the public. They have to determine what the current prevailing public sentiment is for the product or service and has to write up a campaign to make sure that this product or service is well regarded by the public.

They also get involved with any problems with the product or service that might cause the public to not want to buy the product or service. A perfect example that needed a public relations representative was in the recent case of Toyota.

Toyota has been facing a public relations nightmare because many of their cars were causing sudden acceleration that led to many deaths. Toyota now is trying to rebuild its public image with the help of an advertising public relations firm.

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