Is Advertising a Good Career Path?
None of the most known products we know and love today will not be where they are without advertising. From outdoor advertising to pop-up ads, the advertising industry remains critical for businesses to reach their target audiences, no matter their products or services.
Pursuing a career in advertising might sound difficult or even ambitious for some, but for many creatives, it is the best outlet that can also provide stable compensation. The advertising industry is always on the lookout for the next best ad or the best branding strategy, and there are many professions one can choose from.
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What are the Best Advertising Jobs?
Advertising can take various forms, and businesses require various ads depending on how they want to be known. This makes advertising jobs one of the most diverse fields to work for.
Here are some of the best professions one can take on in the industry:
Creative directors lead and oversee the creative direction and vision for various projects, campaigns, or brands. Aside from communicating with the clients, they play a pivotal role in guiding the team to produce compelling work that aligns with the organization’s goals and resonates with the target audience. Creative directors are usually the “brains” behind the best ads, best portrayed by one of the most famous (fictional) creative directors, Don Draper from the AMC Series Mad Men.
However, unlike Don Draper who assumed the identity of another person, creative directors today are usually known professionals with years of experience in the industry. They usually begin with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, marketing, or communications. There are many executive creative director certifications available, but employers usually put more weight on the work produced or the portfolio.
Copywriters are writers who specialize in “copy” – persuasive and compelling written content for brands. They work across a wide range of platforms, such as advertising, marketing, branding, digital media, print media, and more. Their main goal is to attract readers, depending on where the copy is placed – billboards, newspaper ads, social media posts – and eventually get them to engage them.
Many copywriters usually have a bachelor’s degree in advertising or creative writing. Like with other creative professions, one’s portfolio or written output along with experience matters more for employers. However, certifications for relevant skills, such as SEO Copywriting Certification or Copyblogger Content Marketer Certification can help copywriters learn more about the latest trends in the field, as well as let clients know they continue to sharpen their skills to keep up with changes in the profession.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital marketing is one of the best ways to send a message to target audiences directly through their smartphones. Digital marketing specialist is a relatively new profession that leverages the power of the internet and digital technologies to drive online visibility, increase brand awareness, and achieve specific marketing goals. Their responsibilities include social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), and data analytics, which is what brand strategies are mostly based on.
Marketing specialists are usually required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in advertising, business, or marketing. Specific certifications per platform have become sought after by employers, such as the Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate, the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate, and the Google Ads Search Certification. Digital marketing professionals must always stay updated with new platforms.
User Experience (UX) Designer
User Experience or UX designers are in charge of creating digital platforms that are user-friendly and engaging at the same time. They enhance the overall experience that users have while interacting with websites, applications, software, and other digital interfaces
There are no specific bachelor’s degrees required to become a UX designer. However, a lot of professionals studied computer science, industrial design, and information technology. Next to experience, the most basic certification employers look at is the Google UX Design Certificate, as well as the Springboard UX Design Bootcamp.
On the other hand, media planners or buyers are marketing professionals that focus on planning, strategizing, and executing media campaigns on behalf of clients or organizations. They determine the best strategies for a client to reach its audiences by planning the right channels (digital/traditional) to roll out ads, as well as negotiating the right price with vendors (websites, TV, or radio stations).
Media planners usually require a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing, along with knowledge of media analytics software. Industry credentials employers look at include the IAB Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification (DBPC), the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, and the IMA Certified Internet Marketer (CIM).
Art directors are the “eyes” behind a campaign or ad as they determine how best to represent a concept visually. They collaborate closely with other creative team members, such as copywriters, photographers, and illustrators, to shape the visual identity, aesthetics, and overall artistic direction of a project or campaign.
Art directors require years of experience, usually in the visual arts and within advertising as well. They typically start out as graphic designers or photographers. While there are no specific certifications or licenses, reputation by word-of-mouth or awards lead ad agencies to hire or even poach art directors. Certifications also vary by specialty or field, but portfolios should usually be enough for employers or clients.
These are just some of the jobs one can think of pursuing in advertising. There are many other professions to look at – and with the continued changes in the way people use social media and technology, more professions will surely emerge.
Why Choose Advertising as a Career?
A career in advertising allows creatives to pursue their passion without having to sacrifice compensation. Experienced or highly-skilled professionals, especially those behind ads or campaigns that become famous or viral on social media, are in high demand and are consequently highly compensated. A lot of these jobs can also be done remotely, making advertising a lucrative career for many.
What are the Opportunities in Advertising?
Opportunities in advertising depend on the specific skill or service, but the demand remains consistent throughout because of the continuous demand from businesses. Whether one works in-house for a specific business, with an advertising agency, or as a freelance professional, there are many opportunities one can find in the field.
How Much Do You Get Paid?
Due to a large number of responsibilities, creative directors and art directors usually earn $100,890 annually as of May 2021, with a range of $57,220 to $194,130. This makes them some of the highest-earning positions in the industry.
Copywriters on the other hand earn an average annual salary of $67,731 in the United States, with an expected base pay of $59,680 as of 2023. Salary can also vary depending on the state, platform, and type of media they write for. For specialty professionals such as digital marketing specialists, UX designers, and media planner/buyers, they can earn around $56,770, $79,890, and $69,654, respectively.
Take note that some ad agencies also provide added benefits or bonuses, depending on the success of the campaign and client satisfaction. Earnings of freelance professionals also depend on their specialty, network, and type of clientele.
What is the Future of Advertising?
Statista reports that ad spending in the Advertising market is projected to reach US$945.00bn in 2023, with the largest market being TV & Video Advertising with a market volume of US$326.20bn in 2023. However, 80% of total ad spending will be generated through digital in 2027.
In general, careers in advertising, promotions, and marketing managers can expect a growth of 10%, which is faster than other careers, while art directors can expect a 4% growth, which is as fast as other careers. Overall employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 23% in the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Technology, specifically the internet, plays a large hand in the future of advertising, and one must be always able to keep up with trends, continue learning new skills, and improve networking skills to build a stable career path.
Where Passion Meets Profession
Many believe that there is no career path for those pursuing the arts, or think that social media will soon be gone. The advertising industry however proves otherwise, as it has allowed many writers, directors, and artists to show their creativity through ads that help clients boost sales and engagement with the market.
Whether in traditional or digital form, advertising provides a stable career path and compensation, making it one of the best ways for passion to meet profession.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.