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  • Careers in advertising and marketing require many skills, from creativity to problem-solving and teamwork.
  • Salaries for marketing professionals range a lot, depending on the specialty and location.
  • Graduates who are skilled in digital media are expected to be in high demand in the coming years.

Do you tune into the Super Bowl every year with breathless anticipation just for the ads? Are you fascinated by social media or a natural storyteller? Do you have an eye for design or writing, and maybe even psychology? If you answered yes, yes, and yes again, then you might be suited to a career in advertising or marketing.

As an advertising or marketing major, you may study communications, design, consumer culture, social media, ethics, anthropology, and more. You will learn how media influences consumers and how businesses can successfully promote products and services. This is an interdisciplinary major that can stretch all sides of your brain.

Skills needed for advertising majors

Although creativity plays an important part in advertising and marketing degrees, artistic ability isn't the only (or even the main) requirement. Critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, business savvy, and communication skills are also key. While in school, or when choosing where to study, explore your options for internships and coursework that tackle real world problems. Some schools, for example, team up with local non-profits to create campaigns on social issues.

Advertising and marketing careers

Upon graduation, advertising and marketing majors will likely pursue one of two pathways, the first being creative, including copywriting, graphic design, and video editing. Analytics is the other route, which covers the more strategic and analytical side of things, like tracking, market research, algorithms, and brand strategy. 

Students with an advertising and marketing degree could find themselves working not only in advertising agencies or consumer-product companies, but also in digital media outlets that depend on ad revenue. Political or non-profit and advocacy organizations also rely heavily on advertising and marketing. A lot of entry-level jobs require hands-on experience, or in some cases a master’s degree, so it’s a good idea to intern while in college, and perhaps pursue a higher degree. Some job titles include: creative manager, advertising sales representative, graphic designer, market research analyst, copywriter, and video editor. There are also positions more focused in the digital sphere, such as email marketing manager, ecommerce digital strategist, email marketer, or search engine optimization (SEO) specialist.

Best places to work and live as a marketer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the five states with the highest employment levels for advertising and promotions managers as of May 2021 were:

  • New York 
  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts

How much do advertising and marketing professionals make?

The median annual wage for advertising and promotions managers was approximately $127,000 in May 2021, according to the BLS. However, there’s a large range in marketing salaries, starting from less than about $61,000 for the lowest 10% and more than $208,000 for the highest 10% as of May 2021. Marketing managers earned slightly more, overall. In May 2021, their median annual salary was around $135,000 with the lowest 10% earning less than about $78,000 and the highest 10% again making more than $208,000.

Similar occupations include advertising sales agents, art directors, graphic designers, and public relations and fundraising managers. Median salaries for these professions range from about $51,000 to nearly $132,000 as of May 2021.

Are marketers in demand?

According to the BLS, the number of marketing jobs is projected to increase by 10% over the next decade (until 2031). That's higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. Marketing and advertising roles have already shifted to be almost entirely digital, and given the rate that technology and social media trends change, students that stay up-to-date on trends will be in higher demand.

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