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Do you tune into the Superbowl every year with breathless anticipation just for the ads? Do you love storytelling, design and maybe even psychology, too? If you answered yes, then a career in advertising or marketing may be in your future.

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.

Something to Consider

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 tackles real world problems. Some schools, for example, team up with local non-profits to create campaigns on social issues.

Advertising and Marketing Careers

Students with an advertising and marketing degree could find themselves working not only in advertising agencies or consumer-product companies, but also in other media outlets that depend on ad revenue, including: magazines, newspapers, publishers, television and radio. Political or non-profit and advocacy organizations also rely heavily on advertising and marketing. Job titles include: creative manager, advertising sales representative, graphic designer, market research analyst, copywriter and video editor.

Where You Could End Up Living

The BLS indicates that the five states with the highest employment levels for advertising and promotions managers as of May 2018 were:

  • New York (6,590)
  • California (2,850)
  • Texas (1,590)
  • Florida (1,040)
  • Massachusetts (960)

How Much Do Advertising and Marketing Professionals Make?

The median annual wage (the mid-point, not the average) for advertising and promotions managers was $117,130 in May 2018, according to the BLS. However, salaries ranged from less than $57,150 for the lowest 10 percent and more than $208,000 for the highest 10 percent. Marketing managers earned slightly more, overall. Their median annual wage was $134,290 with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $69,840 and the highest 10 percent 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 $50,000 to $124,000.

Job Outlook for Advertising and Marketing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were almost 287,000 jobs for advertising, promotions and marketing managers in 2018 with the number of jobs projected to increase by 8 percent over the next decade (until 2028). That's three percentage points higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. Despite significant declines in the newspaper publishing industry, where many of these individuals work, the BLS still expects to see growth for these workers in industries that rely on digital media to reach customers. That means graduates who are especially skilled at managing the digital world should be in high demand.

Did You Know?

Visit our Free Scholarship Search to find advertising scholarships for college students.

More to Explore

Communications Degree - College Majors
College Majors


Communications major studies past, current and future trend of media and its influences. Learn more about a communications degree and if it's right for you.

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