Online advertising and marketing degree programs familiarize students with the creative and business aspects of this mass media field, giving them the tools they need to pursue several jobs, including positions as advertising and promotions managers, marketing managers and advertising sales agents. These fast-paced careers entail numerous job duties, including the following:
- Attracting clients to an advertising agency
- Planning campaigns for clients who need advertising and promotional services
- Negotiating client contracts
- Conducting research and analyzing the findings in order to plan a client campaign
- Writing campaign copy
- Planning placement of an advertisement on radio, print, online and television outlets
- Working with the legal department to avoid or address issues such as royalty sharing or copyright infringement
- Providing estimates to clients outlining how much a campaign may cost
- Helping clients demonstrate new products to their audiences
Generally, people who pursue these advertising and marketing industry jobs hold a bachelor's degree, although in some cases, candidates may be able to find employment with an associate degree or high school diploma.
Coursework in Online Marketing and Advertising Degree Programs
The marketing and advertising industries are constantly evolving, so professionals who pursue jobs in these fields must have the training they need to keep up. Online advertising degree programs teach students the latest strategies for creating winning campaigns. From print to Internet to radio, these degrees give students the foundation they need to deal with both the creative and business ends of an advertising campaign.
While each individual online advertising degree program is different, there are courses that can generally be found in the curriculum. The following are examples of these classes.
Marketing research is an important tool for advertising professionals to use when they are crafting campaigns. Finding out the temperature of a target audience can make the difference between a highly successful campaign and one that falls flat. As a result, students in this course are taught market research strategies and procedures that will allow them to use data to fuel a campaign that sells a product or service. Specific course topics include crafting questionnaires, data collection and interpreting research results.
Social media campaigns
As social media has become more popular in recent years, marketing and advertising professionals have turned to this medium in order to reach audiences. This course discusses what makes an effective social media campaign that can be used for sales, public relations and branding. Specific topics may include the creative elements of a social media campaign, how to research audiences on difference social networks and planning a campaign in this medium.
In order to know how to sell a specific product, companies must know what consumers are buying, and more importantly, why. This course covers how consumers make buying decisions and what influences these choices. Class subjects may include how to create attractive product displays, design effective product packaging and persuade people to pick one product over another.
This class gives students an overview of how new media tools can be leveraged to sell products and services, as well as brand a company. Specifically, students may learn about the technologies involved in these types of communications, including products such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, iMovie, Flash and InDesign. In addition, this course teaches different strategies for executing digital communication campaigns, including message development.
In this course, students learn how to put together a professional portfolio designed to impress potential clients with their best work. In order to make the concepts taught in this course real, students are generally expected to create a portfolio that showcases the work they created throughout their time in the online advertising degree program.
Advertising and society
This course provides an overview of the impact that advertising has had on society throughout history. Some specific course topics may include advertising in the digital age, historical approaches to advertising, and the ethical and legal standards that the advertising industry are expected to follow.
This class discusses how photographs are used in advertising campaigns and how to take pictures that convey an intended message. Students in this course learn concepts such as focal length, light metering, shutter speed and aperture. Professors may require that students get hands-on experience with the use of photography by taking pictures of their own and crafting advertising campaigns with the images they create.
In addition to these courses, students in this program may be expected to take courses in image manipulation, subliminal suggestion, web design, branding, search engine marketing and advertising account planning. Other program requirements may include group projects or internships that further promote experiential learning.
Interview With a Marketing and Advertising Professor
Ian Cross is the Director at the Center for Marketing Technology at Bentley University. He began working there as an adjunct professor and became a full-time lecturer four years later. In this interview, we discuss how students can be successful in a marketing and advertising degree program.
What are the skills, interests, and personality traits necessary for a student to be successful in a marketing and advertising program? Why are these important for students to have?
"Analytic skills are vital today to tease out meaning from complex data sets from the market, customers and competition. Creativity is also needed to develop customer relationships with meaningful offers and engagement. Students should be risk takers. Marketing is risky and encourages bold thinking, and students should not be afraid of change -- they should embrace it. Extraverts are welcome, but listening and thinking are more vital. Above all, in a highly-competitive field, passion is vital to succeed. You have to care about customers, love making connections and enjoy success."
What is the most rewarding part of a career in the marketing and advertising field? Why should students pursue a career in this field?
"I can't think of a more fun and rewarding career. To ideate around a new product or service, whether for profit or nonprofit, discover customer needs and wants, translate those desires into features and benefits, and communicate to a target audience -- and hopefully delight them -- is very stimulating and exciting. It's a constantly changing environment driven by people with passion and purpose. If you like people, this is one of the best jobs to connect with people and build relationships. Good marketers love what they do and enjoy being with other marketers and sharing experiences and living life to the fullest. It's a glass half full world in marketing."
What advice would you give to students who are considering earning a degree in marketing and advertising?
"Don't be afraid of numbers, data and analysis -- it's the key to success today. Get experience early and often. Develop your own portfolio that demonstrates your skill and passion. Be involved in the world, and watch and listen to what people do and say."
Career Outlook for Professionals With Online Marketing and Advertising Degrees
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for advertising, promotions and marketing managers will increase by 7 percent between 2012 and 2022, while advertising sales agents will see no change during this time. In addition, BLS statistics show that as of May 2014, professionals in this field made the median salaries listed below. Also included is the typical salary range earned by the bottom 10 percent of professionals all the way up to those earned by the top 10 percent of professionals.
- Marketing managers
Median annual salary: $127,130
General salary range: $65,980 to $171,390
- Advertising and promotions managers
Median annual salary: $96,720
General salary range: $45,060 to $148,300
- Advertising sales agents
Median annual salary: $47,890
General salary range: $23,050 to $113,120
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
Advertising Sales Agents, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm
Advertising and Promotions Managers, O*NET, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-2011.00
Advertising Sales Agents, O*NET, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/41-3011.00
Marketing Managers, O*NET, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-2021.00
Online Marketing Degree, Southern New Hampshire University, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-marketing
Advertising Courses, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, https://www.aionline.edu/advertising-degree/
Advertising Degree, Boston University, http://www.bu.edu/met/courses/graduate/advertising/
Advertising and Marketing Communications (BA), Webster University, http://www.webster.edu/catalog/current/undergraduate-catalog/majors/advertising-and-marketing-communications.html
Advertising and Promotions Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112011.htm
Advertising Sales Agents, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes413011.htm
Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm