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Advertising Major

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Advertising

4,801 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
202 Master's Degrees Annually
#16 in Popularity
$78,090 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Advertising Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many advertising graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,358
Master’s Degree 223
Undergraduate Certificate 105
Associate Degree 38
Basic Certificate 16
Doctor’s Degree 10
Graduate Certificate 1

What Advertising Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to advertising and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Advertising Majors

Advertising majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Advertising Majors

advertising majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Advertising Majors

A major in advertising will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Advertising Major?

People with a advertising degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Advertising and Promotions Managers 5.4% $117,130
Green Marketers 5.4% $117,130

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising?

4,358 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
65% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 65% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of advertising majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 220
Black or African American 240
Hispanic or Latino 658
White 2,759
International Students 253
Other Races/Ethnicities 228

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Advertising. About 5.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Advertising Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Advertising majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $78,090 to $133,090 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Advertising Major  ( 78090 to 133090 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with advertising require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for advertising careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.6%
Some College Courses 4.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 34.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.4%
Master’s Degree 34.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.4%
Doctoral Degree 7.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.8%

Online Advertising Programs

In 2019-2020, 123 schools offered a advertising program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 7 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 4 0
Associate’s Degree 18 2
Bachelor’s Degree 2 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 15 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Advertising Worth It?

The median salary for a advertising grad is $78,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 96% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $763,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to advertising.

Major Number of Grads
Public Relations 5,347
Public Relations, Advertising, & Applied Communication 3,827
General Organizational Communication 1,938
Other Public Relations, Advertising, & Applied Communication 1,802
Communication Management and Strategic Communications 974
Sports Communication 561
International & Intercultural Communication 350
Health Communication 325
Political Communication 183
Technical & Scientific Communication 171

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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