Career Resources

Advertising and Marketing


Advertising and Marketing

Advertising is the business of marketing products and services for a company. Marketing involves researching information about how people think to inform companies how to best market products. Both fields involve working with people, ideas and products. Nearly all industries have opportunities in the advertising and marketing fields so there are numerous options to explore in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Career Paths

The advertising field has different options for career growth: account management, account planning, creative and media. Account management jobs are primarily administrative, involve working directly with clients, developing strategy, and at higher levels involve managing people. Typical career paths inside the account management departments at ad agencies look like this: administrative assistant/account coordinator to account executive to account manager to account supervisor to management supervisor to vice president to director. Skill sets include strong social skills and management skills, organizational skills (multitasking is common) and an understanding of marketing. Account planners try to understand the consumer in order to offer better services to clients. They devise strategy for clients and conduct quantitative and qualitative research.  Typical career paths are junior account planner to senior account planner to vice president to director. Account planners need to understand psychology and marketing and have strong interpersonal and analytical skills. The creative team turns a client’s strategy into a concept that can be made into a finished ad. People in these roles must have strong communication skills, lots of fresh ideas and ability to take criticism. A typical career path is junior copywriter to senior copyrighter or junior art director to senior art director to creative director. Media is in charge of putting ads where they will most effectively reach a target market. The team has two functions: planning and buying. A typical career path is media assistant, assistant media planner/buyer, senior media planner/buyer, media supervisor, vice president to director. Skills include analytical skills, being detail-oriented and understanding of marketing.

    Marketer’s roles depend on the sector. The consumer packaged goods sector works with products typically seen in supermarkets. A typical career path is market research analyst, brand manager to VP of marketing. In the law and financial services sector, a typical career path is marketing assistant to marketing manager to chief marketing officer. Nonprofits generally hire marketers with fund development experience. High tech companies look for candidates who can explain technical terms. Candidates with strong internet marketing skills are in high demand. Marketing firms look for candidates with strong quantitative skills, creativity, good interpersonal and communication skills, ability to multitask and strong research skills. Market and survey researchers are good options for students with masters and PhD degrees. Researchers design and conduct surveys and need strong quantitative skills.

    Job Outlook

    As the communications field increasingly moves toward online and social media platforms, candidates with strong technical skills and an ability to stay ahead of the curve will thrive. Additionally, candidates with fluency in a foreign language will be at an advantage. In the marketing industry, candidates with masters or PhD degrees and strong quantitative skills will be in demand.



    Advertising Council

    Center for Communication

    Advertising Age

    Media Bistro


    MIT Advertising Lab


    Marketing Vox



    These are large media conglomerate groups, many of which own subsidiary companies. Check out Wetfeet for additional company profiles.

    Omnicom - this group include BBDO, DDB Worldwide, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and GSD&M

    WPP Group - this group includes Burson-Marsteller, Hill and Knowlton, Y&R and Ogilvy Public Relations

    Interpublic Group of Companies - this group includes McCann Erickson, Draftfcb and Lowe & Partners

    Publicis Groupe



    Procter & Gamble


    General Motors

    Time Warner


      Professional Associations


      American Association of Advertising Agencies

      Association of Magazine Media

      American Advertising Federation


      NY American Marketing Association

      American Marketing Association

      Sales & Marketing Professional Association

      Business Marketing Association

      Marketing Research Association