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There are four items to consider when looking for the best advertising courses: accreditation, faculty, industry connections, and portfolio-building opportunities. Advertising courses provide the training necessary to work for an advertising or marketing agency. Advertising covers a broad range of media types, ranging from TV commercials to print media. Advertising is the process of informing clients of the services available, creating a corporate image, and encouraging sales of products or services.
Advertising courses are available from university, community or career colleges. Courses available at the university level range from complete degree programs in advertising to evening courses that provide an overview of the advertising industry for business owners. At the college level, advertising courses are focused on practical methods and processes used to create and manage an advertising campaign through the entire life cycle.
When looking for an advertising course, the first item to check is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party, who is responsible for reviewing the academic and administrative policies of the school. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certifying and licensing boards. Accredited schools are the only schools able to offer students access to government student aid programs.
Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors. Most schools publish their faculty biographies on their websites. Take the time to review this information and investigate the research and published works created by the teaching staff. This information provides insight into their area of expertise, interests, and focus.
Talk to the course instructor about the type of industry connections that will be available in this training program. Options include guest speakers, seminaries on the current challenges and benefits of the advertising industry, networking dinners, and contests for advertising campaigns. All these items provide opportunities for industry leaders and employers to see the skills students are learning and provide input into the education process.
All advertising courses should provide an opportunity to build a portfolio. This portfolio is a compilation of the best work of the student and should represent a wide range of media, products and clients. When seeking employment opportunities in advertising, most firms will ask to see the candidate's portfolio to assess the quality of work and determine if it meets the companies' requirements.
People who report the greatest satisfaction with advertising courses are creative, interested in fashion, and are visual learners. Most advertising students benefit from additional courses in English, psychology and business. Learning about these fields of study improves the relevance of the end product and makes it easier to relate to the priorities of the client.
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