If you want to become an advertising specialist, you will typically need some combination of post-secondary education and work experience. There is no required educational track to become an advertising specialist, though you may want to obtain a four-year degree in communication, journalism, media studies or another related field. Aside from obtaining a relevant education, you will need to seek employment with an advertising or marketing agency, or a large company that employs in-house advertising specialists. You may eventually want to earn a master's degree in business administration (MBA) as well if you want to progress past the job of advertising specialist and into a managerial or executive role.
Advertising specialists are responsible for many different creative and logistical aspects of creating and managing ad campaigns. Some advertising specialists work with clients to find out what they want from a campaign and then construct it alone, though other professionals may be consulted as well. Graphic artists, copywriters and other creative professionals often work very closely with an advertising specialist to create a campaign that fits the specifications that a potential client has provided. The advertising specialist typically then pitches the idea to the client, and then puts the campaign into motion if it is accepted.
Since advertising specialists often have to perform so many different tasks, you will typically need a well-rounded education if you want to become one. Some people manage to work their way up without a post-secondary education, but that can be a difficult way to become an advertising specialist. In most cases you will want to obtain a four-year degree before you begin your career. Many different majors can help provide you with the necessary skills, such as media studies and mass communication. Other degree focuses, such as psychology, can also provide you with the insight necessary to become an advertising specialist.
There are a few different employment opportunities that can allow you to eventually become an advertising specialist. The most common path involves employment by an advertising or marketing agency. You may need to start out with a lower level job, and it is often possible for creative professionals to work their way into an advertising specialist position. Once you have become an advertising specialist you will have typically reached the top of your profession, unless you wish to start your own creative agency or move into either the managerial or executive side of the business. In that case, you may want to return to school for an MBA degree.