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Advertising Design Degree Programs

Advertising design programs combine the artistic and business elements of advertising into one interdisciplinary program. Learn about degree options in advertising design, as well as typical courses and employment options.

What Programs Are Available in Advertising Design?

Programs in advertising design are offered at associate's and bachelor's degree levels by colleges and universities. Other program options which provide relevant training include graphic design and visual communications. A design education requires hands-on participation; online programs are not widely available in this field.

Degree Levels Associate's and bachelor's degrees
Common Courses Typography, web design, art direction, drawing, color theory
Average Salary (2020) $58,370* (for all graphic designers)
Job Outlook (2019-2029) -4% decline* (for all graphic designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Advertising design degree programs are multidisciplinary, allowing you to develop artistic skills and gain knowledge of business strategies to motivate consumer behavior; you'll learn to create brochures and pamphlets, news and magazine ads, as well as logos and posters. In advertising design degree programs, you study both traditional illustration and digital graphic design and will likely become skilled at using various types of design software.

Many school programs also feature an internship component, or you may be able to use your school's resources to find an internship opportunity. Some schools also incorporate portfolio-building into the curriculum. Courses you may take include:

  • Branding
  • Web design
  • Drawing
  • Typography
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Color theory
  • Package design
  • Art direction

What Might a Future in this Field Hold?

Corporations often hire advertising designers for their in-house art departments, or you may work for an advertising agency. You could also obtain a job in a design studio or publishing house. You might start in a position such as a junior designer or assistant creative director.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a bachelor's degree is generally required of graphic designers (www.bls.gov). It predicts that the employment of graphic designers would decline by four percent from 2019 through 2029. Also according to the BLS, the average salary for graphic designers was $58,370 in 2020. There are often strict deadlines to be met in this field, so there is the possibility that you will need to work long hours or over the weekends.