Degrees for Advertising Art Directors

Learn what types of degree programs are available for aspiring advertising art directors. Keep reading to find information on course topics and online study options, as well as what to expect in terms of job opportunities and outlook. Schools offering Design Strategy & Innovation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Degrees Are Available for Advertising Art Directors?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most art directors obtain a minimum of a bachelor's degree, which involves about four years of study ( You may choose to pursue either a creative degree in art, such as fine art or design, or a business-related degree path in an area such as art administration, advertising or marketing. Additionally, you may find schools that offer a degree in communication design or advertising art direction, which combines your studies to include both creative and business administration aspects. The BLS states that some art directors pursue degrees in management or art administration in order to gain business skills.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Common Courses English, art history, drawing, communication design, typography, advertising design
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and online degree options are available
Median Salary (2018)$92,780* (for art directors)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 5%* growth (for all art directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do These Degree Programs Involve?

In a Bachelor of Fine Arts program at a college or university, you typically take a variety of courses in studio art, such as drawing, painting and sculpture, along with art history, theory and criticism. You may also take general education courses like English, mathematics, social sciences and natural sciences. A design program often includes an art core curriculum, followed by courses in digital imaging, typography and graphic design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in advertising art direction seek to merge the areas of art, management and business. Programs may involve courses in drawing, typography, communication design, storyboarding, management and advertising design; you may also take a portfolio class.

What Types of Online Degrees Are Available?

Since degree plans for this career are flexible, you may be able to find courses and programs in this area offered online through distance learning. These programs might require you to purchase special supplies, including design and pagination software or specific types of computer hardware. You may take the same degree-specific classes offered to campus-based students; however, you may be limited in the types of electives you can take, since some non-degree classes may not be offered through an online program. Some courses are self-paced; others require you to keep on a schedule with the rest of the class.

What Will I Do After I Graduate?

According to the BLS, most aspiring art directors start out in an entry-level capacity as an artist or designer for an advertising or design firm, publishing house or film production studio and are later promoted to the position of art director. This person oversees the layout and design of projects and supervises artists. The BLS predicted that employment of art directors will grow by five percent in the 2016-2026 decade, which is a slower growth rate in comparison to all occupations.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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