Wednesday, March 14, 2018
by Kelly Duggan

Do you need a degree to work in advertising?

If you’re currently knuckling down for your A Levels with coursework coming out of your ears and exams on the horizon, you probably don’t have the time to think about your uni application – and all the talk in the news about university tuition fees here in England really won’t be helping...

With all this uncertainty surrounding varying fees, is uni really worth the money? At Denfield, we thought that now would be the ideal opportunity to talk about whether these fees need to cross your mind – as do you even need a degree to pursue your chosen career path? And if you’ve decided that advertising’s the industry for you, have you thought about which role would best suit your skills?

Whether you’re a creative soul with an eye for a design, a wordsmith with a keen eye for detail, or incredibly organised, articulate and fancy trying out a career in account management, there’s a wide range of roles available in advertising agencies, so it’s essential to figure out your preference before you consider any courses to go on.

If you’ve done your research and still can’t figure out where you see yourself, it may be worth considering a generic advertising course that exposes you to all areas and therefore helps you find your favourite! But if you do know which role your skills will really suit, you might be able to save yourself thousands of pounds and a few precious years of your life that could be spent in the thick of it instead.

When you’ve ticked A Levels off your to-do list, unpaid internships are a good way to get into the industry and so are apprenticeships – have you considered either of these options as your entry into advertising? With the right supervision and training in the right kind of supportive establishment, you could be onto a winner. Take Harvey in our social media team, he joined us fresh out of college in 2016 and has almost completed his apprenticeship – and he’s aiming for top marks!

Rob Chamberlain, Work-Based Learning Manager at Warwickshire College Group said: ‘Harvey is always enthusiastic, polite, welcoming and positive. It has been a complete pleasure supporting Harvey throughout his apprenticeship at Denfield. He has produced high-quality work consistently and is always open to constructive feedback. He continually looks to learn, expand and improve himself. Harvey represented himself and Denfield extremely professionally whenever attending college and proved a great role model to other apprentices.’

Advertising is a people-focused industry, so it’s important to have good numeracy, literacy and IT skills as well as strong interpersonal relationship skills. You also need to be able to convey passion for what you’re working on, and if you get all of that right, you’ll enjoy an incredibly varied role with great job satisfaction. And as experience is key, there’s nothing to prove that not having a degree and taking this route will hold you back at any point – if anything, those additional years in an agency might even give you the edge!

If you’ve decided on a career path already, are there any other courses out there that would be more appropriate than a degree? A graphic design diploma, for example, could get you straight into an agency as a Junior Designer, or a marketing or business diploma could secure you an Account Executive role – the world really is your oyster.

As with anything, if you have the right attitude and you’re willing to start at the bottom and work your way up, gaining that essential experience, you’ve got the main ingredients of success. Some people say that an advertising degree was just what they needed to kick-start their career, so don’t rule it out – make the decision that’s right for you and enjoy the journey whichever road you take. Advertising’s all about creative thinking – and what degree can teach you that? But it can teach you valuable life skills and can also enter the rankings at a slightly higher level.

Why don’t you take a look at our careers page to see which of our current vacancies suits you?