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There are those of us that can sell anything, as well as those of us who will buy anything. Advertising can be a creative and rewarding career. Anyone looking for a career that combines creativity along with business intellect might find this career worth considering.


There is no specific Advertising course in the CAO system. However, Marketing, Business, Economics, Languages, Psychology, Art and Media, as well as General Arts are all useful for getting into the business. At postgraduate level, you can take the Masters in Advertising at DIT, for specialisation in either business or creative areas. Subjects include Marketing, Communications, Consumer Behaviour, Copywriting, Research Methods, Legal Considerations, Campaign Management, and Promotional Strategies.

There are also a number of professional qualifications available for graduates, with some accredited by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland. For specific jobs within advertising, a qualification in a particular subject can be necessary, or at least, useful. For example, art directors may have a degree in Fine Art or Design and copywriters will have studied English at college, while media buyers might have a business qualification. There is a range of careers in the advertising profession, therefore there is no single perfect route to success.

The Work

Account executives provide a link between the clients and the agency. They create a ‘brief’ by finding out what clients want from their campaign, and therefore decide how the agency can meet their needs. The account executive coordinates those working on the account, including the creative and media teams, and presents the finished proposals to clients.

The creative team are the ‘ideas people’ – copywriters and art directors. Copywriters write advertising and promotional copy and develop concepts for campaigns. Art directors design advertising posters, leaflets and brochures; they produce material and display film and television advertisements.

Copywriters and artistic directors often work together as a team, brainstorming visual and written content to come up with innovative ideas to sell anything from insurance to cheese. Strategic planners and market researchers test the ideas, and examine how they will work with audiences and consumers. Production staff – such as radio and TV producers, or printers and graphic designers –  produce the final ads. Media buyers and planners manage advertising budgets and work out where the money will be best spent.

Personal Qualities & Work Environment

Personal qualities can be just as important as professional qualifications in advertising circles. It’s a business that is constantly evolving and relies on ideas; success is only measured by the last job and so consistency is vital. An enthusiastic and vivacious personality will be invaluable to succeed in the industry; other important qualities would include the ability to interact well with people and effective communication skills. Creativity and foresight is necessary for roles as art directors or copywriters. Decent business and negotiation skills are useful for media buying and planning positions. Advertising jobs are not strictly nine-to-five or deskbound, although advertisers generally work from an office.

The Jargon

Target market: The group that an advertiser is trying to reach
Rushes: Rough, unedited prints of a commercial to be used for editing purposes
Brand manager: Person who has marketing responsibilities for a specific brand
Advocacy advertising: Advertising used to promote a political or social issue

Further Resources


AAI is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.


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