Advertising

Does a bachelors degree hold more value than graduating from a portfolio school like MAS with a good book when applying for an AD position?

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Definitely not. Your portfolio is all that matters. They'll hire someone out of high school with an amazing portfolio over someone with even a masters or a PhD

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likesmartfunny
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In creative areas, that’s true. In anything research related, PhDs can be brought on a per-project basis for some amazing money. There was a professor who paid cash for a BMW after one six-month intensive research project for a major PR agency that I worked with. 60k+ for six months of part-time evening/weekend work? Sounds like good money to me.

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Just about the book, and the personality you give off in interviews. Don’t care how you got here, just care about what you might bring to the agency.

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As many have said, your book matters. I’ve seen people with a Bachelor’s degree go to work at Apple, CP+B, and Sapient while there are probably unemployed MAS students and vice versa. I attended Portfolio Night a few years ago and saw some recent graduates of a 4 year college brought to tears, because their work was torn apart. One person was even told to “burn everything and start fresh.” They were vocally upset because they were pushed through for four years believing their work was great. I didn’t personally see it and it may have been suitable for a production farm, a sign shop, or a local boutique agency at best, but it wasn’t up to par with what higher-ups at bigger agencies were use to seeing from Jrs out of MAS or Creative Circus. If you’re at that stage where you’re considering school, research what place will provide you the best connections and help you output your best possible work.

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Book is what matters. I have seen people with undergrad + portfolio experience seem more mature than younger people with only portfolio experience. But that’s not anything close to a rule, just something I’ve observed a few times.

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Not about an AD, but one of the best writers I ever saw never went to college.

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i don’t have a degree and it’s never been brought up interviews or promotions. the only time it’s been a barrier is when i’ve been approached to help teach a college course. not having a degree was a deal breaker because of their accreditation

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A decent undergrad program can provide a nice general background in advertising, but if you want to be a creative in this business then I agree, it’s all about your portfolio and that usually means going to portfolio school. You could certainly try on your own to make your book, but then you’ll be competing for the same jobs against people who trained at portfolio schools and have a more polished book. If you’re worried about cost and time — which you should be, as Miami Ad School and Creative Circus are way over-priced — check out Denver Ad School. Saw they’re doing a Q&A on here the other night and they’re legit.

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uplifting
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SCAD is really a college that has a true portfolio program. Great school, but that’s a lot of money to spend on a portfolio.

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You should think about ad school if you want to be a creative. I went to a business school not knowing this was where I’d want to be. It’s certainly a tougher path. On the flip side, I don’t worry at all about what I’ll do if this industry or my career in it go to shit because I’m well equipped for a lot of different business/marketing oriented things. Something to think about in my opinion.

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