Most digital advertising workers are employed by advertising agencies that plan and prepare advertising campaigns for their clients on a commission or service fee basis. However, some digital media companies prefer to handle their own advertising. In 2020, there were approximately 77,207 people employed in digital advertising agencies in the U.S., according to IBISWorld. The largest digital advertising agencies, in terms of market share, were the Interpublic Group of Companies, WPP, and Omnicom Group.
Although competition for digital advertising jobs is fierce and getting your foot in the door can be difficult, there are a variety of ways to launch a career in the field. Some large agencies recruit college graduates and place them in training programs designed to acquaint beginners with all aspects of advertising work, but these opportunities are limited and highly competitive.
Instead, many graduates simply send resumes to businesses that employ entry-level advertising workers. They may find jobs through job openings posted on digital advertising agency Web sites or through employment sites and social media, such as LinkedIn. Others utilize job search sites or their college’s career services offices. Joining a professional association is a good way to network and learn about job openings.
The career path in a digital advertising agency generally leads from trainee to skilled worker to division head and then to department head. It may also take employees from department to department, allowing them to gain more responsibility with each move. Opportunities abound for those with talent, leadership capability, and ambition.
Some experienced workers establish their own digital advertising firms or work as consultants. For these entrepreneurs, advancement may take the form of an increasing number of accounts and/or more prestigious clients.
The American Association of Advertising Agencies offers an advertising agency search engine at its Web site, https://ams.aaaa.org/eweb/contentwp.aspx?webcode=findagency.
Use social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Attend industry conventions to learn new job skills, network, and interview for jobs.
Participate in internships or part-time jobs that are arranged by your college’s career services office or professional associations.