Even after you have started working in advertising jobs, you must continue to learn and keep track of the new methods, techniques, and ideas in the field. One of the best ways to keep up-to-date is to pursue educational opportunities. Membership in a professional organization will usually include a chance to attend conferences, seminars, webcasts, or online study courses. Some organizations also offer certification or accreditation processes that not only increase your educational level, but can also lead to promotions and additional pay.
Another way to keep current is to read professional journals, daily newsfeeds, and white papers. You can find these on association websites and you usually have a choice to subscribe to journals or e-newsletters as part of your membership. Joining a local chapter of a professional organization can also provide continuing education opportunities.
Advertising is a fast-paced, often hectic, career field, but you have to schedule time to read journals and e-newsletters, scan news feeds, and attend seminars and conferences.
Here are some organizations and educational opportunities that you might want to try. Some are for anyone in the advertising field, while others are more specialized. You can choose to join only one or one general association and one or two of the more focused groups.
- Art Director’s Club. ADC sponsors yearly competitions, gives out annual “Young Gun” and other awards, holds meetings, Saturday Career Workshops, also has student programs.
- Marketing Research Association. Besides an annual conference, this group offers seminars, webinars, and online study courses. Sponsors an accreditation process leading to “PRC—Professional Researcher Certification.” Accreditation requires a passing grade on a comprehensive exam and has two levels: 1) expert, someone with at least five years’ experience in a senior researcher position, membership in professional associations, and attendance at conferences, and 2) practitioner, someone with three years of experience, membership in at least one association, and attendance at one annual conference.
- Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Offers the ARF Forum programs and webcasts. Also has an annual conference, an extensive job board, knowledge forums, a monthly magazine, books, and other publications.
- American Advertising Federation. Has student chapters and offers scholarships and competitions, sponsors the honorary Alpha Delta Sigma, and provides webinars on a variety of subjects.
- Advertising Age. Publishes a monthly magazine and an annual conference, as well as webcasts, daily news items, and a digital conference.