Launch A Career In Advertising with these Top Portfolio Schools
Get help choosing an advertising school that will launch your professional career.
Advertising! It is one of the most competitive fields of employment out there. Want to get hired? Well, it's not merely a matter of turning up to an interview and impressing on the day.
You also need a substantial body of evidence that you can deliver, time and time again. The industry-standard form that this evidence takes is a portfolio, and without one, you won’t even get a foot in the door.
That means anyone looking to break into advertising needs a body of well-presented work. One that shows skill, personal branding, and makes an impression. After all, if you are going to get the job over anyone else, you will need to stand out from the crowd!
The good news is that many advertising schools pay particular attention to portfolio creation in their programs. That means by attending their courses, you can be sure you will have a substantial body of evidence you need to launch your advertising career.
Of course, there are a vast wealth of schools that offer portfolio-focused courses. Fortunately, you can read about some of the best and most respected in the post below.
You will also discover what you can expect from their curriculums, and how much each course charges you for the opportunity to attend.
Miami Ad School
For those looking to polish their portfolios, the two-year intensive diploma program at Miami Ad School is an excellent choice.
During the first year of the course, you can expect to master creative theory and practical skills, including Adobe Creative Suite. In the second year, you will have the option to take up to four placements or internships.
Experiences that can help you find your feet in the real world of advertising and polish your portfolio until it truly shines.
Notable benefits of this course include prominent industry partners such as Facebook, YouTube, Ogilvy, R/GA, and Burger King. Miami Ad School also prides itself on employing expert tutors with real-life experience.
Virginia Commonwealth University - BrandCenter
For anyone looking to create a professional portfolio that will help them land a real-world job, Virginia Commonwealth University BrandCenter (VCU) is a great option. Rather than a diploma course, the program offered at VCU is a fully-fledged 2 years master's degree.
The Virginia Commonwealth University program is made up of three different elements, one of which is that all-important creative portfolio. However, in this course, you will also be working on a master’s in business and honing your creative thinking skills.
Practice and critique are the names of the game here, so if you want to know how your work could be better than VCU is a fantastic choice.
Particular benefits of attending this school include robust links with big brands like Apple, Google, and Nike. VCU also has an active alumni network that can come in pretty handy when you need some advice, feedback, or the scoop on which agency is the best employer.
Chicago Portfolio School
Next, let's take a peek at Chicago Portfolio School (CPS). With a name like that, you would undoubtedly expect portfolios to be high on the agenda.
You won't be disappointed here either because, at CPS, the year is broken down into 5 sections. The fifth being entirely devoted to perfecting your portfolio and making it the best it can be.
Of course, this program is a little different from others mentioned because it is only a year long. This is excellent news for those looking to save a little money as the entire course cost is $17,700.
Although, as they claim to do everything that other portfolio programs do in just a year, it's likely to be a rather intense experience.
Creative Advertising MA - Falmouth University
It's not just portfolio schools in the US that are esteemed for their advertising programs, though. In fact, there are several options based in the UK to consider, as well.
The first of these is the 1-year Creative Advertising MA course on offer at Falmouth University, a program split into three key areas of study.
The first two of these areas will cover topics such as creative advertising, studio practice, and concept development. Falmouth also makes a particular point of emphasizing the practice of working on real agency briefs and projects from day one.
Yet, it's the third module that particularly stands out here. The reason being that it is based entirely around resting a professional portfolio and website. Something you will get to do with the help of a professional copywriter or art director.
West Herts College - Professional Development Diploma In Art Direction and Copywriting
Another well-regarded school for studying advertising and getting your portfolio in shape in the UK is West Herts College. Where they offer a one-year intensive diploma course. This is a well-established program that has been running since 1961. It also has plenty of links to those currently working in the advertising industry.
Students will develop communication skills, conceptual thinking, and the practical crafts of advertising. West Herts also states that the main aim of the course is for each student to develop a portfolio of creative work.
Perhaps, one of the best things about this course is that you don't need to have an undergraduate agree to gain entry for the copywriting program. Instead, 2 A levels or industry experience is enough.
The downside to full-time ad school portfolio courses.
As you can see from the information above, there are many impressive advertising programs. All of which can put you in an excellent position concerning your portfolio at the end of your term of study.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to such courses that we also need to address. The first is that all the programs are full time, whether for one or two years. That means it is impossible to complete them if you are already working.
Next, while each course comes with a comprehensive curriculum, they are all incredibly expensive. With the cheapest being a whopping £4195, and the most costly setting you back issues with $51,726 of your hard-earned money.
Oh, and that is just tuition, so you will need to add rent and living costs for the 1 - 2 years you will be studying too.
Unfortunately, these issues can create a problem for people looking to break into advertising. After all, not everyone has one to two years of their life and thousands of dollars to spare. Fortunately, all is not lost.
In fact, if you are looking for a program that will help you build a professional ad portfolio, there is another option.
There is another way.
The alternative is online study with an organization like the San Francisco School of Copywriting. In fact, SFSC offers both basic (101) and advanced (202) copywriting courses online.
These flexible programs will teach you everything you need to know to become a capable advertising professional.
The copywriting 101 course covers topics such as how to know your audience, creating headlines and ads, and writing sales letters, among many others.
While the more advanced 201 course includes scripts, digital ads, white papers and case studies, landing pages, web content, and SEO.
You can also expect the 201 course to go over common copywriting blunders and conduct yourself as a freelancer in the industry.
That is not all these flexible, online courses will cover, though. In fact, both programs will also ensure you craft an impressive advertising portfolio at the same time.
The great thing is that each course runs for 8 weeks, entirely online. This means that they are much more suitable for those looking to continue working while studying, as well as people looking to make a change from their current career.
Lectures for each course are released on Sunday, so it's also a much more flexible option as you can choose to watch at a time that suits your schedule.
Then there are the costs involved, which you will see are at a remarkable $749 per course, substantially less than the programs listed above. What this means is that while studying at your own pace, with minimal disruption to your everyday life, you could do both courses.
Yet still have money left over compared to even the cheapest option mentioned above!
You can be sure that you will get access to quality, expert tuition from teacher Amanda Caswell. A former Nickelodeon script writer with experience writing for Campbell’s Soup and Disney, among others.
Therefore, if you want the best value, most flexible way to break into the competitive world of advertising, contact SFSC today.