(Design and business schools are not the same and will produce wholly different types of future ad people. I’m going to focus here on the business side of the business.)
So, to the right training: Communications programs? Advertising schools? Commerce?
Based on the evidence I would say that your Bachelor of Commerce degree is your best choice. And here’s the evidence:
1. BCom students are schooled in running a business.
Communications programs tend to produce more rounded students and advertising schools more specifically wired candidates, but they’re mostly all new to business. BCom grads don’t just come in with experience gained through their internships, but with business ideas.
2. They’re more entrepreneurial.
Take a look at the University of Victoria’s BCom program. One of their majors is in Entrepreneurship. The students have to create companies, set business goals and meet them in competition with other students. That throws a lot of confident and road-tested people into the market. They get the importance of money in the process.
3. They’re more confident.
Maybe it’s because the University 4-year program is more grueling than a 2-year Communications degree or a 3-year Advertising diploma. Whatever it is, BCom grads come fully loaded. They know that if they decide not to go into advertising, they have other avenues open. They have more choices available to them I think.
4. They’re more adaptable.
Relevancy is extremely important when preparing students for the working world. The BCom programs do this better than other types because they’re about business and business is always changing anyway. Advertising was in a comfortable nap state for decades until the digital thing blew up. No doubt the programs have been challenged to keep pace.
I’m not for a moment suggesting that brilliant grads don’t come out of other types of programs. I just find the talent pool from the University Commerce programs more consistently able to deliver on these 4 points.
We’ve hired lots of grads from U Vic’s BCom program over the years, and two of them, Media Executive Diana Walter (Class of 2008) and Account Co-ordinator Andrea Merson (Class of 2010 – graduating this week in fact), are currently doing their school proud on our team.