Copywriting has a long and storied history in advertising, and it's fair to say that advertising could not exist without the conceptual vision of a copywriter.
Long before beloved Mad Men character Peggy Olson demystified the life of a copywriter to the general public, there has been a lure associated with how advertising is made. Today, the same sexiness associated with advertising factors mightily into the competitive nature of the industry. In the 1960's golden age of advertising, landing your first copywriting gig sometimes started with a "book" (aka copywriter portfolio), or simply being the nephew of a well-connected uncle. Nowadays, the process by which someone lands their dream job as a copywriter is a bit more complex. And it all starts with precisely how and where you improve your copywriting skills.
Getting your foot in the door starts with enrolling in a top copywriting program.
Networking is everything, and it's certainly no exception in the world of copywriting. Advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies are less likely to roll the dice when it comes to hiring the person in charge of crafting their brand's voice. The connections you make at a top copywriting school will help legitimize the name on your resume and set the stage for your career moving forward. Here is a list of the qualities one must consider when looking to sign up for a top copywriting program.
1) Pay Attention to the Placement Rate
If your journey towards finding the best copywriting programs has already begun, you may have run into the phrase "Placement Rate." This term refers to the percentage of copywriting students who end up finding work after graduating from a certificate program. Generally speaking, you want this number to be very high -- above 90% is considered strong. The network built by the people in charge of your copywriting program, in addition to the prestige associated with the name of the program, factor into your chances of landing a gig.
2) Find Out Who is Teaching Your Copywriting Courses
A copywriting program's value is directly tied to the very people who teach it. The best copywriting programs not only have experienced advertising vets on staff, but typically hire teachers who are still professionally active in the industry. Whether your teacher still works in the business can make a world of difference in your teachings as it is critical to stay current on industry trends and fast-evolving media platforms. Before enrolling in a copywriting class, always request a quick rundown of your teacher's background.
3) Check Out The Gallery of Student Work
Usually, the best copywriting programs will display the work created by their students. Be sure to analyze the work of recent studentsWhat does the work say about the copywriting program? Do you find it impressive? Are the assignments diverse? If you don't like the work of the copywriting school, then you are likely not going to create work at that institution to your liking. Copywriter portfolios are vital calling cards for all copywriting students, and if you can't sell yourself on your own work then you surely won't sell a Creative Director on it.
4) Know the Size of Each Class
A lot of copywriting programs talk a big game about their dedication to each student. But talk is cheap if your copywriting class has over thirty people. The best copywriting programs will have favorable teacher to student ratios so each student gets the maximum attention they deserve. Copywriting courses should feel like creative workshops: small, friendly and personalized. Your teacher and classmates should know your name. Copywriters grow in many cases by the value of the feedback they receive on assignments. Make sure you choose a copywriting program that values critical feedback over grades.
5) Consider the Cost of the Copywriting Courses
Whether you are pursuing a certificate program for copywriting or just a couple copywriting courses, choose the institution that gives you the best bang for your buck. There are very few prestigious copywriting programs in the world, and the majority charge an arm and a leg to get in the door. But there are a handful of reputable copywriting schools that offer prospective students more reasonable tuition rates. Each course you enroll in should be about value: how can my copywriting career be advanced? If the expensive classes seem to offer the same things as the programs that have more reasonable tuition rates, you should consider saving the extra money. After all, advertising school isn't like law school in that you'll be able to recoup your educational investment so quickly. In many agencies, starting salaries for a junior copywriter are $50,000 -- or sometimes even lower if you work at a startup or in-house.
About the San Diego Portfolio Studio
No matter if you're in the market for copywriting certificate programs or specialized copywriting courses, SDPS offers something for every copywriter. Learn copywriting and ideation in areas like print, outdoor, guerilla and digital, with experienced teachers who hail from respected ad agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, I.D.E.A. and Vitro. Enroll in copywriting courses for as low as $745 and be on your way to crafting an all-star caliber book. Benefit from an award-winning copywriting school that prides itself on a hands-on approach, with classes maxed out at 12 students per teacher. Work on real briefs and conceive fresh, original ideas made to solve real-world strategic problems. Check out our unique copywriting courses and fast-track your copywriting career with SDPS.