Gone are the days when juniors were hired off the street because of a few promising scribbles on notebook paper and the fire in their eyes. The ad schools are pouring kids out onto the street, many of them with highly polished online portfolios. Question is, should you go to one?
Frank Anselmo, of the School of Visual Arts, strongly advises anyone seeking an ad career to enroll in a school. “There's no way to replicate being in a room with peers who are all hell-bent on kicking each other's butts every week. It's like ballplayers competing for the same position midseason before playoffs. Part of what's great about being in a class is the requirement you come in each week with new ideas. That constant expectation of your brain to keep pushing, it really makes you step up your game.”
As of this writing, the top-rated professional schools on my list are the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the Creative Circus in Atlanta, Miami Ad School (they've got campuses in a bunch of cool cities), NYC's School of Visual Arts, the University of Texas in Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter in Richmond, and the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Up in Canada, my friends Nancy Vonk and Janet ...