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Alumni Profile


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Jordan Zimmerman

Jordan Zimmerman opened his own advertising agency in 1984 in 400 sq. ft. of office space in a Ft. Lauderdale strip mall. Today, he has more than 1,100 employees in 10 states, runs the 14th-largest agency in the nation doing close to $3 billion in billings per year, is a partner in the Florida Panthers, and endows a teaching program at USF, his alma mater.

Not bad for a guy whose first job was selling greeting cards door-to-door. But, then again, he was eight, and ended up selling his business at age 11 for quite a tidy profit, so maybe the signs were there from the start.

Using Your Degree

Earning a B.A. in mass communications prepares students for a variety of careers. Students can pursue a career in advertising, reporting, television production and public relations.

Journalism
Members of the media gather information, prepare stories, and make broadcasts that inform the public about local, state, national and international events; present points of view on current issues; and report on the actions of public officials, corporate executives, interest groups, and others who exercise power. Alumni from the School of Mass Communications work at some of the prestigious media outlets in the country including the St. Petersburg Times, NBC News and CNN.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to decline 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. Many factors will contribute to the decline in this occupation. Consolidation and convergence should continue in the publishing and broadcasting industries. As a result, companies will be better able to allocate their news analysts, reporters, and correspondents to cover news stories. Since broadcasting and newspapers--the two industries employing most of these workers--are dependent on advertising revenue, employment growth will suffer during an economic downturn. Improving technology may eventually lead to more employment growth in this occupation by opening up new areas of work, such as online or mobile news divisions. The continued demand for news will create some job opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that median annual wages of reporters and correspondents were $34,850 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $25,760 and $52,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,480. Median annual wages of reporters and correspondents were $33,430 in newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishing, and $37,710 in radio and television broadcasting.

Median annual wages of broadcast news analysts were $51,260 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,000 and $88,630. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $156,200. Median annual wages of broadcast news analysts were $51,890 in radio and television broadcasting.

 

Advertising
There are numerous opportunities in the advertising field, such as working as a advertising manager, account executive, media director or creative director. Advertising managers direct a firm's or group's advertising and promotional campaign. They can be found in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in companies that advertise heavily. In advertising agencies, account executives maintain the accounts of clients whereas the creative services department develops the subject matter and presentation of advertising. The media director oversees planning groups that select the communication medium—for example, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or outdoor signs—that will disseminate the advertising.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates overall employment of advertising, marketing, promotions and sales managers is expected to increase by 13 percent through 2018. Job growth will be spurred by competition for a growing number of goods and services, both foreign and domestic, and the need to make one's product or service stand out in the crowd.

Wages vary substantially, depending upon the employee's level of managerial responsibility, length of service, and education; the size and location of the firm; and the industry in which the firm operates.

 

Public Relations
Public relations specialists--also referred to as communications specialists and media specialists, among other titles--serve as advocates for clients seeking to build and maintain positive relationships with the public. Their clients include businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, hospitals, and other organizations, and build and maintain positive relationships with the public. As managers recognize the link between good public relations and the success of their organizations, they increasingly rely on public relations specialists for advice on the strategy and policy of their communications.

Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 24 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for good public relations in an increasingly competitive and global business environment should spur demand for these workers, especially those with specialized knowledge or international experience. Employees who possess additional language capabilities also are in great demand.

Median annual wages for salaried public relations specialists were $51,280 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,400 and $71,670; the lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,140, and the top 10 percent earned more than $97,910, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Related Links

Advertising Occupational Outlook Handbook
Journalism Occupational Outlook Handbook
Public Relations Occupational Outlook Handbook