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Professional Commitment to Advertising: The Relationship between Advertising Education and Professional Commitment

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PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO ADVERTISING: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVERTISING EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT By JULIA JANE THOMAS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Julia Jane Thomas

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This document is dedicated to my family.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to express my love and gratitude to my husband, Bobby. Without his support I would have neve r been able to complete my undergraduate and graduate education at one of the most competitive schools in the nation. I would also like to thank Dr. John Suther land for serving as my thesis committee chairman. His balance of guidance and prom otion of independent thought have been a pivotal part of my graduate studies. I would also like to recognize the other two members of my committee: Dr. Chang Hoan-Cho, for his support and statistical savvy; and Dr. Cynthia Morton, for her encouragement and professional guidance. I also appreciate the cheerleading of Dr. Mickey Schafer, Dr. Robin Lauriaut, Cher Phillips, and Alaina Rodriguez. Their help was greatly appreciated. As we go in our own directions each will be missed.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................vi ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................3 Advertising Education..................................................................................................3 Educational Evaluative Methods...........................................................................3 Program Restructuring...........................................................................................5 Class Evaluation....................................................................................................7 Practitioners View..............................................................................................11 Commitment...............................................................................................................15 Evaluation of the Term Commitment..............................................................15 Professional Commitment...................................................................................16 Hypotheses..................................................................................................................19 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................20 Research Design.........................................................................................................20 Subject Selection........................................................................................................20 4 FINDINGS..................................................................................................................21 Characteristics of Respondents...................................................................................21 RQ 1: What is the Level of Commitm ent to the Advertis ing Profession?................21 RQ 2: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Wh en the Decision is Made to Pursue a Career in Advertising?...........................................................................................................22 RQ3: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Co mpleting an Internship?........................................24 RQ4: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Involvement in Organizations and Competitions?....24

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vi RQ5: Is There a Relationship betw een Commitment to the Advertising Profession and the Advertising Programs Preparation?.......................................25 RQ6: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Courses w ithin the Advertising Program?................26 RQ7: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Satisf action with the Profession?..............................27 RQ 8: What Significant Variable Best Predicts Commitment to the Advertising Profession?.............................................................................................................28 5 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................30 Summary.....................................................................................................................30 Implications................................................................................................................32 Future Research..........................................................................................................32 APPENDIX INFORMED CONSENT FORM AND QUESTIONAIRE.........................34 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................39 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................42

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Summary of commitment and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising................................................................................................................23 4-2 Summary of commitment and completion of an internship.....................................24 4-3 Summary of commitment and course s within the advertising program...................27 4-4 Regression analysis of all significant variables........................................................29

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viii Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Ma ster of Advertising PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO AD VERTISING: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVERTISING EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT By Julia Jane Thomas December 2004 Chair: John Sutherland Major Department: Advertising A college degree has become a requirement for many positions. A minimal amount of research has been done, explaining the in fluence of education on professions. This study explores whether there is a relati onship between advertising education and professional commitment to advertising. Us ing a survey given to alumni of a large Southeastern University, conducted in 2003, se ven factors were anal yzed: (1) level of commitment to the advertising profession, (2 ) when the decision was made to pursue a career in advertising, (3 ) completion of an internship, (4) involvement in organizations and competitions, (5) advertising program evaluation, (6) advertising courses, and (7) job satisfaction. These variables were then an alyzed to determine which had the largest contribution to professional commitment. Although significance was found among all th e variables except completing an internship, results show that how an individual rates the adve rtising program is the largest

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ix positive contributor to professional commitment. As a result, the findings of advertising education suggest significantly differe nt directions for future research.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Advertising educators and a dvertising practitioners disagree on what a student needs to know in order to succeed in adve rtising (Leckenby and Moore, 1973; Russell, 1978; Hunt et al., 1987). Practitioners argue th at college graduates are not prepared for a position in advertising and ther efore have a difficult time obtaining one (Zeltner, 1973). A professional commitment to a profession can therefore be difficult for a research graduate to develop (Smith and King, 1993). Research shows that factors in the work environment determine an individuals success in the advertis ing profession (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). No research explains whether factors in an individua ls academic program correlate with the individuals commitment to the advertisi ng profession. Commitment is an important factor to consider, because it has been shown to have a causal relationship with organizational commitment, including the amount of turnover in an organization (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). Our secondary research analysis attempte d to determine answers to the following six questions: RQ1: What is the level of commit ment to the advertising profession? RQ2: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising? RQ3: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and comple ting an internship?

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2 RQ4: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and involvement in organizations and competitions? RQ5: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and the advertising programs preparation? RQ6: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and courses within the advertising program? RQ7: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and satisfacti on with the profession? RQ8: What significant vari able best predicts commitment to the advertising profession? After gathering results for RQ1, we compared commitment to the variable in the next six questions, to determine if a significant re lationship existed. Variables found to be significant were then compared, to determine which one best predicts commitment to the advertising profession. Answers to these questions may provide ev idence to current students of whether they will eventually be committed to the a dvertising profession. Results may also be helpful to advertising educator s in developing an advertisi ng program that ensures they are providing they highest rate of preparedness to their students.

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3 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Advertising Education Educational Evaluative Methods Evaluating education in the United States or iginated in the 1960s when individuals wanted to know if the War on Poverty and Gr eat Society Programs, created by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, were successful (Becker a nd Kosicki, 1998). With the creation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Ac t of 1965 institutions were required to adequately evaluate their academic programs in order to adequately evaluate their academic programs in order to receive government funding. Several organizations are i nvolved in making sure academia is accountable for its actions at the university level. This incl udes government and education policy planners, media industries, and members within the academic environment, such as administration, faculty, and students. Everyone wants to know if the educational institutions are doing their jobs; many want to know which ones ar e doing those jobs be tter than others (Becker and Kosicki, 1998, 1). Each organization applies di fferent measures on which to make their evaluations. These include evaluation of acad emic literature, which are based on program reviews and performance indicators, program accreditat ion, and commercial evaluations including The Gourman Report U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review All of these evaluative resources have drawbacks. Rankings in academic literature are most often based on quality, an ambiguous term that the National Research Council believes is

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4 centered solely around reputation. Other wa ys quality is determined is through evaluating the characteristics of an institu tion, faculty, students, and student activities (Becker and Kosicki, 1998). A ccreditation is most often seen as another inadequate form of evaluation because standards for which ad equacy is applied differ from school to school. Evaluations of an in stitution should only depend on th e professional outcomes of their students (Gaiter et al., 1999). However, there is no focus given on the outcome of the education for the students in the professi onal arena. Each institution is evaluated, instead, on certain standards that may be d eemed successful at one institution but not another (Becker and Kosicki, 1998 ). According to Gaiter et al (1994) the best decision is to combine all of the available alternatives. Commercial evaluations gather their information strictly from the universities they intend to study. For example, U.S. News and World Report in conducting one of its most recent graduate school studies in 1995, asked leading faculty from schools they felt needed to be included in th e ranking. Their questionnair e asked faculty members to, rate each school according to one of five levels of academic quality (Becker and Kosicki, 1998, 8). In Lickert scale format (1=marginal, 5=strong) respondents were asked to rate schools on adjectives such as di stinctiveness, marking dont know if they were unfamiliar with the sc hool (Becker and Kosicki, 1998). Based on the results collected by U.S. News and World Report the advertising schools deemed the best by faculty members at schools for journalism and mass communications (Whitelaw, 1996) were as follows: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Florida Northwestern University (Ill.) University of Texas at Austin, and

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5 University of Georgia. Program Restructuring Having a ranking in a nationally known magazine, like U.S. News and World Report, does not ensure a programs survival. For example, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), which ranked number one in the latest report and is also the nations oldest advertising education programs, is in danger of being disbanded. The Universitys 300 advertising students are shoc ked, joining together to form AdAdvocates, an organization with the goal of keeping the discipline at UIUC. While students are blaming the University for not providing the discipline with enough funding to sustain adequate faculty, a report by Provost Richard He rman notes that the advertising program has imploded (Lazare, 2003, 51). Two of th e programs most distinguished faculty members have transferred to the Universitys College of Business. One professor of advertising, Linda Scott, believes the adve rtising program is the Mass Communication Colleges cash cow, but not enough of th e advertising student s tuition has been funneled back in to the discip line. Walt Harington, a professo r of journalism, is heading a task force that will, look from an insi ders prospective at how the College of Mass Communications is structured and how its various departments are pursuing their respective missions, as well as proactively c onsider what the colleges future goals should be (Lazare, 2003, 51). Provost Herman called off the search for a new dean, questioning whether advertising and journa lism should be incorporated within the College of Mass Communication (Crain, 2003). This is not a new trend. Advertisi ng schools are facing both budgetary and philosophical contempt while at the same time they have, more students then ever applying for schools specializi ng in advertising (Crain, 2003, 18). Experts believe

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6 problems have arisen because most advertising programs are understaffed. The ideas circulating within the academic environment are that advertising is bad stuff and its OK to shortchange anyone associated with it (Crain, 2003, 18). However, even though more students apply for these programs colle ges ad departments have to fight for academic respect and funding (Crain, 2003, 18). Others point to inconsistency within education because academics distinguish certain forms of promotion as not advertising (Richards and Curran, 2002). Partly because of this thought some at the university level want to restructure advertising programs, making them more integrated with other disciplines in the marketing field (Crain, 2003). Referred to as Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) the goal is to show how to understand consumers on a deeper level (Oliver and Rust, 1994). At its inception, practitioners argued about where the im portance within advertising academia should be. This thought, thereby sepa rated the study of a dvertising in to the journalism view and the marketing view (M andell, 1975). Hence, one of the larger debates in the field was where advertising s hould be taught; either in the marketing or journalism school (Russell, 1977). One si de saw individuals within the business department teaching aspects of advertising th at were strongly established on the facultys degree preparation from business schools. Th e other side saw faculty members in the journalism school who were quite differe nt, having a background in communications education. The ideal program for advertisi ng had not yet been reached (Mandell, 1975). Larkin (1977) took on the task of dete rmining where advertising belonged in academia by asking students both in and outside of the discipline. Studies of this topic primarily show that students attitudes towa rd courses vary enormously (Palmer, 2003).

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7 Therefore, in many cases, we may be making decisions conc erning advertising education on the basis of obsolete data (Larkin, 1977, 42). The majority of students questioned believed advertising was both an ti-social and uneconomic, thereby placing advertising in an area outside both business and journalism. What may be needed to improve advertis ing education in the future is a more thorough and comprehensive program of in formation concerning the social and economic effects of advertisi ng so that advertising stude nts can better answer the questions raised by their peers, and a broader, more comprehensive program designed to inform non-advertising majors of these areas of interest (Larkin, 1977, 46). Two major problems exist with studies involving students. The first is that these studies are done sporadically, and can therefore be highly outdated (Palmer, 2003). The second is that while most students are going th rough an academic program they are highly critical of them or have unrealistic expect ations. They mellow with time (Christian, 1973, 14). The real catch lies in the fact that if a student follows the business track they will leave out a real void in their preparation fo r an advertising career. At the same time, the journalism track simply does not meet th e needs of students today when more than ever an understanding of the whole business environment is essential for a successful advertising career (Mandell, 1975, 8). Class Evaluation Advertising education in 1973 was seen by practitioners as healthy (Christian, 1973). Agencies such as Leo Burnett, Grey, and J. Walter Thompson reported good results from advertising recruits, noting they were successful within research, media, creative, and account work. There was no argum ent over rather the tr ade or educational philosophy regarding the discipline was more im portant. Major universities with broad

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8 communications, journalism, and business curri culum do an excellent job of providing the theory and philosophy spri nkled with how to do it courses (Christian, 1973, 12). Universities, such as the University of I llinois, were cited as developing a students analytic and creative thinking skills, creating awareness of the tools needed to solving product issues, encouraging the student to develop an understanding of humanities and social sciences, and educating them on adve rtisings traditions, a nd purpose (Christian, 1973). Advertising curricula was seen as providi ng a large service at the time, creating two distinct types of students. Th e first were those interested in making advertising a career while the second were those who took courses in advertising to find out about one of the, most persuasive forms of communication (Christian, 1973, 14). However, even in 1973 professionals within the field still saw r oom for improvement. The most prevalent idea was that advertising education needed to stress the importance of understanding society. Educators in the field were expect ed to continually evaluate and improve the curricula offered and be honest with students about their strengths and weaknesses. In A Philosophy of Advertising Education Carl Sandage noted that, emphasis should always be placed on teaching the student rath er than teaching a course or subject (Christian, 1973, 15). This thought was already being practiced in advertising academia where students were required to determine their specializat ion within the discipline. Practitioners believed students needed to know both producti on and financial difficulties involved in advertising decisions (Lewis and Smith, 1956). A number of schools were interested in introducing product cases within the confines of the classr oom so students could get a

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9 clear understanding of everyones roles within the ag ency while not inund ating them with repetitious tasks. The goal was to allow stude nts to deal with the success or failure of any promotional effort (Lewis and Smith, 1956, 281). It was noted that a copywriter would have little going for him with a prospe ctive employer if he only studied the theory of advertising (Mande ll, 1975, 8). Most of the students wo rked with others outside their discipline, such as fine arts. The primary role of the instructor was to not concern himself with factual knowledge as much as with the development of the students power to act successfully in a problem s ituation (Lewis and Smith, 1956, 282). The curriculum being taught in classrooms today mirrors that of what was taught during this time, stressing importance in subj ects such as strategy development, planning, and consumer behavior (Marker, 1999). St udents are more often required to take additional courses in advertis ing copy for traditional media, how ad copy works, how to choose the right medium, and how to manage traditional advertising (Oliver and Rust, 1994). Some of these classes include disc ussion about how advertising influences societal stereotypes, including gender, ethn icity, and sexual preferences (Sawyer, 2004). These classes also incorporate the framewor k of Integrated Marketing Communications, (IMC) which will no longer be useful within th e next 10 to 15 years because of what is going on within the business of advertising (O liver and Rust, 1994). Simply, a change in marketing will require a change in advertising. In order to be able to incorporate these changes students need to understand con cepts encompassing creativity, behavioral sciences, customer orientation, and business -government relationships (Montana, 1973). Therefore, one of the larger debated be tween professional and educators is what curricula the advertising major should be requi red to take in order to gain the largest

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10 amount of knowledge within the confines of the academic environment. The major problem with most of the previous discussions of the problems of advertising education is that often they tend to look at broad issues without ex amining some of the fundamental problems of advertising curri cula (Russell, 1977, 50). A lthough taking college courses will not immediately enable an individual to find a job in a dvertising, classes can help a students focus and provide focus (Palmer, 2003) The question often arises as to what the ideal advertising program [should] consist of in terms of major course, electives, and minors, whether administered in schools of journalism or business (Russell, 1977, 51). Factors also included are the to tal length of the program, hour s of instruction required of advertising majors, whether a class in advertis ing and society was required or an elective, and how marketing courses are incorporated in to the curriculum. At the time Russell (1977) found that students could enter an advert ising track in their first or fifth year, depending on the institution and that the requ ired number of hours were similar although the number of courses within the discipline of advertising differed, including advertising and society. Russell also found that traditi onal news courses, which were housed under the journalism college, were more often re quired of students with each discipline. Advertising educators believed that mark eting was necessary in the advertising curriculum to help the student understand term inology used in the professional arena. However, most schools did not list one marketi ng class as a requirement (Russell, 1977). Individuals interested in pur suing a career in advertising need to take English, Humanities, and Science courses outside th eir discipline (Dunbaugh, 1957). They also need to involve themselves in internships and extracurric ular activities that involve interacting with members of professional advertising (Russell, 1978). More importantly

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11 they need to know how to pr ofessionally communicate (Dunbaugh, 1957). They need to understand and be able to effectively use non-traditional forms of media (Oliver and Rust, 1994). If advertising education fails to evolve with the changing media involvement it will eventually lead the pr ofession to failure. As of now the $138 billion advertising industry seems unprepared for the future (K ing and Smith, 1993, A1). Students need to be aware of the changing media landscape, resulting from media fragmentation, shift from a product-oriented to service-oriented environment, and mass customization of the media message. Advertising academia will be forced to reinvent itself, perhaps in to a more specialized discipline. Perhaps renami ng the term advertising to consumer communications or media information management will help to provide focus and specialization (Oliver and Rust, 1994, 72). It is essential that there be a, more accurate depiction of the business and th e fiercely strategic, complex, business-oriented, financial nature of the work (Sawyer, 2004, 26). For th is change to occur, it has been suggested that some classes need to be obliterated al l together, including advertising management, advertising campaigns, and advertising strate gy, because they reflect the old agency environment. The implication is that the core of the new curriculum must reflect the emerging business realities of the inform ation superhighway (Oliver and Rust, 1994, 72). Specializations within the discipline will most certainly ensure its survival. The recent advertising graduate needs to have ski lls instilled in him which he cannot obtain in any other way except through higher education (Dunbaugh, 1957, 341). Practitioners View There are practitioners who believe advertising cannot be taught in a classroom, and since the major employment opportunities for students who study advertising are

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12 agencies, advertisers, and media their opi nion should be noted (M andell, 1975). Some practitioners have gone on to campuses to te ll students they are wa sting their time getting a college degree. They admit to ignoring adve rtising educators and do not hire graduates, encouraging the notion that getting a degree in advertising will prevent an individual from getting a job in advert ising (Christian, 1973). The Wall Street Journal recently stated the quality of undergradua te ad studies at colleges and universities is inconsistent (Crain, 2003, 18). Faculty members are asking th emselves if all practitioners share this opinion (Russell, 1978). Adver tising agencies and advertiser s are finding that many of the college graduates entering our business ar e, in many cases, not adequately prepared for a career in advertising (Zeltner, 1973, 178). They have begun to question whether the jobs they are doing in educating these students is good enough, concerning themselves from what looks good from the pr actitioners point of view (Russell, 1978). To determine the accuracy of whethe r students are prepared for a job in advertising Leckenby and Moore (1973) que stioned educators, practitioners, and educators. University educators were asked questions regarding, the change of the curriculum at their resp ected university sinc e they were hired, the quality of the advertising students, whether universities are provi ding practitioners with the most promising students the value of advertising as a course in the future if they studied in advertising, how valuab le their educational experience was, and about the exchange of ideas between themselves and practitioners. More often than not educators replied in a positive light to these questions. Educators also said that the mission of advertising education was to first provide students with problem solving training, second prepare stude nts for a long-term career, third give the student an appreciation of the field, fourth prepare student fo r first job in advertising, and fifth teach students the latest advertising appr oaches. Practitioners ranked the choices the

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13 same as educators, but students had a differe nt ranking. The first important thing when determining their advertising educations purpose was preparing them for a long-term career, second to teach them the latest advert ising approaches, third to provide them with problem solving training, forth to prepare them for their first job in advertising, and fifth to give them an appreciation of the fiel d. Both practitioners and students believed advertising history was the most important cl ass at undergraduate level, while educators believed it was magazine article writing. Cl early all three groups did not match, although the researchers believed that the practitioners and students agreed more often with one another than with the faculty (Leckenby a nd Moore, 1973). Educators believed that agencies are placing a higher value on gradua tes knowledge while practitioners believed colleges are giving students very little, in sinuating that most students are taught by people who cant get a job (Leckenby and M oore, 1973, 7). In an open-ended question, educators were asked what could be done to im prove the quality of a dvertising education. The item most suggested was a large amount of communication between educators and practitioners, who pointed to a lack of appropr iate materials, orient ation, and advertising techniques as factors in the decl ine of the quality of education. Moore and Leckenby (1993) believed in five objectives for which advertising should strive: prepare the student for a career, prepare the student for their first job in advertising, teach the student the latest advertising approaches, provide the student with tr aining and judgment, and give the student and appreciation of the field of advertising. However, some practitioners do not believe educators are able to fulfill these suggestions (Hunt et al., 1997). Practitioners believe adve rtising educat ion is cloud-

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14 built, not in tune with reality (Dunbaugh, 1957, 341). In order for the academic world to meet the professional one there needs to be some form of work-based learning. Also known as placements these programs incorporate acad emia in to real-life. Most colleges already involve working practitioners in some respect (Burgoyne, 2004, 10). Instead of relying on educational institutions to produce future advertising scholars, some are placing their confidence in others. Wieden & Kennedy, an advertising creative agency in Portland, Oregon has created it s own class where students pay $13,000 for a 13-month program in order to work with actual clients. Thousands of applicants applied, but only 12 were selected. Agencies and servic es or brands are begi nning to get involved directly with students. For example, Virg inia Commonwealth University was given the opportunity to reintroduce the Virgin Cola brand to the United States. It is not clear whether this will result in a change in education (Ives, 2004). The concept of offering additional instruction to recent graduate is not all together new. Ogilvy & Mather has a paid year-long course calle d Young Guns that provides newly graduated individuals with training and experience (Ives, 2004). Most individuals who have a career-love w ith advertising are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and show it (Baker, 1997, 31). Hunt, Chonko, and Wood (1987) explored the question relating to career-love as to whether an advertising education is better than being trained within the advertising environment. Until this time there had been no information available about a possi ble relationship between long-term career success and a college acquired advertising education. They questioned advertising executives this and other topics such as whether advertising education should emphasize theory or practice and whether students should be educated in respect to their first job in

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15 advertising or their long-term car eer. They found that an ad vertising education does have a positive effect income when compared to other educational concentrations. There was also a relationship between how successful th e individual believed themselves to be and if they got a degree in adve rtising. Those who majored in business, communications, and humanities also felt successful. Calkins (1946), in his paper titled Objec tives of Business Education, noted that, any student with intelligence enough to be nefit from a college education should be prepared for a career (Hunt et al., 1987, 44). He also noted that the primary purpose of education should be to prepare the student for a career. However, advertising is seen as more trade than profession (Sawyer, 2004). Both educators and practitioners have expressed their own views on th e topic; each seeing the other side as misguided. The little amount of research that has been done concentrates primarily on the opinions of either group, each individual with different be liefs, biases, and backgrounds (Hunt et al., 1987). Commitment Evaluation of the Term Commitment Although there are variations, th e term commitment is simp ly defined the state of being obliged or emotionally compelled (Mish, 1989, 265). This physically occurs when an individual combines his self interest with activities that help to define them. It is used in sociological research to analyze individual and orga nizational behavior, describe or account for the behavior of people or groups and in conjunction with topics such as religion, power, recruitment, and political beha vior. The term has been made to cover a wide range of common-sense meanings, w ith predictable ambiguities (Becker, 1960, 33).

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16 More often commitment refers to some form of consistent behavior, continuing over some period of time thereby having th e individual make a commitment or be committed. One of the larger discussions in so cial science is to determine the essence of commitment as it relates to human behavior. Research has gone on to clarify the term by associating it with theories of social sanction and social cont rol. These theories propose that people act consistently because activity of some particular kind is regarded as right and proper in their society or social group (Becker, 1960, 34). The largest problem with these theories, however, deals wi th the fact that most indivi duals react wit hout a notion of being punished. Whatever the case, it can not be argued that commitment either arises knowingly or unknowingly; the individual either knows they are committed or is faced with an obstacle that makes them rea lize they are committed (Becker, 1960). Commitment is most often studied as it relates to an individuals att itude and behavior at their workplace, specifically in regards to how turnove r is affected (Chang, 1999). Professional Commitment Occupational or professional commitment is defined a persons belief and acceptance in the values of his or her c hosen occupation or line of work, and a willingness to maintain membership in th at occupation (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994, 536). For example, men ordinarily settle down to a career in a limited field, and do not change jobs or careers whereby they become committed to a particular occupation (Becker, 1960, 33). Other term s used in measuring the concept of professional commitment, including career motiv ation and professionalism. These terms are most often combined to create the defi nition for career commitment, defined ones attitude towards ones vocation, in cluding a profession (Blau, 1989, 89).

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17 Directly associated is the occupational value system, which goes in to a larger amount of detail about occupational commit ment and looks at concepts such as objectives, standards, autonomy, and loyalty. It has been ge nerally understood that if an individual feels he is occupationally comm itted he will be organizationally committed as well, meaning that a decrease or increase in one aspect will give the same decrease or increase in the other. However, several researchers (Miller a nd Wagner, 1971; Greene, 1971) have proven this observation to be incorrect. Instead it is has been understood that professional commitment shares a causal re lationship with organizational commitment (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). So, rela tively high organizational commitment is a result of an individual fee ling that the organization satis fies his professional goals (Kalleberg, 1977). Past rese arch has primarily focused on measuring professional and organizational commitment in search of th eir correlation with job practices or the organization. Individuals tend to bring a certa in number of traits that are important to them to their profession, comparing those traits within the organizati on to their level of expectation and the reality (Chang, 1999). Problems in comparing both forms of commitment arise when researchers fail to in clude the definition of commitment in their study, leaving individuals to how they percei ve commitment (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). Research has shown there is a correlation between the age of an individual and their idea of professional commitment (Alutto et al., 1973). A younger individual has a larger amount of professional commitment than a person in his middle years. This is perhaps due to adjustments made by i ndividuals to the realities and problems of individual occupational interaction (Alutto et al ., 1973, 452). It was also found that those

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18 individuals interested in an advanced degree, and males, had a larger amount of professional commitment. This concept has in creased in importance since a profession or career has provided a significant source of occupational meaning when organizations have become unable to provide em ployment security (Chang, 1999, 1259). Information gathered about the relationship between a dvertising professions and advertising education has been somewhat unobtainable because of low response rate. However, one study was able to overcome th is and discovered a positive relationship between individuals who majored in advert ising and variables within the workplace, including variety in their job and feedback fr om their supervisor (H unt et al., 1987). The same study showed a negative relationship between individuals who majored in advertising and those who thought their job had enough opportunity for independent thought and action. Another negative rela tionship was shown between those who majored in advertising and opportunity to complete the work that was started. A gap clearly exists in research that explains if a relationship exists between variables within advertising education and a professional co mmitment to advertising. As a result, the secondary analysis presented in this thesis attempts to answer the following eight research questions: RQ1: What is the level of commit ment to the advertising profession? RQ2: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising? RQ3: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and comple ting an internship? RQ4: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and involvement in organizations and competitions? RQ5: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and the advertising programs preparation?

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19 RQ6: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and courses within the advertising program? RQ7: Is there a signific ant relationship between comm itment to the advertising profession and satisfact ion with profession? RQ8: What significant vari able best predicts commitment to the advertising profession? Hypotheses H1: There will be a high level of co mmitment to the advertising profession. H2: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising. H3: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and completing an internship. H4: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and involvement in organizations and competitions. H5: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and the advertis ing programs preparation. H6: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and courses within the advertising program. H7: There will be a significant relations hip between commitment to the advertising profession and satisfaction to the profession. H8: Completing an internship will best predict commitment to the advertising profession.

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20 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Research Design Data was taken from a questionnaire that was sent to advertising graduates from a large Southeastern University in 2003. (See Appendix for survey sample.) The purpose of the questionnaire was to gather information fr om alumni of the advertising program. It was not done to determine the answers to the aforementioned research questions. The questionnaire consisted of th ree parts. The first part was comprised of questions concerning involvement and evaluation of th e subjects education. The second part questioned the subject about their professiona l experiences and hist ory. The third asked demographic questions, relating to gender, ethnic background, and citizenship. Once collected the surveys were coded and analysis was done to test the relationships between variables. Subject Selection A listing bought and generated from a larg e Southeastern Universitys alumni association enabled six thousand surveys to be sent out to graduates from the department of advertising. Of those six thousand surveys 804 were return ed, a response rate of 13%. The participation of the survey was strictly voluntary; the subjects did not have to answer any questions they did not wish to answer. There was no penalty for not participating, no compensation provided for their participation, and all surveys were kept confidential.

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21 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Characteristics of Respondents A total of 502 (62.4%) of respondents we re female and 302 (37.6%) were male. The bulk of the respondents (47.9%) graduate d between 1990 and 1992; some as early as 1957. These individuals began their academic car eer at the University of Florida (62.1%) or transferred from an in-s tate community college (24.8 %). Approximately 36.7% did not work during the pursuit of their degree. Over half (63.8%) of these individuals took two months or less to find their first positi on after graduation. Ov er half (56.1%) have also been employed by up to four companie s, where employees number between one and 300,000. Most (74.8%) are employed full time, but only 23.1% work either within the advertising or media industry. Over half (65.4%) also see their current position as a career instead of a job. These positions include account management, media planning, and design, among others not directly involved with advertising such as homemaking and accounting. RQ 1: What is the Level of Commit ment to the Advertising Profession? Survey respondents were asked to evaluate their commitment to the advertising profession on an interval scale where one wa s the lowest value and 10 was the highest. (Appendix, survey question 35.) Of 804 res pondents, 752 answered the question. The average level of commitment was 5.47 with a range of one to ten and a standard deviation of 3.43. The median was 6.0 and the mode was one.

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22 RQ 2: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and When the Decision is Made to Pursue a Career in Advertising? Survey respondents were asked to choose a category that best de scribes when they decided to major in advertising. (Appendix, su rvey question 3.) Out of the total number of respondents 743 answered the question. Wh en respondents were asked, Which of the following best describes your academic program?, 17.4% believed they knew the specific advertising area in which they wanted to focus and stayed within the area. The largest amount of individuals (35.1%) developed thei r career interests while they were in the advertising major. A little less (26.8%) we re interested in another major when they were accepted in to the college, but after ta king some advertising courses changed their mind. About 14.7% had some interest in majori ng in advertising, but after taking courses decided advertising was not their career choice. The smallest amount (4.6%) never intended to pursue a career related to advertising. In order to avoid analysis of small groups these categories were collapsed in to three groups, thereby combining similar characteristics of tw o similar options. The last category, respondents who never intended to pur sue a career related in advertising was deleted because of a low response rate. Th e two combined were those who developed their career interests while in the advertisi ng major with respondents who had a different career interest when entering the University, but after taking some courses changed their mind. This new group totaled 503 responde nts or 62.6%. The other two groups remained the same. The groups were labele d number one, two, and three in order to obtain results: The individual knew the advertising area in which to focus and stayed with that area.

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23 The individual solidified their career c hoice in advertising after taking some courses. The individual had a career interest in advertising, but after taking courses decided it was not their career choice. There is a statistically significant e ffect on commitment to the advertising profession and when an individual determ ines their career in advertising (p .05). Further testing reveals an equally strong re lationship when any of these variables are combined. Results show that if an indi vidual either knows they want to focus in advertising or if they solidify their career interest in advertising after taking course then they are more likely to have a stronger co mmitment to their advertising profession. Those who wanted to focus in advertising and stayed in that area averaged a 7.0 on the commitment scale, while those who solidified their career interest in advertising after taking courses averaged a 6.0. Those who ha d a career interest in advertising then change their minds had a low commitment to their advertising prof ession, averaging a 2.5 on the commitment scale. The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are listed in Table 4-1. Table 4-1. Summary of commitment and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising. Choice Mean Std. Deviation Knew specific advertising 7.04 3.26 area in which to focus and stayed in that area Solidified their career choi ce 5.86 3.23 in advertising after taking some courses Had a career interest in 2.63 2.55 advertising, but after taking courses decided it was not their career choice F = 74.25* df = 2, p = .00

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24 RQ3: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Completing an Internship? Survey respondents were asked, Did you complete an intern ship? (Appendix, survey question 10.) Out of the total numb er of respondents 730 an swered the question. Over half (60.3%) reported th ey did not have an internsh ip, while the remaining (36.2%) reported they did. In order to be analyzed no and yes answers were recoded in to the numbers one and two, respectively: (1) no, did not complete an internship. (2) yes, did complete an internship. The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are listed in Table 4-2. Table 4-2. Summary of commitment and completion of an internship. Choice Mean Std. Deviation Completed internship 5.76 .66 Did not complete internship 5.03 .61 F = 7.78* df = 1, p = .01 There is a statistically significant effect (p .05) on commitment to the advertising profession and if an individual completes an internship. Results show that individuals who completed an internship were more li kely to be committed to their advertising profession, than those who did not complete an internship. RQ4: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Involvement in Organizations and Competitions? Survey respondents were asked, While you were an advertising major at UF, which of the following were you involved in ? (Appendix, survey question 13.) Out of the total number of respondent s, 782 answered this questi on. The largest organizational involvement was in Advertising Society (39.8% ) and the smallest was Orange and Blue

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25 Magazine (.9%). The largest competition in a competition was the AAF National Student Advertising Team (8.8%). The lowest was the IAA Interad Competition Team (.2%). Although respondents choose up to four cate gories, groups three and four were combined so groups could be composed of 30 or more individuals. Respondents who only participated in one group totaled 292 or 40%. A total of 110 or 15.1% choose two groups and a total of 45 or 6.61% in three or four groups. Because of their large number, 283 or 38.7%, individuals who did not choose an y categories were also considered. There is a relationship between commitment and involvement in organizations and competitions (r = .18). The largest re lationship was between respondents who participated in no organizations or comp etitions and choose a one on the commitment scale (N = 84). The second largest came from respondents who were involved in one organization or competition and choose a one on the commitment scale (N = 63). There were 52 respondents, involved in one organization, who choose number 10 on the commitment scale. Commitment to the adver tising profession increased as the number of organizations steadily increase d, from zero to two. Commitme nt to the profession went down when individuals were involved in thre e or more organizations or competitions. RQ5: Is There a Relationship between Co mmitment to the Advertising Profession and the Advertising Pr ograms Preparation? Respondents were asked, How well w ould you say the advertising program prepared you? (Appendix, survey question 13. ) The average level of preparation, as it related to the adver tising program, was 6.71 with a range of one to ten and a standard deviation of 1.85. The median was 7.0 and the mode was 7.0. There is a significant relationship betw een respondents commitment to their advertising profession and if they felt th e advertising program prepared them (p .05)

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26 with an F value of 5.26* There is a weak correlation be tween both variables (r = .21). However, only 4.2% (r2 = .042) of the variance of comm itment can be explained by how prepared they feel because of the advertising program. RQ6: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Courses within the Advertising Program? Survey respondents were asked, in an open-ended question, What advertising course(s) would you say has been most help ful to your career development? (Appendix, survey question 16.) Out of the total numb er of respondents 438 an swered the question. Only the first course listed was used in th e analysis because it can be assumed that the first course that came to mind was th e most applicable to the question. Classes were initially grouped in to seve n categories, determined based on their similarities: (1) all, (2) camp aigns, (3) research, media, a nd strategy, (4) copy and visual, and design, (5) mass communication law (MMC 2100), (6) business and marketing, and (7) none. In order to assure validity within the groups categories we re collapsed again so groups could consist of 30 or more individua ls. The new categories total 57.4% percent of the respondents, or 466 individuals. In order to be analyzed the numbers one through four were assigned to the new categories: (1) Mass communication law (MMC 4200) (3.9%, N = 32). (2) Copy and visual, and design (16.5%, N = 134). (3) Media, strategy, and research (14.8%, N = 120). (4) Campaigns (22.2%, N = 180). The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are listed in Table 4-3.

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27 Table 4-3. Summary of commitment and courses within the advertising program. Course name Mean Std. Deviation Mass communication law 5.21 3.22 Copy and visual, and design 5.83 3.28 Media, strategy, and research 6.37 3.22 Campaigns 6.36 3.38 F = 1.52, df = 3, p = .21 There was not a statistically significant effect (p > .05) on commitment to the advertising profession and what class the cl ass they felt was helpful. Respondents who reported that campaigns, media, strategy, and research were most helpful had a commitment level of 6.4. Those who re ported copy and visual, or design, had an approximate commitment level of 5.8. Re spondents who listed mass communication law had an approximate commitment level at 5.2. RQ7: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession and Satisfacti on with the Profession? Respondents were asked, All things cons idered, how satisfied are you youre your present job? (Appendix, surv ey question 33.) Over half of respondents (58.4%) are over moderately satisfied with their current j ob. The average level of satisfaction, as it related to satisfaction with the profession, ha d a mean of 7.74 with a range of one to ten, a standard deviation of 2.0 and a Pearson r of .149. Both the median and mode were 7.0. There is a positive relationship between professional commitment and satisfaction with current job. While not a larg e coefficient, there is a si gnificant relationship between respondents commitment to their advertising profession and satisfaction with the profession (p .05). The F value was 11.37*

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28 RQ 8: What Significant Variable Best Predicts Commitment to the Advertising Profession? Variables found to be significant were test ed to determine what variable best predicted commitment to the advertising profession. These va riables included the following: individuals who solid ified their career choice in advertising after taking some courses, individuals who had a career interest in advertising but after taking courses decided it was not their career choice, participation in an internship, organization and competition involvement, prepared because of the advertising program, and current job satisfaction. Because of lack of explanatory power, the variable concerning individuals who knew the specific advertising area in whic h to focus and stayed in that area, was excluded from the regression. Had a career interest in adve rtising, but after taking cour ses decided it was not their career choice was the largest negative contribut or and prepared because of the advertising program the largest positive. In all a persons assessment of how well a program prepared them and the students involvement in professional organizations are important to commitment. Interestingly, whether a person completed an internship is not related to professional commitment. The standard beta, tscores, and significance are listed in Table 4-4.

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29 Table 4-4. Regression analysis of all significant variables. Variable Std. Beta t Significance Solidified career choice in -.16 -3.60 .00* advertising after taking some courses Had a career interest in -.45 -9.89 .00* advertising but after taking courses decided it was not their career choice Participation in internship -.18 -.47 .64 Organization involvement .11 2.97 .00* Prepared because of .14 3.65 .00* advertising program Current job satisfaction .13 3.49 .00* F = 29.58* df = 6, p = .00

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30 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION Summary Individuals had an overall moderate leve l of commitment. This means that individuals have a moderate belief and accepta nce in the values of his or her chosen occupation or line of work, and a willingness to maintain membership (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). If an individual either knows they wa nt to study advertis ing, and is thereby interested in pursuing a career in advertising prior to taking a ny classes, they will have a stronger commitment to the advertising pr ofession after taking classes. Admitting individuals that have an inte rest in the program early will likely lead to professional commitment to advertising. Courses may or may not lead to professional commitment. Schools differ as to what the total length of the program should be, including the number of hours a student should be required to take (Russell, 1977; Sawyer, 2004). Individuals who complete an internship are more likely to be committed to the advertising profession. This supports the idea th at students need to involve themselves in internships and extracurricular activities th at involve interacti ng with members of professional advertising (Russell, 1978). If an individual does not get involved in either competitions or organizations related to the advertising major they are le ss apt to have a high level of professional commitment toward advertising. The more organizations an individual involves themselves in the lower professional commit ment they will have towards advertising.

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31 Commitment to the advertisi ng profession increased as the number of organizations steadily increased. Commitment to the prof ession went down when individuals were involved in three or more organizations or competitions. Since organizations and competitions are directly involved with educat ion, it is understood that they are used to help (1) prepare the students for a career and (2) prepare the student for their first job in advertising (Moore and Leckenby, 1993). Organizations and competitions have a positive effect on an individuals commitment to the advertising profession. If an individual feels the advertising pr ogram prepared them they are also more committed to the advertising profession. Ho wever, individuals who feel moderately prepared by the program are also the least co mmitted. This negates the idea that students highly critical evaluation of the advertisi ng program mellows with time (Christian, 1973). They are still critical of the program when comparing it to their commitment to their profession. There is not enough evidence to support the idea that a re lationship exists between identified courses that were most helpful and commitment to the advertising profession. There were no significant results discovered. It seems that alum nis view vary as to what course is the most important, therefore extend ing the view that atti tudes towards courses vary tremendously in to the pr ofessional realm (Palmer, 2003). The primary purpose of education should be to prepare the student for a career and that, any student with intelligence enough to benefit from a college education should be prepared for a career (Hunt et al., 1987). Based on these observations it makes sense that the largest positive predictor of commit ment to the advertising profession concerns individuals who feel prepared because of the advertising prog ram. It also makes sense

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32 that the largest negative predictor individuals who decided against a career in advertising after taking courses. Implications It can be argued that the evidence supporti ng this research is minimal and therefore should not be generalized to a different popul ation. However, some of the information may be helpful for students interested in the ad vertising profession. If an individual finds it important to be committed, or obliged or emotionally compelled, to the advertising profession they may want to consider how strong their interest is in advertising, if they should complete an internship, the number of organizations or competitions to be involved in, and the courses they should c onsider important (Mish, 1989). If students were to perform this early evaluation, adve rtising programs may also benefit. This evaluation may increase the pr eparedness rating programs receive from the individual post graduation. Individuals working within advertising may find it helpful to determine their satisfaction with their pr ofession. This evaluation could help them in determining their commitment to and their future with advertising. Members of advertising education, both faculty members and administrators, may also find it interesting to know that students who are already interested in the profession before taking any classes will have a higher le vel of commitment. They may also find it interesting to note that the largest contribu tor to professional commitment was if an individual felt the advertising e ducation program prepared them. Future Research This study evaluated whether a relations hip exists between factors within advertising education and a professional comm itment to advertising. The results support six of the eight hypotheses. The two that co uld not be supported dealt with whether a

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33 relationship existed between commitment to the advertising profession and courses within the advertising program, and that adve rtising would be the la rgest contributor to professional commitment to advertising. These relationships both returned with no significance. Future research should further explore th e effect education has on an individuals professional outcome.

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APPENDIX INFORMED CONSENT FORM AND QUESTIONAIRE

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35 Survey of Advertising Graduates Informed Consent Please read this consent document carefully befor e you decide to participate in this study. This study is being conducted by Dr. John Suther land, professorand chair of the Department o f A dvertising at the University of Florida. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to develop a profile of the professional history and accomplishments of advertising graduates. What you will be asked to do in the study: To participate, you may complete the attached questionnaire. Time required: 10 15 minutes Risks and Benefits: There are no risks. Participants will be able to receive a summary report of the results. Compensation: No compensation will be provided for your participation. Confidentiality: Your responses will remain anonymous. Voluntary participation: Participation is strictly voluntary, and you will not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you hav e questions about the study: John Sutherland, Professor and Chair Department of Advertising College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida PO Box 118400 Gainesville, FL 32611-8400 j sutherland@jou.ufl.edu Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office Box 112250 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-2250 (352) 392-0433 Signature Date

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36 Please fill in or mark your best answers. 1. When did you graduate from UF? Fall Spring Summer 1a. What year? 2. Which of the following best describes your academic program? Started and completed my undergraduate program at UF Transferred to UF from a community college in Florida Transferred to UF from a community college outside of Florida Transferred to UF from a 4-year institution in Florida Transferred to UF from a 4-year institution outside of Florida 3. Which of the following best describes you? I knew the specific advertising area in which I wanted to focus and I stayed within that area. I developed my career interests while I was an advertising major I had an interest in advertising when I entered the advertising program, but after taking courses in advertising I decided that it was not the career choice for me. I never intended to pursue a career related to advertising I had a different career interest when I entered UF, but after taking advertising courses I decided that advertising was the career choice for me. 4. In which of the following advertising areas were you most interested while you were in college? (Mark all that apply.) Account coordinator Newspaper sales Account management Outdoor sales Account planner Political campaigning Advertising manager Print production Art director Product/brand manager Broadcast production Promotion/lMC manager Copywriter Promotional productsEvent planning specialty advertising Graphic designer Public relations Internet sales Radio sales Magazine sales Research/consulting Manufacturer's company representative/sales Sales promotion Marketing manager Television/cable sales Media buyer Traffic Media planner Other: Media sales in general 5. What was your minor or area of outside concentration? 6. Which did you complete? Foreign language requirement, or Quantitative option, or Neither applied to my program 7. What was your grade point average for advertising courses? 4.0 3.5 3.49 3.0 2.99 2.5 2.49 2.0 8. What was your grade point average overall? 4.0 3.5 3.49 -3.0 2.99 -2.5 2.49 -2.0 9. Did you graduate with honors? Yes, Honors Yes, High or Highest Honors No 10. Did you complete an internshi p? Yes. (Continue to 10a.) No. (Skip to question 11.) 10a. Did you intern in Gainesville? Yes No 10b. Where did you intern? Newspaper Radio station Television station Advertising agency Magazine Subscription newsletter Other: 10c. Did you receive academic credit? Yes No 10d. Did you get paid for your internship(s)? Yes No 10e. Did your internship lead to employment with the organization that o ffered the internship? Yes No 10f. Did your internship enhance your intent to pursue advertising as a career? Yes No 11. During your last year in school, how many hours per week (if any) were you working in a paying job? None 1 5 hours 6 10 hours 11 15 hours 16 20 hours 20 + hours 12. What metropolitan area, city or town, did you consider your hometown while you were a student at UF? City/Town State Zip Code

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37 13. While you were an advertising major at UF, which of the following were you involved with? (Mark all that apply) Independent Florida Alligator Orange and Blue Magazine Ad Society Member Ad Society Leader Entered a student ADDY competition and placed Entered a student ADDY competition, but did not place Entered the One Show competition and placed Entered the One Show competition, but did not place Served on AAF National Student Advertising Competition Team Served on DMA ECHO Student Competition Team Served on IAA Interad Competition Team None 14. On a scale of 1 -10, with 1 being not completely prepared and 10 being completely prepared, how well would you say the advertising program prepared you? 19. After graduation, what did you do? Went to graduate school Went to the military Continued a job I held while in school Accepted a position held open for me while I was in school Accepted a position I found after graduation Did not go to work immediately Other 20. At the time of your gra duation, how many job offers or solid job opportunities were available to you? (Specify number) 21. In the time since you graduated, have you ever worked for at least a year in any of the following categories? (Mark all that apply AND place a 1 next to the category where you had your first job.) Advertising agency Aerospace and Defense Agriculture Architecture Arts and Entertainment Automotive Aviation and Airlines Banking/Financial Services Beverage Biotechnology Construction Consulting Services Education Energy and Utilities Engineering Environment Fire, Law Enforcement, and Security Fishing Food Forestry Government-Federal Government-Local Government-State Graphic Arts Healthcare Hotel, Gaming, and Leisure Insurance Internet and New Media Legal Services Library Services Media-Broadcast Media-Print Media-Outdoor Military Mining Non-Profit and Social Services Personal Care and Service Pharmaceuticals Public Relations Real Estate Restaurant and Food Services Retail/Wholesale Science and Research Sports and Recreation Tobacco Telecommunications Transportation and Warehousing Travel and Tourism Other: 16. What advertising course(s) would you say has been most helpful to your career development? 17. What advertising course(s) would you say has been least helpful to your career development? 18. At this point in your career, what advertising professo r would you say had the most influence... 1. On you personally as an advertising student 2. On your career development 22. Counting only the time you actively sought a position, how many months would you say it to ok you to get your first job after graduation? 0 2 9 -11 3 5 12 + 6 8 23. Did you use a placement service or universit y resource to find post-graduation work? (Ma rk all that apply) Yes, College of Journalism Advertising Department Office Yes, general university resource Yes, general placement agency Yes, general online resource No 15. What would you recommend to improve our program? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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38 24. Are you currently employed or self-employed? Yes, full-time Yes, part-time Yes, both full-time and part-time No, I am enrolled in school (go to 34) No, I am unemployed but looking for work (go to 34) No, I am unemployed and not looking for work (go to 34) Other (please specify) 25. When did you start to work at your current job? 26. Which of the following best describes the industry in which you currently work? Retired Advertising agency Aerospace and Defense Agriculture Architecture Arts and Entertainment Automotive Aviation and Airlines Banking/Financial Services Beverage Biotechnology Construction Consulting Services Education Energy and Utilities Engineering Environment Fire, Law Enforcement, and Security Fishing Food Forestry Government-Federal Government-Local Government-State Graphic Arts Healthcare (month) (year) 28. What are your current duties? Art direction Interactive media Account management Marketing management Account planner Media buying Brand management Media planning Broadcast production Media sales Campaigning Print production Copywriting Research Creative director Traffic management Graphic design Other 39. Are you an American citizen? Yes No Thank you for your participation. Please use the envelope provided to return this questionnaire by April 15, 2003. 37. What is your gender? Male Female 38. Please mark your ethnic background: American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut Asian or Pacific Islander Black, not Hispanic Hispanic, of any race White, not Hispanic Other Hotel, Gaming, and Leisure Insurance Internet and New Media Legal Services Library Services Media-Broadcast Media-Print Media-Outdoor Military Mining Non-Profit and Social Services Personal Care and Service Pharmaceuticals Public Relations Real Estate Restaurant and Food Services Retail/Wholesale Science and Research Sports and Recreation Tobacco Telecommunications Transportation and Warehousing Travel and Tourism Other 27. What is your current job title? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 34. How many different employers, including your current employer, have you worked for since you graduated? (Please specify number. If you have ever been self-employed, please write a 1 next to "Self-employed".) Self-employed # of employers 35. On a scale of 1 10, 1 being not very committed and 10 being very committed, how committed do you fe el to your advertising profession? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 36. Do you wish now that you had prepared for a major othe r than in advertising? Yes No 33. On a scale of 1 -10, 1 being not very satisfied and 10 being very satisfied, all things considered (that is, thinking of the work, the opportunity for advancement, the salary, etc.), how satisfied are you with your present job? City/Town State Zip Code 32. In what metropolitan area, city or town, do you currentl y work? 31. Please approximate the total number of people employed in the company for which you work and/or in your own company. (please make your best estimate) 30. What is your current income before taxes from your employer? $0 24,999 $125,000 149,999 $25,000 49,999 $150,000 174,999 $50,000 74,999 $175,000 199,999 $75,000 99,999 $200,000 224,999 $100,000 124,999 $225,000 + 26. Do you think of the work you do as a "job" or do you think of it as a "career"? Job Career Don't know

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39 LIST OF REFERENCES Alutto, Joseph A., Lawrence G. Hrebin iak, and Ramon C. Alonso. (1973), “On Operationalzing the Concept of Commitment,” Social Forces 51(4), 448-454. Baker, Wilder. (1997), “AAF: No Lack of Enthusiasm for Advertising,” Advertising Age June 16, 68(24), 31. Becker, Howard S. (1960), “Notes on the Concept of Commitment,” The American Journal of Sociology July, 66(1), 32-40. Becker, Lee B. and Gerald M. Kosicki. (1998), “Evaluating Journalism & Mass Communication Education: Are U.S. Efforts Applicable Globally,” presented to the Professional Education Section of the In ternational Associa tion for Media and Communication Research at the 21st Scientific Conferen ce and General Assembly Glasgow, Scotland, July 26-30, 1-30. Blau, G. (1989), “Testing Generalizability of a Career Commitment Measure and Its Impact on Employee Turnover,” Journal of Vocational Behavior 35, 88-103. Burgoyne, Patrick. (2004), “Editorial: A ll Hands to the Pump,” Creative Review (January 5), 10. Chang, Eunmi. (1999), “Career Commitment as a Complex Moderator of Organizational Commitment and Turnover Intention,” Human Relations October, 52(10), 12571278. Christian, Richard C. (1973), “Advert ising Education is Alive and Well,” Journal of Advertising 2(2), 11-15. Crain, Rance. (2003), “Turbulence Hits Ad School: Fund Cuts, Academic Feuding,” Advertising Age November 17, 74(46), 18. Dunbaugh, Frank. (1957), “How Does Business Regard University Advertising Courses,” Journal of Marketing 21(2), 341-342. Gaither, Gerald, Brian P. Nedweek, and John E. Neal. (1994), “Measuring Up: The Promises and Pitfalls of Performance Indicators in Higher Education,” ASHEERIC Higher Education Re port Series, 95-5(23-5).

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40 Hunt, Shelby D., Lawrence B. Chonko, a nd Van R. Wood. (1987), “Advertising Education and Successful Advertisi ng Careers: Are They Related?,” Journal of Advertising Research April/May, 43-52. Kalleberg, A.L. (1977), “Work Values and Or ganizational Rewards: A Theory of Job Satisfaction,” American Sociological Review 45, 124-143. Lazare, Lewis. (2003), “U. of I. Ad Program in Trouble,” Chicago-Sun Times October 28, 51. Leckenby, John and Frazier Moore. (1973), “T he Quality of Advertising Education Today,” Journal of Advertising 2(2), 6-11. Lewis Edwin H. and Samuel V. Smith. (1956) “A Realistic Appro ach to Advertising Instruction,” Journal of Marketing January, 20(3), 281-284. Mandell, Maurice. (1975), “A Forum fo r Issues in Advertising Education,” Journal of Advertising 4(4), 7-8; 48. Marker, Robert S. (1999), “Campus Turf Battles Hamper Ad Students,” Advertising Age November 1, 70(45), 40. Mish, Frederick C., ed. (1989). Webste r’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary Philippines: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 265. Montana, Patrick J. (1973), “The Company Perspective,” Journal of Advertising 2(2), 16-17. Oliver, Richard W. and Ronald T. Rust (1994), “The Death of Advertising,” Journal of Advertising 23(2), 71-77. Richards, Jef I. and Catharine M. Curran. ( 2003), “Oracles on ‘A dvertising’: Searching for a Definition,” Journal of Advertising Summer, 16(2), 63-77. Russell, J. Thomas. (1977), “Advertising E ducation: Where Are We; Where Are We Going,” Journal of Advertising Summer, 6(3), 50-51. Russell, J. Thomas. (1978), “The Cha llenge of Advertising Education,” Journal of Advertising Spring, 7(2), 61. Sawyer, Linda. (2004), “Future Rests with the Best,” Advertising Age 75(19), 26. Smith, T.K. and T.R. King. (1993), “Hard Sell : Madison Avenue C ould Be Left Behind By Interactive World; What Would Re place Jingles?,” The Wall Street Journal (December 7), A1, A8.

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41 Vandenberg, Robert J. and Vida Scarpello. (1994), “A Longitudinal Assessment of the Determinant Relationship Between Employee Commitments to the Occupation and the Organization,” Journal of Organizational Behavior November. 15(6), 535-547. White, Erin. (2003), “Career Journal: Desp ite Slump, Students Flock to Ad Schools,” Wall Street Journal October 14, B.1. Whitelaw, Kevin. (1996), “News You Can Us e; America’s Best Graduate Schools,” U.S. News and World Report March 18, 98. Zeltner, Herbert. (1973), “What Do I Study in College to Get a Job in Advertising?,” Advertising Age (November 21), 44(48), 178.

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42 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Julia Jane Thomas grew up in Southern Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay and Solomon’s Island. She began the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree at Towson University near Baltimore, Maryland. In 1998 she moved to Florida with her hus band. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising at the Univer sity of Florida in May 2003. A few months later, in August, she began the pursuit of a Master of Science degr ee in Advertising from the University of Florida. Upon completion of her graduate endeavor, Julia plans to return to the Washington D.C. area to explore the realm of social marketing research.


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Title: Professional Commitment to Advertising: The Relationship between Advertising Education and Professional Commitment
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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Holding Location: University of Florida
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PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO ADVERTISING:
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVERTISING EDUCATION AND
PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT
















By

JULIA JANE THOMAS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ADVERTISING

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Julia Jane Thomas

































This document is dedicated to my family.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I would like to express my love and gratitude to my husband,

Bobby. Without his support I would have never been able to complete my undergraduate

and graduate education at one of the most competitive schools in the nation.

I would also like to thank Dr. John Sutherland for serving as my thesis committee

chairman. His balance of guidance and promotion of independent thought have been a

pivotal part of my graduate studies.

I would also like to recognize the other two members of my committee: Dr. Chang

Hoan-Cho, for his support and statistical savvy; and Dr. Cynthia Morton, for her

encouragement and professional guidance.

I also appreciate the cheerleading of Dr. Mickey Schafer, Dr. Robin Lauriaut, Cher

Phillips, and Alaina Rodriguez. Their help was greatly appreciated. As we go in our

own directions each will be missed.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TA BLE S ............. ....... .............. ......... .. ......... .. vii

A B S T R A C T .......................................... .................................................. v iii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ................. ........... ................. ... ..... 1

2 LITERA TURE REVIEW .......................................................... ..............3

A dv ertisin g E du cation ....................................................................... .....................3
Educational Evaluative M ethods................................ ................................... 3
Program Restructuring.................... .......... .............................. 5
Class Evaluation .................. ...................................... .. ........ ....
Practitioner' s V iew .................. .............................. ... ........ .............. .. 11
Com m itm ent ................................... .. .... ........... .............. ........... 15
Evaluation of the Term "Commitment".................. .........................................15
Professional Com m itm ent ............................................................................ 16
H ypotheses ................................................. 19

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 20

R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 2 0
Subject Selection ................................................................2 0

4 FINDINGS ................................................................ ..... ..... ........ 21

C characteristics of R espondents........................... .... ........ ........ .. ............... 21
RQ 1: What is the Level of Commitment to the Advertising Profession? ................21
RQ 2: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the
Advertising Profession and When the Decision is Made to Pursue a Career in
A advertising? ............... ................. ................. .. .. ..... ............... 22
RQ3: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the
Advertising Profession and Completing an Internship? .....................................24
RQ4: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the
Advertising Profession and Involvement in Organizations and Competitions? ....24









RQ5: Is There a Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and the Advertising Program's Preparation? ......................................25
RQ6: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the
Advertising Profession and Courses within the Advertising Program? ..............26
RQ7: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the
Advertising Profession and Satisfaction with the Profession? ...........................27
RQ 8: What Significant Variable Best Predicts Commitment to the Advertising
P ro fe ssio n ? ............. ......... .. .. .............. ....................... ................ 2 8

5 C O N C L U SIO N ......... ......................................................................... ........ .. ..... .. 30

S u m m a ry ...................... .. ............. .. ..................................................... 3 0
Im p licatio n s ................................................................3 2
F utu re R research ................................................................ 32

APPENDIX INFORMED CONSENT FORM AND QUESTIONNAIRE ......... .......34

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ............................................................................................. 39

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ....................................................................................... 42
















LIST OF TABLES


Table pge

4-1 Summary of commitment and when the decision is made to pursue a career in
adv ertisin g ........................................................ ................ 2 3

4-2 Summary of commitment and completion of an internship ...................................24

4-3 Summary of commitment and courses within the advertising program...................27

4-4 Regression analysis of all significant variables............................................ 29















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Advertising

PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT TO ADVERTISING: THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN ADVERTISING EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT

By

Julia Jane Thomas

December 2004

Chair: John Sutherland
Major Department: Advertising

A college degree has become a requirement for many positions. A minimal amount

of research has been done, explaining the influence of education on professions. This

study explores whether there is a relationship between advertising education and

professional commitment to advertising. Using a survey given to alumni of a large

Southeastern University, conducted in 2003, seven factors were analyzed: (1) level of

commitment to the advertising profession, (2) when the decision was made to pursue a

career in advertising, (3) completion of an internship, (4) involvement in organizations

and competitions, (5) advertising program evaluation, (6) advertising courses, and (7) job

satisfaction. These variables were then analyzed to determine which had the largest

contribution to professional commitment.

Although significance was found among all the variables except completing an

internship, results show that how an individual rates the advertising program is the largest









positive contributor to professional commitment. As a result, the findings of advertising

education suggest significantly different directions for future research.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Advertising educators and advertising practitioners disagree on what a student

needs to know in order to succeed in advertising (Leckenby and Moore, 1973; Russell,

1978; Hunt et al., 1987). Practitioners argue that college graduates are not prepared for a

position in advertising and therefore have a difficult time obtaining one (Zeltner, 1973).

A professional commitment to a profession can therefore be difficult for a research

graduate to develop (Smith and King, 1993).

Research shows that factors in the work environment determine an individual's

success in the advertising profession (Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). No research

explains whether factors in an individual's academic program correlate with the

individual's commitment to the advertising profession. Commitment is an important

factor to consider, because it has been shown to have a causal relationship with

organizational commitment, including the amount of turnover in an organization

(Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994).

Our secondary research analysis attempted to determine answers to the following

six questions:

* RQ1: What is the level of commitment to the advertising profession?

* RQ2: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising?

* RQ3: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and completing an internship?









* RQ4: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and involvement in organizations and competitions?

* RQ5: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and the advertising program's preparation?

* RQ6: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and courses within the advertising program?

* RQ7: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and satisfaction with the profession?

* RQ8: What significant variable best predicts commitment to the advertising
profession?

After gathering results for RQ1, we compared commitment to the variable in the next six

questions, to determine if a significant relationship existed. Variables found to be

significant were then compared, to determine which one best predicts commitment to the

advertising profession.

Answers to these questions may provide evidence to current students of whether

they will eventually be committed to the advertising profession. Results may also be

helpful to advertising educators in developing an advertising program that ensures they

are providing they highest rate of preparedness to their students.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Advertising Education

Educational Evaluative Methods

Evaluating education in the United States originated in the 1960s when individuals

wanted to know if the War on Poverty and Great Society Programs, created by Presidents

Kennedy and Johnson, were successful (Becker and Kosicki, 1998). With the creation of

the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 institutions were required to

adequately evaluate their academic programs in order to adequately evaluate their

academic programs in order to receive government funding.

Several organizations are involved in making sure academia is accountable for its

actions at the university level. This includes government and education policy planners,

media industries, and members within the academic environment, such as administration,

faculty, and students. Everyone "wants to know if the educational institutions are doing

their jobs; many want to know which ones are doing those jobs better than others"

(Becker and Kosicki, 1998, 1).

Each organization applies different measures on which to make their evaluations.

These include evaluation of academic literature, which are based on program reviews and

performance indicators, program accreditation, and commercial evaluations including

The Gourman Report, U.S. News & World Report, and The Princeton Review. All of

these evaluative resources have drawbacks. Rankings in academic literature are most

often based on quality, an ambiguous term that the National Research Council believes is









centered solely around reputation. Other ways quality is determined is through

evaluating the characteristics of an institution, faculty, students, and student activities

(Becker and Kosicki, 1998). Accreditation is most often seen as another inadequate form

of evaluation because standards for which adequacy is applied differ from school to

school. Evaluations of an institution should only depend on the professional outcomes of

their students (Gaiter et al., 1999). However, there is no focus given on the outcome of

the education for the students in the professional arena. Each institution is evaluated,

instead, on certain standards that may be deemed successful at one institution but not

another (Becker and Kosicki, 1998). According to Gaiter et al. (1994) the best decision is

to combine all of the available alternatives.

Commercial evaluations gather their information strictly from the universities they

intend to study. For example, U.S. News and World Report, in conducting one of its most

recent graduate school studies in 1995, asked "leading faculty" from schools they felt

needed to be included in the ranking. Their questionnaire asked faculty members to,

"rate each school according to one of five levels of academic quality" (Becker and

Kosicki, 1998, 8). In Lickert scale format (1=marginal, 5=strong) respondents were

asked to rate schools on adjectives such as distinctiveness, marking "don't know" if they

were unfamiliar with the school (Becker and Kosicki, 1998). Based on the results

collected by U.S. News and WorldReport, the advertising schools deemed the "best" by

faculty members at schools forjournalism and mass communications (Whitelaw, 1996)

were as follows:

* University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
* University of Florida
* Northwestern University (Ill.)
* University of Texas at Austin, and









* University of Georgia.

Program Restructuring

Having a ranking in a nationally known magazine, like U.S. News and World

Report, does not ensure a program's survival. For example, The University of Illinois at

Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), which ranked number one in the latest report and is also the

nation's oldest advertising education programs, is in danger of being disbanded. The

University's 300 advertising students are shocked, joining together to form AdAdvocates,

an organization with the goal of keeping the discipline at UIUC. While students are

blaming the University for not providing the discipline with enough funding to sustain

adequate faculty, a report by Provost Richard Herman notes that the advertising program

has "imploded" (Lazare, 2003, 51). Two of the program's most distinguished faculty

members have transferred to the University's College of Business. One professor of

advertising, Linda Scott, believes the advertising program is the Mass Communication

College's "cash cow," but not enough of the advertising student's tuition has been

funneled back in to the discipline. Walt Harington, a professor of journalism, is heading

a task force that will, "look from an insider's prospective at how the College of Mass

Communications is structured and how its various departments are pursuing their

respective missions, as well as proactively consider what the college's future goals

should be" (Lazare, 2003, 51). Provost Herman called off the search for a new dean,

questioning whether advertising and journalism should be incorporated within the

College of Mass Communication (Crain, 2003).

This is not a new trend. Advertising schools are facing both budgetary and

philosophical contempt while at the same time they have, "more students then ever

applying for schools specializing in advertising" (Crain, 2003, 18). Experts believe









problems have arisen because most advertising programs are understaffed. The ideas

circulating within the academic environment are that "advertising is bad stuff and it's OK

to shortchange anyone associated with it" (Crain, 2003, 18). However, even though

"more students apply for these programs college's ad departments have to fight for

academic respect and funding" (Crain, 2003, 18). Others point to inconsistency within

education because academics distinguish certain forms of promotion as "not advertising"

(Richards and Curran, 2002). Partly because of this thought some at the university level

want to restructure advertising programs, making them more integrated with other

disciplines in the marketing field (Crain, 2003). Referred to as Integrated Marketing

Communications (IMC) the goal is to show how to understand consumers on a deeper

level (Oliver and Rust, 1994).

At its inception, practitioners argued about where the importance within advertising

academia should be. This thought, thereby separated the study of advertising in to the

journalism view and the marketing view (Mandell, 1975). Hence, one of the larger

debates in the field was where advertising should be taught; either in the marketing or

journalism school (Russell, 1977). One side saw individuals within the business

department teaching aspects of advertising that were strongly established on the faculty's

degree preparation from business schools. The other side saw faculty members in the

journalism school who were quite different, having a background in communications

education. The ideal program for advertising had not yet been reached (Mandell, 1975).

Larkin (1977) took on the task of determining where advertising belonged in

academia by asking students both in and outside of the discipline. Studies of this topic

primarily show that students' attitudes toward courses vary enormously (Palmer, 2003).









"Therefore, in many cases, we may be making decisions concerning advertising

education on the basis of obsolete data" (Larkin, 1977, 42). The majority of students

questioned believed advertising was both anti-social and uneconomic, thereby placing

advertising in an area outside both business and journalism.

What may be needed to improve advertising education in the future is a more
thorough and comprehensive program of information concerning the social and
economic effects of advertising so that advertising students can better answer the
questions raised by their peers, and a broader, more comprehensive program
designed to inform non-advertising majors of these areas of interest (Larkin, 1977,
46).

Two major problems exist with studies involving students. The first is that these studies

are done sporadically, and can therefore be highly outdated (Palmer, 2003). The second

is that while most students are going through an academic program they are highly

critical of them or have unrealistic expectations. "They mellow with time" (Christian,

1973, 14).

The real catch lies in the fact that if a student follows the business track they will

leave out a "real void" in their preparation for an advertising career. At the same time,

"the journalism track simply does not meet the needs of students today when more than

ever an understanding of the whole business environment is essential for a successful

advertising career" (Mandell, 1975, 8).

Class Evaluation

Advertising education in 1973 was seen by practitioners as healthy (Christian,

1973). Agencies such as Leo Burnett, Grey, and J. Walter Thompson reported good

results from advertising recruits, noting they were successful within research, media,

creative, and account work. There was no argument over rather the trade or educational

philosophy regarding the discipline was more important. "Major universities with broad









communications, journalism, and business curriculum do an excellent job of providing

the theory and philosophy sprinkled with 'how to do it' courses" (Christian, 1973, 12).

Universities, such as the University of Illinois, were cited as developing a student's

analytic and creative thinking skills, creating awareness of the tools needed to solving

product issues, encouraging the student to develop an understanding of humanities and

social sciences, and educating them on advertising's traditions, and purpose (Christian,

1973).

Advertising curricula was seen as providing a large service at the time, creating two

distinct types of students. The first were those interested in making advertising a career

while the second were those who took courses in advertising to find out about one of the,

"most persuasive forms of communication" (Christian, 1973, 14). However, even in

1973 professionals within the field still saw room for improvement. The most prevalent

idea was that advertising education needed to stress the importance of understanding

society. Educators in the field were expected to continually evaluate and improve the

curricula offered and be honest with students about their strengths and weaknesses. In

"A Philosophy of Advertising Education" Carl Sandage noted that, "emphasis should

always be placed on teaching the student rather than teaching a course or subject"

(Christian, 1973, 15).

This thought was already being practiced in advertising academia where students

were required to determine their specialization within the discipline. Practitioners

believed students needed to know both production and financial difficulties involved in

advertising decisions (Lewis and Smith, 1956). A number of schools were interested in

introducing product cases within the confines of the classroom so students could get a









clear understanding of everyone's roles within the agency while not inundating them with

repetitious tasks. The goal was to allow students to deal with "the success or failure of

any promotional effort" (Lewis and Smith, 1956, 281). It was noted that a "copywriter

would have little going for him with a prospective employer if he only studied the theory

of advertising" (Mandell, 1975, 8). Most of the students worked with others outside their

discipline, such as fine arts. The primary role of the instructor was to "not concern

himself with factual knowledge as much as with the development of the students' power

to act successfully in a problem situation" (Lewis and Smith, 1956, 282).

The curriculum being taught in classrooms today mirrors that of what was taught

during this time, stressing importance in subjects such as strategy development, planning,

and consumer behavior (Marker, 1999). Students are more often required to take

additional courses in advertising copy for traditional media, how ad copy works, how to

choose the right medium, and how to manage traditional advertising (Oliver and Rust,

1994). Some of these classes include discussion about how advertising influences

societal stereotypes, including gender, ethnicity, and sexual preferences (Sawyer, 2004).

These classes also incorporate the framework of Integrated Marketing Communications,

(IMC) which will no longer be useful within the next 10 to 15 years because of what is

going on within the business of advertising (Oliver and Rust, 1994). Simply, a change in

marketing will require a change in advertising. In order to be able to incorporate these

changes students need to understand concepts encompassing creativity, behavioral

sciences, customer orientation, and business-government relationships (Montana, 1973).

Therefore, one of the larger debated between professional and educators is what

curricula the advertising major should be required to take in order to gain the largest









amount of knowledge within the confines of the academic environment. "The major

problem with most of the previous discussions of the problems of advertising education is

that often they tend to look at broad issues without examining some of the fundamental

problems of advertising curricula" (Russell, 1977, 50). Although taking college courses

will not immediately enable an individual to find ajob in advertising, classes can help a

student's focus and provide focus (Palmer, 2003). The question often arises as to what

"the ideal advertising program [should] consist of in terms of major course, electives, and

minors, whether administered in schools of journalism or business" (Russell, 1977, 51).

Factors also included are the total length of the program, hours of instruction required of

advertising majors, whether a class in advertising and society was required or an elective,

and how marketing courses are incorporated in to the curriculum. At the time Russell

(1977) found that students could enter an advertising track in their first or fifth year,

depending on the institution and that the required number of hours were similar although

the number of courses within the discipline of advertising differed, including advertising

and society. Russell also found that traditional news courses, which were housed under

the journalism college, were more often required of students with each discipline.

Advertising educators believed that marketing was necessary in the advertising

curriculum to help the student understand terminology used in the professional arena.

However, most schools did not list one marketing class as a requirement (Russell, 1977).

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in advertising need to take English,

Humanities, and Science courses outside their discipline (Dunbaugh, 1957). They also

need to involve themselves in internships and extracurricular activities that involve

interacting with members of professional advertising (Russell, 1978). More importantly









they need to know how to professionally communicate (Dunbaugh, 1957). They need to

understand and be able to effectively use non-traditional forms of media (Oliver and

Rust, 1994). If advertising education fails to evolve with the changing media involvement

it will eventually lead the profession to failure. As of now the "$138 billion advertising

industry seems unprepared for the future" (King and Smith, 1993, Al). Students need to

be aware of the changing media landscape, resulting from media fragmentation, shift

from a product-oriented to service-oriented environment, and mass customization of the

media message.

Advertising academia will be forced to reinvent itself, perhaps in to a more

specialized discipline. Perhaps renaming the term advertising to "consumer

communications" or "media information management" will help to provide focus and

specialization (Oliver and Rust, 1994, 72). It is essential that there be a, "more accurate

depiction of the business and the fiercely strategic, complex, business-oriented, financial

nature of the work" (Sawyer, 2004, 26). For this change to occur, it has been suggested

that some classes need to be obliterated all together, including advertising management,

advertising campaigns, and advertising strategy, because they reflect the old agency

environment. "The implication is that the core of the new curriculum must reflect the

emerging business realities of the information superhighway" (Oliver and Rust, 1994,

72). Specializations within the discipline will most certainly ensure its survival. The

recent advertising graduate needs to have skills instilled in him "which he cannot obtain

in any other way" except through higher education (Dunbaugh, 1957, 341).

Practitioner's View

There are practitioners who believe advertising cannot be taught in a classroom, and

since the "major employment opportunities for students who study advertising are









agencies, advertisers, and media" their opinion should be noted (Mandell, 1975). Some

practitioners have gone on to campuses to tell students they are wasting their time getting

a college degree. They admit to ignoring advertising educators and do not hire graduates,

encouraging the notion that getting a degree in advertising will prevent an individual

from getting a job in advertising (Christian, 1973). "The Wall Street Journal recently

stated the quality of undergraduate ad studies at colleges and universities is inconsistent"

(Crain, 2003, 18). Faculty members are asking themselves if all practitioners share this

opinion (Russell, 1978). "Advertising agencies and advertisers are finding that many of

the college graduates entering our business are, in many cases, not adequately prepared

for a career in advertising" (Zeltner, 1973, 178). They have begun to question whether

the jobs they are doing in educating these students is good enough, concerning

themselves from what looks good from the practitioners point of view (Russell, 1978).

To determine the accuracy of whether students are prepared for a job in

advertising Leckenby and Moore (1973) questioned educators, practitioners, and

educators. University educators were asked questions regarding,

* the change of the curriculum at their respected university since they were hired,
* the quality of the advertising students,
* whether universities are providing practitioners with the most promising students
* the value of advertising as a course in the future
* if they studied in advertising, how valuable their educational experience was, and
* about the exchange of ideas between themselves and practitioners.

More often than not educators replied in a positive light to these questions. Educators

also said that the mission of advertising education was to first provide students with

problem solving training, second prepare students for a long-term career, third give the

student an appreciation of the field, fourth prepare student for first job in advertising, and

fifth teach students the latest advertising approaches. Practitioners ranked the choices the









same as educators, but students had a different ranking. The first important thing when

determining their advertising education's purpose was preparing them for a long-term

career, second to teach them the latest advertising approaches, third to provide them with

problem solving training, forth to prepare them for their first job in advertising, and fifth

to give them an appreciation of the field. Both practitioners and students believed

advertising history was the most important class at undergraduate level, while educators

believed it was magazine article writing. Clearly all three groups did not match, although

the researchers believed that the practitioners and students agreed more often with one

another than with the faculty (Leckenby and Moore, 1973). Educators believed that

agencies are placing a higher value on graduates' knowledge while practitioners believed

colleges are giving students very little, insinuating that "most students are taught by

people who can't get a job" (Leckenby and Moore, 1973, 7). In an open-ended question,

educators were asked what could be done to improve the quality of advertising education.

The item most suggested was a large amount of communication between educators and

practitioners, who pointed to a lack of appropriate materials, orientation, and advertising

techniques as factors in the decline of the quality of education.

Moore and Leckenby (1993) believed in five objectives for which advertising

should strive:

* prepare the student for a career,
* prepare the student for their first job in advertising,
* teach the student the latest advertising approaches,
* provide the student with training and judgment, and
* give the student and appreciation of the field of advertising.

However, some practitioners do not believe educators are able to fulfill these

suggestions (Hunt et al., 1997). Practitioners believe advertising education is "cloud-









built, not in tune with reality" (Dunbaugh, 1957, 341). In order for the academic world to

meet the professional one there needs to be some form of work-based learning. Also

known as placements these programs incorporate academia in to real-life. "Most colleges

already involve working practitioners in some respect" (Burgoyne, 2004, 10).

Instead of relying on educational institutions to produce future advertising scholars,

some are placing their confidence in others. Wieden & Kennedy, an advertising creative

agency in Portland, Oregon has created its own class where students pay $13,000 for a

13-month program in order to work with actual clients. Thousands of applicants applied,

but only 12 were selected. Agencies and services or brands are beginning to get involved

directly with students. For example, Virginia Commonwealth University was given the

opportunity to reintroduce the Virgin Cola brand to the United States. It is not clear

whether this will result in a change in education (Ives, 2004). The concept of offering

additional instruction to recent graduate is not all together new. Ogilvy & Mather has a

paid year-long course called "Young Guns" that provides newly graduated individuals

with training and experience (Ives, 2004).

Most individuals who have a "career-love" with advertising are "not afraid to roll

up their sleeves and show it" (Baker, 1997, 31). Hunt, Chonko, and Wood (1987)

explored the question relating to "career-love" as to whether an advertising education is

better than being trained within the advertising environment. Until this time there had

been no information available about a possible relationship between long-term career

success and a college acquired advertising education. They questioned advertising

executives this and other topics such as whether advertising education should emphasize

theory or practice and whether students should be educated in respect to their first job in









advertising or their long-term career. They found that an advertising education does have

a positive effect income when compared to other educational concentrations. There was

also a relationship between how successful the individual believed themselves to be and

if they got a degree in advertising. Those who majored in business, communications, and

humanities also felt successful.

Calkins (1946), in his paper titled "Objectives of Business Education," noted that,

"any student with intelligence enough to benefit from a college education should be

prepared for a career" (Hunt et al., 1987, 44). He also noted that the primary purpose of

education should be to prepare the student for a career. However, advertising is seen as

more trade than profession (Sawyer, 2004). Both educators and practitioners have

expressed their own views on the topic; each seeing the other side as misguided. The

little amount of research that has been done concentrates primarily on the opinions of

either group, each individual with different beliefs, biases, and backgrounds (Hunt et al.,

1987).

Commitment

Evaluation of the Term "Commitment"

Although there are variations, the term commitment is simply defined "the state of

being obliged or emotionally compelled" (Mish, 1989, 265). This physically occurs

when an individual combines his self interest with activities that help to define them. It is

used in sociological research to analyze individual and organizational behavior, describe

or account for the behavior of people or groups, and in conjunction with topics such as

religion, power, recruitment, and political behavior. "The term has been made to cover a

wide range of common-sense meanings, with predictable ambiguities" (Becker, 1960,

33).









More often commitment refers to some form of consistent behavior, continuing

over some period of time thereby having the individual make a commitment or be

committed. One of the larger discussions in social science is to determine the essence of

commitment as it relates to human behavior. Research has gone on to clarify the term by

associating it with theories of social sanction and social control. "These theories propose

that people act consistently because activity of some particular kind is regarded as right

and proper in their society or social group" (Becker, 1960, 34). The largest problem with

these theories, however, deals with the fact that most individuals react without a notion of

being punished. Whatever the case, it can not be argued that commitment either arises

knowingly or unknowingly; the individual either knows they are committed or is faced

with an obstacle that makes them realize they are committed (Becker, 1960).

Commitment is most often studied as it relates to an individual's attitude and behavior at

their workplace, specifically in regards to how turnover is affected (Chang, 1999).

Professional Commitment

Occupational or professional commitment is defined "a person's belief and

acceptance in the values of his or her chosen occupation or line of work, and a

willingness to maintain membership in that occupation" (Vandenberg and Scarpello,

1994, 536). For example, "men ordinarily settle down to a career in a limited field, and

do not change jobs or careers whereby they become committed to a particular

occupation" (Becker, 1960, 33). Other terms used in measuring the concept of

professional commitment, including career motivation and professionalism. These terms

are most often combined to create the definition for career commitment, defined "one's

attitude towards one's vocation, including a profession" (Blau, 1989, 89).









Directly associated is the occupational value system, which goes in to a larger

amount of detail about occupational commitment and looks at concepts such as

objectives, standards, autonomy, and loyalty. It has been generally understood that if an

individual feels he is occupationally committed he will be organizationally committed as

well, meaning that a decrease or increase in one aspect will give the same decrease or

increase in the other. However, several researchers (Miller and Wagner, 1971; Greene,

1971) have proven this observation to be incorrect. Instead it is has been understood that

professional commitment shares a causal relationship with organizational commitment

(Vandenberg and Scarpello, 1994). So, relatively high organizational commitment is a

result of an individual feeling that the organization satisfies his professional goals

(Kalleberg, 1977). Past research has primarily focused on measuring professional and

organizational commitment in search of their correlation with job practices or the

organization. Individuals tend to bring a certain number of traits that are important to

them to their profession, comparing those traits within the organization to their level of

expectation and the reality (Chang, 1999). Problems in comparing both forms of

commitment arise when researchers fail to include the definition of commitment in their

study, leaving individuals to how they perceive commitment (Vandenberg and Scarpello,

1994).

Research has shown there is a correlation between the age of an individual and their

idea of professional commitment (Alutto et al., 1973). A younger individual has a larger

amount of professional commitment than a person in his middle years. This is "perhaps

due to adjustments made by individuals to the realities and problems of individual

occupational interaction" (Alutto et al., 1973, 452). It was also found that those









individuals interested in an advanced degree, and males, had a larger amount of

professional commitment. This concept has increased in importance since a profession or

career has "provided a significant source of occupational meaning when organizations

have become unable to provide employment security" (Chang, 1999, 1259).

Information gathered about the relationship between advertising professions and

advertising education has been somewhat unobtainable because of low response rate.

However, one study was able to overcome this and discovered a positive relationship

between individuals who majored in advertising and variables within the workplace,

including variety in theirjob and feedback from their supervisor (Hunt et al., 1987). The

same study showed a negative relationship between individuals who majored in

advertising and those who thought their job had enough opportunity for independent

thought and action. Another negative relationship was shown between those who

majored in advertising and opportunity to complete the work that was started.

A "gap" clearly exists in research that explains if a relationship exists between

variables within advertising education and a professional commitment to advertising. As

a result, the secondary analysis presented in this thesis attempts to answer the following

eight research questions:

* RQ1: What is the level of commitment to the advertising profession?

* RQ2: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising?

* RQ3: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and completing an internship?

* RQ4: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and involvement in organizations and competitions?

* RQ5: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and the advertising program's preparation?









* RQ6: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and courses within the advertising program?

* RQ7: Is there a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and satisfaction with profession?

* RQ8: What significant variable best predicts commitment to the advertising
profession?

Hypotheses

* H1: There will be a high level of commitment to the advertising profession.

* H2: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and when the decision is made to pursue a career in advertising.

* H3: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and completing an internship.

* H4: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and involvement in organizations and competitions.

* H5: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and the advertising program's preparation.

* H6: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and courses within the advertising program.

* H7: There will be a significant relationship between commitment to the advertising
profession and satisfaction to the profession.

* H8: Completing an internship will best predict commitment to the advertising
profession.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Research Design

Data was taken from a questionnaire that was sent to advertising graduates from a

large Southeastern University in 2003. (See Appendix for survey sample.) The purpose of

the questionnaire was to gather information from alumni of the advertising program. It

was not done to determine the answers to the aforementioned research questions. The

questionnaire consisted of three parts. The first part was comprised of questions

concerning involvement and evaluation of the subject's education. The second part

questioned the subject about their professional experiences and history. The third asked

demographic questions, relating to gender, ethnic background, and citizenship. Once

collected the surveys were coded and analysis was done to test the relationships between

variables.

Subject Selection

A listing bought and generated from a large Southeastern University's alumni

association enabled six thousand surveys to be sent out to graduates from the department

of advertising. Of those six thousand surveys 804 were returned, a response rate of 13%.

The participation of the survey was strictly voluntary; the subjects did not have to answer

any questions they did not wish to answer. There was no penalty for not participating, no

compensation provided for their participation, and all surveys were kept confidential.














CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

Characteristics of Respondents

A total of 502 (62.4%) of respondents were female and 302 (37.6%) were male.

The bulk of the respondents (47.9%) graduated between 1990 and 1992; some as early as

1957. These individuals began their academic career at the University of Florida (62.1%)

or transferred from an in-state community college (24.8%). Approximately 36.7% did

not work during the pursuit of their degree. Over half (63.8%) of these individuals took

two months or less to find their first position after graduation. Over half (56.1%) have

also been employed by up to four companies, where employees number between one and

300,000. Most (74.8%) are employed full time, but only 23.1% work either within the

advertising or media industry. Over half (65.4%) also see their current position as a

career instead of a job. These positions include account management, media planning,

and design, among others not directly involved with advertising such as homemaking and

accounting.

RQ 1: What is the Level of Commitment to the Advertising Profession?

Survey respondents were asked to evaluate their commitment to the advertising

profession on an interval scale where one was the lowest value and 10 was the highest.

(Appendix, survey question 35.) Of 804 respondents, 752 answered the question. The

average level of commitment was 5.47 with a range of one to ten and a standard deviation

of 3.43. The median was 6.0 and the mode was one.









RQ 2: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and When the Decision is Made to Pursue a Career in Advertising?

Survey respondents were asked to choose a category that best describes when they

decided to major in advertising. (Appendix, survey question 3.) Out of the total number

of respondents 743 answered the question. When respondents were asked, "Which of the

following best describes your academic program?," 17.4% believed they knew the

specific advertising area in which they wanted to focus and stayed within the area. The

largest amount of individuals (35.1%) developed their career interests while they were in

the advertising major. A little less (26.8%) were interested in another major when they

were accepted in to the college, but after taking some advertising courses changed their

mind. About 14.7% had some interest in majoring in advertising, but after taking courses

decided advertising was not their career choice. The smallest amount (4.6%) never

intended to pursue a career related to advertising.

In order to avoid analysis of small groups these categories were collapsed in to

three groups, thereby combining similar characteristics of two similar options. The last

category, respondents who never intended to pursue a career related in advertising was

deleted because of a low response rate. The two combined were those who developed

their career interests while in the advertising major with respondents who had a different

career interest when entering the University, but after taking some courses changed their

mind. This new group totaled 503 respondents or 62.6%. The other two groups

remained the same. The groups were labeled number one, two, and three in order to

obtain results:

S The individual knew the advertising area in which to focus and stayed with that
area.









* The individual solidified their career choice in advertising after taking some
courses.

* The individual had a career interest in advertising, but after taking courses decided
it was not their career choice.

There is a statistically significant effect on commitment to the advertising

profession and when an individual determines their career in advertising (p < .05).

Further testing reveals an equally strong relationship when any of these variables are

combined. Results show that if an individual either knows they want to focus in

advertising or if they solidify their career interest in advertising after taking course then

they are more likely to have a stronger commitment to their advertising profession.

Those who wanted to focus in advertising and stayed in that area averaged a 7.0 on

the commitment scale, while those who solidified their career interest in advertising after

taking courses averaged a 6.0. Those who had a career interest in advertising then

change their minds had a low commitment to their advertising profession, averaging a 2.5

on the commitment scale. The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are

listed in Table 4-1.

Table 4-1. Summary of commitment and when the decision is made to pursue a career in
advertising.
Choice Mean Std. Deviation

Knew specific advertising 7.04 3.26
area in which to focus and
stayed in that area
Solidified their career choice 5.86 3.23
in advertising after taking some
courses
Had a career interest in 2.63 2.55
advertising, but after taking
courses decided it was not
their career choice
F = 74.25*, df = 2, p =.00









RQ3: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and Completing an Internship?

Survey respondents were asked, "Did you complete an internship?" (Appendix,

survey question 10.) Out of the total number of respondents 730 answered the question.

Over half (60.3%) reported they did not have an internship, while the remaining (36.2%)

reported they did. In order to be analyzed no and yes answers were recorded in to the

numbers one and two, respectively:

(1) no, did not complete an internship.

(2) yes, did complete an internship.

The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are listed in Table 4-2.

Table 4-2. Summary of commitment and completion of an internship.
Choice Mean Std. Deviation

Completed internship 5.76 .66

Did not complete internship 5.03 .61
F = 7.78*, df = 1, p =.01

There is a statistically significant effect (p < .05) on commitment to the advertising

profession and if an individual completes an internship. Results show that individuals

who completed an internship were more likely to be committed to their advertising

profession, than those who did not complete an internship.

RQ4: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and Involvement in Organizations and Competitions?

Survey respondents were asked, "While you were an advertising major at UF,

which of the following were you involved in?" (Appendix, survey question 13.) Out of

the total number of respondents, 782 answered this question. The largest organizational

involvement was in Advertising Society (39.8%) and the smallest was "Orange and Blue"









Magazine (.9%). The largest competition in a competition was the AAF National Student

Advertising Team (8.8%). The lowest was the IAA Interad Competition Team (.2%).

Although respondents choose up to four categories, groups three and four were

combined so groups could be composed of 30 or more individuals. Respondents who

only participated in one group totaled 292 or 40%. A total of 110 or 15.1% choose two

groups and a total of 45 or 6.61% in three or four groups. Because of their large number,

283 or 38.7%, individuals who did not choose any categories were also considered.

There is a relationship between commitment and involvement in organizations and

competitions (r = .18). The largest relationship was between respondents who

participated in no organizations or competitions and choose a one on the commitment

scale (N = 84). The second largest came from respondents who were involved in one

organization or competition and choose a one on the commitment scale (N = 63). There

were 52 respondents, involved in one organization, who choose number 10 on the

commitment scale. Commitment to the advertising profession increased as the number of

organizations steadily increased, from zero to two. Commitment to the profession went

down when individuals were involved in three or more organizations or competitions.

RQ5: Is There a Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising Profession
and the Advertising Program's Preparation?

Respondents were asked, "How well would you say the advertising program

prepared you?" (Appendix, survey question 13.) The average level of preparation, as it

related to the advertising program, was 6.71 with a range of one to ten and a standard

deviation of 1.85. The median was 7.0 and the mode was 7.0.

There is a significant relationship between respondents' commitment to their

advertising profession and if they felt the advertising program prepared them (p < .05)









with an F value of 5.26*. There is a weak correlation between both variables (r = .21).

However, only 4.2% (r2 = .042) of the variance of commitment can be explained by how

prepared they feel because of the advertising program.

RQ6: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and Courses within the Advertising Program?

Survey respondents were asked, in an open-ended question, "What advertising

courses) would you say has been most helpful to your career development?" (Appendix,

survey question 16.) Out of the total number of respondents 438 answered the question.

Only the first course listed was used in the analysis because it can be assumed that the

first course that came to mind was the most applicable to the question.

Classes were initially grouped in to seven categories, determined based on their

similarities: (1) all, (2) campaigns, (3) research, media, and strategy, (4) copy and visual,

and design, (5) mass communication law (MMC 2100), (6) business and marketing, and

(7) none. In order to assure validity within the groups categories were collapsed again so

groups could consist of 30 or more individuals. The new categories total 57.4% percent

of the respondents, or 466 individuals. In order to be analyzed the numbers one through

four were assigned to the new categories:

(1) Mass communication law (MMC 4200) (3.9%, N = 32).

(2) Copy and visual, and design (16.5%, N = 134).

(3) Media, strategy, and research (14.8%, N = 120).

(4) Campaigns (22.2%, N= 180).

The mean level of commitment and standard deviation are listed in Table 4-3.









Table 4-3. Summary of commitment and courses within the advertising program.
Course name Mean Std. Deviation
Mass communication law 5.21 3.22

Copy and visual, and design 5.83 3.28

Media, strategy, and research 6.37 3.22

Campaigns 6.36 3.38
F = 1.52, df= 3, p =.21

There was not a statistically significant effect (p > .05) on commitment to the

advertising profession and what class the class they felt was helpful. Respondents who

reported that campaigns, media, strategy, and research were most helpful had a

commitment level of 6.4. Those who reported copy and visual, or design, had an

approximate commitment level of 5.8. Respondents who listed mass communication law

had an approximate commitment level at 5.2.

RQ7: Is There a Significant Relationship between Commitment to the Advertising
Profession and Satisfaction with the Profession?

Respondents were asked, "All things considered, how satisfied are you you're your

presentjob?" (Appendix, survey question 33.) Over half of respondents (58.4%) are

over moderately satisfied with their currentjob. The average level of satisfaction, as it

related to satisfaction with the profession, had a mean of 7.74 with a range of one to ten,

a standard deviation of 2.0 and a Pearson r of .149. Both the median and mode were 7.0.

There is a positive relationship between professional commitment and satisfaction with

current job. While not a large coefficient, there is a significant relationship between

respondents' commitment to their advertising profession and satisfaction with the

profession (p < .05). The F value was 11.37*.









RQ 8: What Significant Variable Best Predicts Commitment to the Advertising
Profession?

Variables found to be significant were tested to determine what variable best

predicted commitment to the advertising profession. These variables included the

following: individuals who solidified their career choice in advertising after taking some

courses, individuals who had a career interest in advertising but after taking courses

decided it was not their career choice, participation in an internship, organization and

competition involvement, prepared because of the advertising program, and current job

satisfaction. Because of lack of explanatory power, the variable concerning individuals

who knew the specific advertising area in which to focus and stayed in that area, was

excluded from the regression.

Had a career interest in advertising, but after taking courses decided it was not their

career choice was the largest negative contributor and prepared because of the advertising

program the largest positive. In all a person's assessment of how well a program

prepared them and the student's involvement in professional organizations are important

to commitment. Interestingly, whether a person completed an internship is not related to

professional commitment. The standard beta, t-scores, and significance are listed in Table

4-4.









Table 4-4. Regression analysis of all significant variables.
Variable Std. Beta t Significance

Solidified career choice in -.16 -3.60 .00*
advertising after taking some
courses

Had a career interest in -.45 -9.89 .00*
advertising but after taking
courses decided it was not
their career choice

Participation in internship -.18 -.47 .64

Organization involvement .11 2.97 .00*

Prepared because of .14 3.65 .00*
advertising program

Current job satisfaction .13 3.49 .00*
F = 29.58*, df = 6, p =.00














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION

Summary

Individuals had an overall moderate level of commitment. This means that

individuals have a moderate "belief and acceptance in the values of his or her chosen

occupation or line of work, and a willingness to maintain membership" (Vandenberg and

Scarpello, 1994).

If an individual either knows they want to study advertising, and is thereby

interested in pursuing a career in advertising prior to taking any classes, they will have a

stronger commitment to the advertising profession after taking classes. Admitting

individuals that have an interest in the program early will likely lead to professional

commitment to advertising. Courses may or may not lead to professional commitment.

Schools differ as to what the total length of the program should be, including the number

of hours a student should be required to take (Russell, 1977; Sawyer, 2004).

Individuals who complete an internship are more likely to be committed to the

advertising profession. This supports the idea that students need to involve themselves in

internships and extracurricular activities that involve interacting with members of

professional advertising (Russell, 1978).

If an individual does not get involved in either competitions or organizations

related to the advertising major they are less apt to have a high level of professional

commitment toward advertising. The more organizations an individual involves

themselves in the lower professional commitment they will have towards advertising.









Commitment to the advertising profession increased as the number of organizations

steadily increased. Commitment to the profession went down when individuals were

involved in three or more organizations or competitions. Since organizations and

competitions are directly involved with education, it is understood that they are used to

help (1) prepare the students for a career and (2) prepare the student for their first job in

advertising (Moore and Leckenby, 1993). Organizations and competitions have a

positive effect on an individual's commitment to the advertising profession.

If an individual feels the advertising program prepared them they are also more

committed to the advertising profession. However, individuals who feel moderately

prepared by the program are also the least committed. This negates the idea that students

highly critical evaluation of the advertising program "mellows with time" (Christian,

1973). They are still critical of the program when comparing it to their commitment to

their profession.

There is not enough evidence to support the idea that a relationship exists between

identified courses that were most helpful and commitment to the advertising profession.

There were no significant results discovered. It seems that alumni's view vary as to what

course is the most important, therefore extending the view that "attitudes towards courses

vary tremendously" in to the professional realm (Palmer, 2003).

The primary purpose of education should be to prepare the student for a career and

that, "any student with intelligence enough to benefit from a college education should be

prepared for a career" (Hunt et al., 1987). Based on these observations it makes sense

that the largest positive predictor of commitment to the advertising profession concerns

individuals who feel prepared because of the advertising program. It also makes sense









that the largest negative predictor individuals who decided against a career in advertising

after taking courses.

Implications

It can be argued that the evidence supporting this research is minimal and therefore

should not be generalized to a different population. However, some of the information

may be helpful for students interested in the advertising profession. If an individual finds

it important to be committed, or "obliged or emotionally compelled," to the advertising

profession they may want to consider how strong their interest is in advertising, if they

should complete an internship, the number of organizations or competitions to be

involved in, and the courses they should consider important (Mish, 1989). If students

were to perform this early evaluation, advertising programs may also benefit. This

evaluation may increase the preparedness rating programs receive from the individual

post graduation. Individuals working within advertising may find it helpful to determine

their satisfaction with their profession. This evaluation could help them in determining

their commitment to and their future with advertising.

Members of advertising education, both faculty members and administrators, may

also find it interesting to know that students who are already interested in the profession

before taking any classes will have a higher level of commitment. They may also find it

interesting to note that the largest contributor to professional commitment was if an

individual felt the advertising education program prepared them.

Future Research

This study evaluated whether a relationship exists between factors within

advertising education and a professional commitment to advertising. The results support

six of the eight hypotheses. The two that could not be supported dealt with whether a






33


relationship existed between commitment to the advertising profession and courses

within the advertising program, and that advertising would be the largest contributor to

professional commitment to advertising. These relationships both returned with no

significance.

Future research should further explore the effect education has on an individual's

professional outcome.















APPENDIX
INFORMED CONSENT FORM AND QUESTIONNAIRE













Survey of Advertising Graduates


Informed Consent


Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

This study is being conducted by Dr. John Sutherland, professor and chair of the Department of
Advertising at the University of Florida.


Purpose of the research study:
The purpose of this study is to develop a profile of the professional history and accomplishments of
advertising graduates.


What you will be asked to do in the study:
To participate, you may complete the attached questionnaire.


Time required:
10- 15 minutes

Risks and Benefits:
There are no risks. Participants will be able to receive a summary report of the results.

Compensation:
No compensation will be provided for your participation.

Confidentiality:
Your responses will remain anonymous.


Voluntary participation:
Participation is strictly voluntary, and you will not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer.
There is no penalty for not participating.

Right to withdraw from the study:
You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.


Whom to contact if you have questions about the study:
John Sutherland, Professor and Chair
Department of Advertising
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
PO Box 118400
Gainesville, FL 32611-8400
jsutherland@jou.ufl.edu


Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study:
UFIRB Office
Box 112250
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
(352) 392-0433


Signature Date
















Please fill in or mark your best answers.


1. When did you graduate from UF?

0 Fall

0 Spring

0 Summer


la. What year?

2. Which of the following best describes your academic program?
0 Started and completed my undergraduate program at UF
0 Transferred to UF from a community college in Florida
D Transferred to UF from a community college outside of
Florida
0 Transferred to UF from a 4-year institution in Florida
D Transferred to UF from a 4-year institution outside of Florida

3. Which of the following best describes you?
0 I knew the specific advertising area in which I wanted to
focus and I stayed within that area
0 I developed my career interests while I was an advertising
major
0 I had an interest in advertising when I entered the
advertising program, but after taking courses in
advertising I decided that it was not the career choice for me
0 I never intended to pursue a career related to advertising
0 I had a different career interest when I entered UF, but after
taking advertising courses I decided that advertising was the
career choice for me

4. In which of the following advertising areas were you most interested
while you were in college? (Mark all that apply.)


] Account coordinator
] Account management
] Account planner
] Advertising manager
] Art director
] Broadcast production
] Copywriter
] Event planning
] Graphic designer
] Internet sales
] Magazine sales
] Manufacturer's

representative/sales
] Marketing manager
] Media buyer
] Media planner
] Media sales in general


0 Newspaper sales
0 Outdoor sales
D Political campaigning
0 Print production
0 Product/brand manager
0 Promotion/IMC manager
D Promotional products-
specialty advertising
D Public relations
0 Radio sales
D Research/consulting
company
0 Sales promotion
0 Television/cable sales
D Traffic
D Other


5. What was your minor or area of outside concentration?






6. Which did you complete?
D Foreign language requirement, or
D Quantitative option, or
0 Neither applied to my program


7. What was your grade point average for advertising courses?
040-35
0349-30
0299-25
S249-20

8. What was your grade point average overall?
[ 40-35
3 49 -30
2 99 -25
S2 49 -20

9. Did you graduate with honors?
D Yes, Honors
0 Yes, High or Highest Honors
0 No
10. Did you complete an internship?
0 Yes (Continue to 10a)
n No (Skip to question 11 )

10a. Did you intern in Gainesville?
SYes
SNo

10b. Where did you intern?

D Newspaper

0 Radio station

D Television station

0 Advertising agency

0 Magazine

0 Subscription newsletter

n Other

10c. Did you receive academic credit?
SYes
SNo
10d. Did you get paid for your internship(s)?
SYes
SNo


10e. Did your internship lead to employment with the
organization that offered the internship?
SYes
SNo
10f. Did your internship enhance your intent to pursue
advertising as a career?
SYes
SNo

11. During your last year in school, how many hours per week
(if any) were you working in a paying job?
n None
1 5 hours
S6 -10 hours
S11 -15 hours
S16 20 hours
n 20 + hours
12. What metropolitan area, city or town, did you consider your
hometown while you were a student at UF?


State Zip Code


CityfTown
















13. While you were an advertising major at UF, which of the
following were you involved with? (Mark all that apply)
D Independent Florida Alligator
0 Orange and Blue Magazine
0 Ad Society Member
D Ad Society Leader
0 Entered a student ADDY competition and placed
0 Entered a student ADDY competition, but did not place
D Entered the One Show competition and placed
0 Entered the One Show competition, but did not place
0 Served on AAF National Student Advertising Competition
Team
0 Served on DMA ECHO Student Competition Team
D Served on IAA Interad Competition Team
D None
14. On a scale of 1 -10, with 1 being not completely prepared
and 10 being completely prepared, how well would you
say the advertising program prepared you?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


15. What would you recommend to improve our program?











16. What advertising courses) would you say has been most
helpful to your career development?











17. What advertising courses) would you say has been least

helpful to your career development?


19. After graduation, what did you do?
[ Went to graduate school
[ Went to the military
0 Continued a job I held while in school
D Accepted a position held open for me while I was in school
D Accepted a position I found after graduation
0 Did not go to work immediately
[ Other
20. At the time of your graduation, how many job offers or
solid job opportunities were available to you?
(Specify number)

21. In the time since you graduated, have you ever worked for
at least a year in any of the following categories?
(Mark all that apply AND place a 1 next to the category where
you had your first job.)
0 Advertising agency 0 Insurance
0 Aerospace and Defense 0 Internet and New Media
I Agriculture 0 Legal Services


Architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Automotive
Aviation and Airlines
Banking/Financial Services
Beverage
Biotechnology
Construction
Consulting Services
Education
Energy and Utilities
Engineering
Environment
Fire, Law Enforcement, and
Security
Fishing
Food
Forestry
Government-Federal
Government-Local
Government-State
Graphic Arts
Healthcare
Hotel, Gaming, and Leisure


] Library Services
] Media-Broadcast
] Media-Print
] Media-Outdoor
] Military
SMining
] Non-Profit and Social
Services
] Personal Care and Service
] Pharmaceuticals
] Public Relations
] Real Estate
I Restaurant and Food
Services
] RetailNVholesale
] Science and Research
] Sports and Recreation
] Tobacco
] Telecommunications
] Transportation and
Warehousing
] Travel and Tourism
] Other


18. At this point in your career, what advertising professor
would you say had the most influence...
1 On you personally as an advertising student




2 On your career development


22. Counting only the time you actively sought a position, how
many months would you say it took you to get yourfirst job
after graduation?
D0-2 09-11
03-5 012+
06-8

23. Did you use a placement service or university resource to
find post-graduation work? (Mark all that apply)
D Yes, College of Journalism Advertising Department Office
D Yes, general university resource
D Yes, general placement agency
D Yes, general online resource















24. Are you currently employed or self-employed?
I Yes, full-time
0 Yes, part-time
D Yes, both full-time and part-time
D No, I am enrolled in school (go to 34)
D No, I am unemployed but looking for work (go to 34)
D No, I am unemployed and not looking for work (go to 34)
0 Other (please specify)
25. When did you start to work at your current job?


(month)


(year)


26. Do you think of the work you do as a "job" or do you think
of it as a "career"?
SJob
0 Career
0 Don't know


30. What is your current income before taxes from your employer?


$0-24,999
$25,000- 49,999
$50,000- 74,999
$75,000- 99,999
$100,000-124,999


] $125,000- 149,999
] $150,000- 174,999
] $175,000- 199,999
] $200,000- 224,999
S$225,000 +


26. Which of the following best describes the industry in
which you currently work? [ Hotel, Gaming, and Leisure
O Retired I Insurance
[ Advertising agency I Internet and New Media
0 Aerospace and Defense [ Legal Services
[ Agriculture [ Library Services
0 Architecture 0 Media-Broadcast
D Arts and Entertainment [ Media-Print
0 Automotive 0 Media-Outdoor
n Aviation and Airlines Military
n Banking/Financial Services 0 Mining
D Beverage n Non-Profit and Social
n Biotechnology Services
0 Construction 0 Personal Care and Service
SConsulting Services 0 Pharmaceuticals
n Education 0 Public Relations
O Energy and Utilities R Real Estate
n Engineering I Restaurant and Food
0 Environment Services
n Fire, Law Enforcement, and I RetailNVholesale
Security 0 Science and Research
I Fishing [ Sports and Recreation
SFood n Tobacco
I Forestry [ Telecommunications
n Government-Federal [ Transportation and
n Government-Local Warehousing
n Government-State n T -,,l I T r.


D Graphic Arts
0 Healthcare

27. What is your current job title?





28. What are your current duties?
0 Art direction
0 Account management
D Account planner
D Brand management
0 Broadcast production
D Campaigning
0 Copywriting
D Creative director
0 Graphic design


rave an tourism
I Other


] Interactive media
] Marketing management
] Media buying
] Media planning
] Media sales
] Print production
] Research
] Traffic management
] Other


31. Please approximate the total number of people employed in
the company for which you work andlor in your own company.
(please make your best estimate)


32. In what etropolitan area, city or town, do you currently
work?


City/Town


State


Zip Code


33. On a scale of 1 -10, 1 being not very satisfied and 10 being
very satisfied, all things considered (that is, thinking of the
work, the opportunity for advancement, the salary, etc.), how
satisfied are you with your present job?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

34. How many different employers, including your current employer,
have you worked for since you graduated?
(Please specify number. If you have ever been self-employed,
please write a 1 next to "Self-employed".)


-Self-employed


# of employers


35. On a scale of 1 10, 1 being not very committed and 10 being very
committed, how committed do you feel to your advertising profession?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

36. Do you wish now that you had prepared for a major other
than in advertising?
SYes
SNo
37. What is your gender?
SMale
D Female


38. Please mark your ethnic background:
0 American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut
D Asian or Pacific Islander
n Black, not Hispanic
i Hispanic, of any race
0 White, not Hispanic
I Other

39. Are you an American citizen?
SYes
n No


Thank you for your participation. Please use the envelope provided
to return this questionnaire by April 15, 2003.















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Becker, Howard S. (1960), "Notes on the Concept of Commitment," The American
Journal of Sociology, July, 66(1), 32-40.

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41


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Julia Jane Thomas grew up in Southern Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay and

Solomon's Island. She began the pursuit of her bachelor's degree at Towson University

near Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1998 she moved to Florida with her husband. She received her Bachelor of

Science degree in Advertising at the University of Florida in May 2003. A few months

later, in August, she began the pursuit of a Master of Science degree in Advertising from

the University of Florida.

Upon completion of her graduate endeavor, Julia plans to return to the Washington

D.C. area to explore the realm of social marketing research.