Some associations offer certification programs for these managers. Certification ? an indication of competence and achievement-is particularly important in a competitive job market. Although relatively few advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers currently are certified, the number of managers who seek certification is expected to grow. Today, there are numerous management certification programs based on education and job performance. In addition, the Public Relations Society of America offers a certification program for public relations practitioners that is based on years of experience and performance on an examination.
Although experience, ability and leadership are emphasized for promotion, advancement can be accelerated by participation in management training programs conducted by larger firms. Many firms also provide their employees with continuing education opportunities ? either in-house or at local colleges and universities ? and encourage employee participation in seminars and conferences, often held by professional societies. In collaboration with colleges and universities, numerous marketing and related associations sponsor national or local management training programs. Course subjects include brand and product management, international marketing, sales management evaluation, telemarketing and direct sales, interactive marketing, product promotion, marketing communication, market research, organizational communication and data-processing systems, procedures and management. Many firms pay all or part of the cost for employees who complete courses.
Because of the importance and high visibility of their jobs, advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers often are prime candidates for advancement to the highest ranks. Well-trained, experienced and successful managers may be promoted to higher positions in their own or another firm; some become top executives. Managers with extensive experience and sufficient capital may open their own businesses.