Mad Men Learn Math

Want a career in advertising or marketing? Take a programming class and brush up on your math.

The most in-demand advertising careers require “hard-core quantitative, mathematical and technical skills,” as the New York Times puts it, and people with those skills can fetch six-figure salaries easily.

Advertising is becoming about analytics. About capturing data and finding trends. New hires must write code, crunch statistics, and develop Websites.

But if you’re looking at this list of skills with your jaw hanging open, thinking you’ll never be able to do all these things let alone some of them, take heart. Some recruiters are advising agencies to be realistic.

“Something has gone terribly out of whack in looking for realistic talent,” Erika Weinstein, president of the executive recruitment firm Stephen-Bradford Search, told the Times. “Many companies are looking for ‘a five-headed monster,’ focusing on creative and highly technical skills and a strong business acumen. Agencies, Ms. Weinstein said, needed to ‘get realistic not only about what they want from the candidate, but what are they going to offer.’”