Retain and Grow Your Entry-Level Marketers with Apprenticeship

Challenges with entry-level roles and talent acquisition in the fast-paced marketing industry are commonplace. In my early years in digital marketing, it was common to see the same job postings for the same entry-level roles time and again. I couldn’t help but wonder: why were those businesses always hiring? Some reasons come to mind: 1) Entry-level workers are easier to find than experienced workers, but it can be difficult to retain a candidate with the right skills and aptitude. 2) Entry-level marketing roles aren’t always built with solid mentorship and career advancement in mind.

Does this sound like anything that you or your business have experienced?

It’s time for the industry to embrace a tried-and-true approach to workforce development: apprenticeships. Let’s explore how marketing departments can substantially benefit from the apprenticeship model in their entry-level roles.

Apprenticeship in a Professional World

When we think about apprenticeships, we often think of skilled trades, such as electricians and plumbers, but the adaptability of the apprenticeship model extends beyond those skilled trades. Apprenticeships exist for career-seekers in many different fields, including finance, healthcare, information technology, and most relevant, marketing. Read more about our discoveries and making the case for apprenticeship in the marketing world.

As the apprenticeship movement grows, industries that traditionally relied on theoretical learning in universities are recognizing the immense value and potential in combining academic knowledge with practical, hands-on experience in cultivating talent. Our unique digital marketing apprenticeship acts as a core part of our business and talent pipeline.

Apprentices vs. Internships

Marketing businesses often have existing internships which can occasionally overlap with entry-level roles. How does an internship differ from an apprenticeship?

Internships are associated with higher education and offer temporary experiences and early exposure for a future career; conversely, apprenticeships are intended as an entry-level role in your company with career advancement in mind. Apprenticeships provide an intensive learning experience, combining on-the-job training with theoretical learning. The goal of the apprenticeship is to advance the worker’s skills and retain the worker rather than provide a temporary work experience for a student. A registered apprenticeship takes the concept of apprenticeship one step further, codifying education and pay-increase inclusions. Read more about the differences between internship and registered apprenticeship.

If you have an internship program that often results in direct opportunities for employment, you may want to consider an apprenticeship — you’ll have the opportunity to better define your internship into a full-fledged entry-level role and greatly expand your candidate pool beyond students.

Why Your Marketing Team Should Consider Apprenticeships

Fostering a skilled and knowledgeable workforce is key for the success of any marketing department or agency. Apprenticeships can help achieve this, and also address many other obstacles that your business may experience as well. Here are some key benefits of apprenticeship:

Customized Training

An apprenticeship allows a business to customize their entry-level worker’s learning journey specifically to their business’s needs. Apprentices will learn the ins and outs of their business, focusing specifically on the skills and knowledge required to be successful. This results in a continuous state of growth and refinement as apprentices continue to build their skills. 

For a personal perspective, explore how our digital marketing apprentice reflects on her growing skills throughout the apprenticeship.

Increased Retention and Cost-Effective Growth

An apprenticeship is a long-term commitment between the apprentice and employer. Apprentices and companies alike recognize the significant investment in time and resources during training, creating a stronger relationship than other entry-level roles. 

This long-term commitment addresses two challenges that businesses face: 1.) the commitment creates a longer-lasting, more valuable worker-employer relationship, lowering turnover and 2.) as an apprentice matures, they will move into more advanced roles within the organization, avoiding costs associated with new hires.

Fresh Perspectives

Apprentices can come from a larger and more diverse talent pool than entry-level roles that depend on college degrees. Unique experiences, insights, and perspectives are reflected in their work.

Social Responsibility

Apprenticeships directly address many of the societal barriers that lock workers out of career fields. By offering apprenticeships, businesses foster development and social upliftment within their community, which ultimately leads to building a marketing industry that is more inclusive and equitable.

The apprenticeship movement is more than a trend; it’s a powerful tool for change and development in the marketing world. Join the movement, invest in the future of marketing, and be a part of shaping skilled workers ready to take the industry to new heights. Your company will also benefit from all that the apprenticeship has to offer.
The journey towards a more skilled, innovative, and socially responsible marketing industry starts with you — let’s build it together!  If you’re interested in creating your own customized registered apprenticeship program, visit to explore your options. If you’re interested in hiring your own digital marketing apprentice, contact us to learn more about how Two Octobers can help.

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