the digital marketing apprenticeship

jamil looking off into the distance blue background

a better path

At Two Octobers, we are passionate about apprenticeship. In the US, most of us think of apprenticeship as something a person might do to become an electrician or plumber. That’s unfortunate, because apprenticeship is thriving in other parts of the world as an pathway into a wide variety of careers. Most US employers require candidates to have completed a 2 or 4-year degree or more as a prerequisite for a professional job, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The relationship between college education and job skills is usually tenuous at best. It also tends to leave students tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

The cost of education is a big factor in the growing digital divide. Many people just don’t have the privilege to spend years of their life accruing debt. At the same time, schools are not keeping up with the needs of employers. Out of necessity, we developed a comprehensive training program for our entry-level hires, because we found they didn’t know how to do digital marketing even if they had studied it in school. With a training program in place, we found ourselves asking, “why do we require a 4-year degree?” By doing so, we were supporting a system that is unjust and inefficient. We encountered the growing apprenticeship movement, and it was love at first sight. Apprenticeship helps all people achieve their full potential, and provides employers with a supply of talent that is continuously evolving  and adapting to meet their needs.

In 2020, we worked with the Colorado Department of Labor to develop standards for a digital marketing apprenticeship that meets the requirements of the US DoL Registered Apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship builds all of the skills necessary to become a fully qualified digital marketer.


what is a digital marketing apprenticeship at Two Octobers?

  • The apprenticeship is open to anyone 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED. We do not require work experience or post-high-school education.
  • The apprenticeship is expected to take about three years. Completion of the apprenticeship is based on demonstration of a list of competencies and related instruction, so it could take more or less time than that. 
  • For the first year, the apprentice is a paid intern at Two Octobers, working 10-20 hours per week. There may be an opportunity to shift to a full-time position, depending on workload and competencies completed.
  • After the first year, the apprentice is expected to be a full-time employee of Two Octobers, with full benefits.
  • We provide extensive on-the-job training for the duration of the apprenticeship. Apprentices are also required to do some community college and online coursework.
  • Our goal is to be able to offer apprentices permanent employment at Two Octobers at the completion of the apprenticeship.
kris and stephanie smiling with computers

The digital marketing apprentice timeline

The apprenticeship timeline, in a nutshell
roshan, claire, and maggie working together

what does a digital marketing apprentice learn?

The program we have developed is designed to provide broad exposure and hands-on training in a wide range of topics and skills. Two Octobers has been training digital marketers for over 10 years, and our work covers all of the major aspects of digital marketing. After completing the apprenticeship, a person could choose to focus on a specific marketing channel and become an expert at social media or search engine optimization for example. They could also pursue a career in account management and marketing strategy.

There will be on-the-job training throughout the apprenticeship, in addition to real work on live marketing campaigns. Digital marketing is a technical profession, so the apprentice will be learning aspects of web design and functionality, advanced spreadsheet functions and data analysis in addition to marketing concepts.
The three ingredients of a Registered Apprenticeship are:

  1. On-the-job training – this is mixed in with regular work. Early on in the apprenticeship, there will be a lot of on-the-job training. Towards the end of the apprenticeship, there will be a lot less.
  2. Related instruction – this is classroom work, and provides some of the background knowledge and skills required for success. 
  3. Work – this is what sets the apprenticeship apart from getting a degree or certificate in digital marketing. The apprentice will be applying what they learn to real work throughout the apprenticeship.

On-the-job training & related instruction

on-the-job training

The following competencies are required to complete the apprenticeship. On-the-job training is designed to teach these skills.

Job Function Description
1 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Reviews components of existing search marketing campaigns. Builds, analyzes, measures, monitors, and assesses digital marketing campaigns.
2 Display Marketing - Reviews components of existing display campaigns. Builds, analyzes, measures, monitors, and assesses display campaigns.
3 Social Media Marketing - Assesses, plans, and prepares social media campaigns on various social media platforms.
4 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Implements Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to improve position on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
5 Keyword Research - Performs keyword research for digital marketing campaigns across a variety of disciplines: SEM, SEO, and Content.
6 Digital Marketing Tools and Automation - Utilizes internal and external tools for building and optimizing digital marketing campaigns.
7 Analytics and Tracking - Implements tracking via Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager in order to set up goals for digital marketing campaigns. Reporting on campaign results to clients using Google Analytics, Data Studio, and other platforms.
8 Portfolio-Building and Specialization - Builds portfolios that demonstrate digital marketing competency i.e., content, ecommerce, lead generation, Google Ads Script.
9 Account and Task Management - Provides account management and customer service to clients. Builds and maintains strong client relationships. Manages administrative needs of projects.
10 Productivity Software and Technical Skills - Demonstrates understanding in the usage of office suite software, including Excel or Google Sheets, in order to process and deliver information to clients.

related instruction

The apprentice is expected to complete the following coursework early on in the apprenticeship. If the candidate has equivalent prior eduction, some or all of these requirements may be waived. We have partnered with the Colorado Community College System, but an apprentice may fulfill some or all of the related instruction requirements at a different institution with written approval.

Course # Course Name
BUS 118 Business Survival Skills
BUS 115 Introduction to Business
BUS 216 Legal Environment of Business
BUS 217 Bus Communication/Report Writing
BUS 226 Business Statistics
ENG 121 or ENG 131 English Composition or Technical Writing
MAR 216 Principles of Marketing
MAR 220 Principles of Advertising
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We are currently hiring for a digital marketing intern who would become a registered digital marketing apprentice. 

We are also happy to help anyone who is trying to get their own apprenticeship program off the ground. Drop us a line!