Digital Creative Institute Debuts First Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Digital Creative Institute (DCI) has launched the first digital marketing apprenticeship in the U.S. 

The San Antonio-based company announced it had formally registered its digital creative marketing apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship (DOLOA) and the Texas Workforce Commission. The Geekdom startup launched in San Antonio almost three years ago and has since opened its program in Austin, where DCI is already running an apprenticeship program.

DCI offers a 12-month digital marketing mentorship program pairing participants with companies. Recent college graduates gain digital marketing skills while providing local businesses with completed projects that double as part of a student’s portfolio. By graduation, apprentices have a portfolio of completed projects equivalent to three to five years of work experience.

DCI founder and CEO Brad Voeller said companies nationwide need to prepare for innovation by connecting more to digital strategies. Apprenticeships can help address the need for a workforce with these specialized skills.  DCI’s program uses an employer-centric model by partnering with companies to ensure graduates possess tailored training.

Apprenticeships allow students to learn while working with employers, are affordable, and they work, Voeller said. Click To Tweet

“I believe in the power of apprenticeships,” Voeller said. “Our apprentices have shown that with the right mindset, training, and coaching they can create exceptional value.”

The apprenticeship costs $12,000 for the year, DCI director of national strategic partnerships Aurora Geis said. Students work full-time for a company and the employer pays for a portion of the training with the student paying the remainder with deductions from the apprentice’s salary. Students graduate with several required digital marketing certificates and receive professional coaching in soft skills as well as digital marketing training. Participants should have graduated from either a four-year or two-year college before applying to the apprenticeship program.

Brad Voeller and Aurora Geis hold a proclamation from Texas Governor Abbott about Apprenticeship Week. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.
Digital Creative Institute founder Brad Voeller (left) and strategic partnerships director Aurora Geis hold a proclamation from Texas Governor Abbott about the newly declared Apprenticeship Week. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.

Ann Pham, an apprenticeship program specialist from the Texas Workforce Commission, said a new apprenticeship program is credentialed only after a rigorous review. The training model must combine job-related technical instruction with structured on-the-job learning experiences. Congress enacted the National Apprenticeship Act establishing the national apprenticeship program in 1937.

“There are 35 apprenticeship programs in San Antonio, with little over 2,000 students in those programs,” Geis said. “Apprenticeships are a growing trend.”

DCI has over 30 employer partners participating in DCI’s program and is actively looking for more. Employers interested in joining DCI can contact the program management here.

The company is also planning another expansion, this time in Dallas sometime in 2019. “We’ve identified a talent gap in digital marketing, not just in Texas, but nationally,” Voeller said.

Featured image is of a Digital Creative Institute class. DCI announced its new digital marketing apprenticeship program. Courtesy photo.

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Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez is a writer based in San Antonio, Texas, covering innovation in emerging tech, cybersecurity, and bioscience startup companies in San Antonio.

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