NEW logo with tagline v2-2

NEW Resources for a NEW Career

What is the DCI apprenticeship model?

Posted by Sarah Davis on July 26, 2016

IMG_6935.jpgThe apprenticeship model is where you arrange life and work around learning. Learning - like sitting in a classroom all day being lectured? Not exactly. Apprenticeship is experiential where you’ll be learning through doing, taking action and collaborating with other apprentices. As a digital marketing apprentice with DCI, you’ll work a full-time marketing job in addition to receiving training and skill development. You’ll learn new skills not only on the job but also during cohort training sessions. What exactly are the benefits of being an apprentice and working hard for 12 months of rigorous training? Keep reading to find out.

Here’s a summary of the top 7 takeaways from the 12 month apprenticeship:

  1. Mentor network of distinguished marketing leaders who will instruct DCI sessions
  2. Portfolio highlighting real-world projects equal to 3 to 5 years work experience
  3. Collaborative learning environment with other up-and-coming marketers
  4. Increased earning power
  5. Mastery of the most in-demand marketing skills
  6. At least 7 of the top industry certifications you don’t already have
  7. Personal career coach to ensure maximum career development

Working + learning + coaching + mentoring!

What do all these things really mean? We’ve broken it all down with examples for you to better understand this experiential learning model that we call apprenticeship!

Working a full-time job

DCI helps apprentices find the perfect full-time marketing job that matches their skillset. You’ll work 40 hours per week just like any other job. When starting your new job, DCI will meet with you and your new employer to outline your learning goals. We’ll develop a learning plan that will combine your employer’s needs and your personal goals.

From cohort 1 that began in January 2016:

  • Samuel Mills works as an Internet Marketing Specialist at Southwest Exteriors
  • Reese Garcia works at Pear Analytics as an SEM Manager
  • Moira Cozad is a Content Strategist at Analytic Focus
  • Meet all the apprentices here!

Apprenticeship training

The cohort, or group of apprentices, will meet 2-3 times per week at Geekdom to collaborate on projects and develop new skills. At these training sessions on weekday evenings usually from 6:30-8:30 pm, DCI brings in an instructor to hold a workshop on a various topic or skill. The sessions are not like lectures, they are interactive and all about collaboration, which leads to faster skill development.

For example:

  • Aaron Watters, VP of LeadHub taught several sessions on Google Adwords and gave feedback on campaigns apprentices created in teams of 3
  • Matt Pompa, Account Manager at Pear Analytics is our go-to expert on mobile video marketing
  • Jared Stephens, Senior UI Designer at USAA is leading the cohort through web development


Team photo with Bill Schley, branding expert

Some of the topics covered during the 12 months:

Social Media Strategy

Landing Page Optimization


Campaign Creation

Brand Architecture

Digital Strategy Metrics

Mobile Video


Email Marketing


Data Science Engineering

SEO and PPC Advertising 

“I thoroughly enjoy working with Hubspot's workflow automation systems. It allows me to save time and resources for the company in addition to building my skill set with marketing automation as a whole.” -Victor Vo, apprentice Victor-headshot.jpg

Learning takes place outside of cohort sessions as well. Apprentices are assigned group and individual projects to tackle as a way to demonstrate the new skills they’ve learned. For example Jason, Marc and Victor worked on an AdWords campaign for DCI and instructor Aaron was able to provide insights on the best types of keywords to target.

Instructors don’t just interact with apprentices at sessions, they also become mentors and support apprentices throughout their careers. With potentially a new instructor each week, by the end of 12 months you’ll have a huge mentor network of upwards of 30 top marketing professionals that you’ve personally interacted with.


The DCI coaching model is unique because it applies what you, the apprentice, are learning combined with your strengths, values, and preferences in work. The model helps you quickly adapt to your new environment, new relationships,  boss, colleagues and helps you be successful from day one. With coaching, you’ll succeed and fail faster for long-term career development. Read more about the coaching model here.

For example:

We asked apprentice Sam’s boss about how DCI coaching and training has improved his performance as an employee:

“As he’s gained this knowledge (from the apprenticeship training) he’s also received coaching from DCI on just becoming a better business person in general. He’s learned how to ask the right questions to his manager and the importance of asking for feedback constantly.” - Ryan Shutt, apprentice supervisor, read the full interview here


Head coach Aurora working with Victor and Moira

Earning certifications

Leading industry certifications are an excellent way to demonstrate to future employers your commitment and mastery of a skill or topic. During the apprenticeship program, we heavily emphasize earning the certifications that are most relevant to your desired path. Apprentices work on some certifications together and have group study sessions, while other certifications are electives.

Combining certifications with work samples = a killer portfolio that will equal 3 to 5 years of work experience, something you’ll develop in only 12 months! With all the new skills apprentices learn in sessions, DCI emphasizes continuously building out your portfolio and ensuring all projects are measurable and tangible for a future employer to see.

To be in a community where everyone speaks the same language of learning is rare and refreshing. It’s cool to be around people who actually care about growth. - Reese Garcia, apprentice Reese-Garcia.jpg

Here’s just a few of the specific certifications you will earn during your 12-month apprenticeship:  *courses and certifications vary based on individual learning plans (full list here)

  • Hubspot User Certification
  • SCRUM Master
  • Salesforce Administrator
  • Pardot Administrator
  • Tableau Qualified Associate
  • Google Analytics
  • Google AdWords

After successfully completing the apprenticeship, you will become a Digital Creative Fellow and receive the ongoing support of the DCI community. Want to know even more about the apprenticeship experience? Scroll through our FAQ to get all the answers you’ll need!

Does the apprenticeship sound like a good fit for you? Want to experience accelerated digital marketing skill development? Start your application today or check out our job openings!

Apply to DCI Today!


Topics: Training