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Digital marketing apprenticeships are a thing of the past

Gone are the days of “digital marketing apprenticeships” with the retirement of Digital Marketer level 3. So what are the alternatives?

Well, as the title suggests, digital marketing apprenticeships are technically a thing of the past. This is because the good old Digital Marketer level 3 is no more. So, I’m sorry to break it to you all, but digital marketing apprenticeships are… dead… Well, sort of. But, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. There are alternatives out there that deal with digital marketing, they just incorporate other stuff as well, with the exception of one.

In this short article, I wanted to discuss some of the alternatives to Digital Marketer level 3 and discuss some of the reasons why if you are looking to enrol on an apprenticeship, you should be looking at these alternatives with big fat stars in your eyes.

Where it sort of started

Digital Marketer level 3 is the grandaddy of marketing apprenticeship standards. It was around for about seven years before its retirement in 2023. It was an incredibly popular standard, mostly because of its name and the fact that there weren’t many other options. DML3 became a big hit with employers and individuals looking to become apprentices. However, over time the standard started to develop a few cracks and ultimately it came time to put it out to pasture.

What do we have now?

In reality, the closest thing we have to DML3 is the new Multi-Channel Marketer level 3 (MCM). Think of MCM as an upgraded model with new badges and some optional extras.

Multi-Channel Marketer is one of the new breed of apprenticeship standards that uses KSBs. We wrote an article on this a while back. Effectively, what it does is mix online and offline marketing into a single qualification whereas its predecessor was focused entirely on the digital spectrum. MCM is a 15-month-long apprenticeship and you can find out more about it here.

But, this article is also about some of the alternatives that you may want to consider.

What should your considerations be?

So, because there are a couple of apprenticeships out there dedicated to marketing or facets of marketing, it’s important to make some considerations before choosing. When deciding upon an apprenticeship, you should consider:

  • The subject matter, duh;
  • The level of the apprenticeships. Level 3 is the equivalent of an A-level, level 6 a degree, and level 7 a masters;
  • Whether you already have a qualification in marketing and how this may affect your choice of apprenticeship;
  • It’s duration. This is dictated by the level. The higher the level the longer you’ll need to be on the apprenticeship;
  • Popularity. If it’s not a popular programme, you’ll struggle to find providers offering it;
  • and, importantly, what you’ll cover during the apprenticeship.

With those things figured out, you’ll be ready to start making decisions.

What marketing apprenticeships are there then?

We’ve popped a load of the standards below for you. These are what we found after 10 minutes of searching. However, there may be a couple of others out there. We’ve provided the links to the Institute of Apprenticeships website for each of the standards for you to do some further reading. I’ve also bolded the most popular standards.

Which one should I be looking at?

My advice would be this. If you’re starting completely with marketing from scratch, go for level three. Level three’s are more popular with employers and training providers, shorter, less intense, and give you good exposure to both marketing and apprenticeships overall. If you enjoy your level three, this also means that you have some manoeuvrability and could progress onto higher-level apprenticeships or other professional qualifications afterwards.

If you’ve got a little bit of background knowledge already, or, you’ve got a little bit of experience, I’d probably recommend level four or higher. The only issue is that there aren’t that many level fours to choose from. Those that do exist are either quite niche and therefore will have limited employers/providers offering it, or, very broad like Marketing Executive. It’d just be about finding that balance.

However, the current king of the hill is the level 6 Marketing Manager degree apprenticeship. The only issue is that they’re incredibly competitive, and, there aren’t that many employers willing to fork out £24,000+ to enrol new employees onto these courses. You’ve got to remember that it’s a hell of a commitment to someone who may have no previous history with the organisation. However, if you can get yourself into one of these programmes, then stick it out! You effectively get a degree, get paid to do it, and get 24-36 months of experience doing so. They’re a HUGE win-win.

Where do I go from here?

Well, the next best place to go will be to head over to find an apprenticeship and start searching for some of the programmes you’re interested in. It’s important to bear in mind that some of those standards above are waaaaay more popular than others. So, finding employers looking for some of them will be rare, and, as a result, finding training providers offering them maybe even harder.

But, if you’re in that 0 experience category, we offer two programmes dedicated to introducing people to the world of marketing and market research. We offer the Multi-Channel Marketer and Market Research apprenticeships. So, if you’d like to find out more about either of these programmes and how you can enrol, simply get in touch below and we can help you on your first steps into a career in marketing.

What are you waiting for?

Simply fill in this form and one of our team will get in touch to discuss how we can help you kick-start your marketing career. Here are some of the benefits again:

  • Graduate in just 13-18 months;
  • Master your chosen skills with individual coaching and development;
  • Gain additional professional qualifications that 98% of apprentices do not;
  • Learn at your own pace;
  • Access to the latest in creative and technical training.

If you need any more information, check out our Apprentice FAQ in case it answers any of your questions.

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