Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How Apprenticeships Can Offer Faster Career Growth Than A Degree In The Digital Sector

A digital marketing role is constantly evolving and has an immense scope for growth, the skills required for this job are in demand and the job market is booming for this industry, there has been no better time to start your career than now.

Increased budgets, increased pay and endless opportunities are just some benefits of the digital marketing industry. An apprenticeship is a programme where you work within the industry doing a specific job role as well as learning, completing a qualification. In this article we will talk about how apprenticeships can offer faster career growth compared to completing a degree.

Marketing apprenticeships can lead to roles such as social media, marketing communications, digital marketing executives and SEO specialists.

An apprenticeship doesn’t just reward you with a qualification but builds up the essential skills required to advance within a digital career. Getting into employment early means you have a lot more time to advance in your career and can start earning while learning. Completing an apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity to experience the working world and how everything works within full time employment. The training is very hands on and gives you the opportunity to show your employer your skills and allows you to build your confidence throughout the course. 

You can complete an apprenticeship within as little as a year, depending on the level, leaving fully trained and qualified in that job role, which is very quick. Compared to studying a degree at university where you will be there for a minimum of 3 years which is a lot longer meaning you will be starting your career within a workplace a lot later than an apprentice which is a downfall.

You can also gain a full honours degree via a higher apprenticeship which would take a similar duration to university, but you will be gaining experience the full way through unlike at uni. 

Michael Ryan owner of mr seo spoke about his experiences doing an apprenticeship and said ‘after 12 months of my apprenticeship I was able to progress quickly within the SEO industry to a point where I was training graduates with marketing degrees. Now as an employer we recruit apprentices as we believe this gives them the best opportunity for growth as well as the business.’


There are no student loans or training fees involved with starting an apprenticeship. You will be paid an average salary but once you have completed the qualification you can apply for many roles which demand a higher salary as the requirements for most jobs will be a few years’ experience which is what you would have. Whereas if you had done a degree at university, you would unfortunately not meet the requirements for many job roles as you wouldn’t have any experience in a working environment. Studying at university is expensive via tuition fees and living expenses. You will finish the degree with hefty debts and could potentially set you back from earning the salary you deserve as when you earn over £25,000 (roughly) you must start paying the loans back. 


The benefit to studying at university is the lifestyle you live for 3 years, from living with your fellow students, joining societies and sports clubs and even fresher weeks. Giving yourself the opportunity to meet friends who you share the same passions and interests with. However, at this current time students have been missing out on this part of university due to covid-19 they have been completing classes online via zoom which isn’t as effective. University degrees also allow you time to figure out what job role you would like to go into whilst studying a subject in depth, this way you can apply your skills to various job roles. On the other hand, apprentices will live a different lifestyle where it will be spent in a workplace, but you will meet and work with digitally experienced individuals.

Employer’s views

Apprentices are valued for their practical abilities and the fact they can base the work on real life experiences is appreciated. Also, they will be bringing in fresh views and ideas unlike a ready trained individual, employers like the fact that they can train them up to their specific requirements and ways of working. However, university students are sought after for their in-depth knowledge of digital marketing and the transferable skills you learn along the way. 

Covid-19 implications

Universities were places for students across the UK and even other countries to come together and study and live in one place, since covid-19 this has been hugely affected. Back In the peak of lockdown educators were forced to close their doors and classrooms and quickly switched to online classes. 

This led to decreases in the number of people enrolling for the new semester and international enrolments also dropped by 43% most from India and China who couldn’t carry on their studies due to travel restrictions. Since the pandemic apprenticeships have been more appealing as their structure hasn’t changed as dramatically. Also, employers have been struggling the last 2 years so haven’t been able to afford to take people on as a lot of business’s have had to take huge losses, so hiring an apprentice is the best and cheapest option for them, resulting In a lot more vacancies available.

Overall, a lot of people go to university for the social side but as covid-19 has affected this, students have opted for apprenticeships instead but in fact they offer faster career growth and allow you to gain the essential experience required for all jobs within the digital marketing industry.