A large concern that I’m hearing across the industry, certainly in the UK at least, is that there seems to be a widening gulf separating those who have digital skills and those who don't.

I think this is partly due to a lack of training investment by companies, for fear of staff leaving to rival companies later on: the online sector has a reputation for notoriously high staff churn. 

As a wider focus on recruiting staff who can hit the ground running continues, this may turn into a toxic, cyclical scenario, where those who “can” are hired – and those who “can’t” are unable to get a look in. This in itself could be damaging to the industry long term, for various reasons. 

This is not to say that they lack the skills, ability or dedication for working in the sector. Perversely, it’s quite likely that there are some people currently working in senior digital roles who have less aptitude for the sector than other individuals coming up through the ranks. 

But the main focus of this post within the wider context of digital skills and training is graduate recruitment

To their credit, there are a lot of companies in the digital space who hire graduates, but this seems to be very much on an ad hoc basis – a case of needing to fill a junior position, due to business growth or similar circumstances.

In contrast, graduate schemes within digital seem to be quite thin on the ground, especially when given the size of the sector. 

It was a graduate scheme that gave me my big break into the world of digital marketing and advertising, so I have a lot of respect for any agencies, technology suppliers or companies in this space who regularly run graduate recruitment – not because they have to, but because they want to – and I want to draw attention to the organisations who annually make this commitment. 

It’s coming up to that time of year where there’s a lot of raw talent fresh out of university and companies should be making the most of this. Equally, graduates should be actively trying to find the support they need and making efforts to understand the intricacies within this line of work.

Econsultancy is focusing on supporting both of these things in the long term. 

A starting place for this would be to create a publicly accessible showcase of graduate training schemes within the digital industry. 

Below is an ongoing list that I've started and intend to expand...

Who have I not included? 

If you think you fit the bill, you can either add a comment or contact us directly and I’ll check it out. The main criterion is that you can demonstrate an active, annual commitment to hiring recent graduates, as part of a structured training programme. 

As a rule, I’m not looking for intern programmes or graduate jobs, any postings as such in the comments will be deleted. 

This is expliclty a list of pure career development programmes for the new blood wanting to find a path into the business. 

UK Graduate Schemes 

General digital

DAS (Omnicom) 

McCann London

Leo Burnett

Publicis London

BBC Media 




M&C Saatchi



Specialist agencies 


Crafted Media




Quirk (Cape Town, Jozi, London)


Diffusion PR

Chime Communications


Fast Track

Speed Communications

Lexis PR  

Hill & Knowlton

Four Communications

Fishburn Hedges

Other digital media 

Incisive media 

Jake Hird

Published 8 August, 2011 by Jake Hird

Jake Hird is Econsultancy Australia's Director of Research and Education. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn or see what he's keeping an eye on via diigo

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Comments (6)

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Chris Hyland

Chris Hyland, CCO at 4Ps Marketing

Great article Jake. There is no doubt that there is an abundance of talent out there who are simply looking for an opportunity to prove themselves, especially in the current economic environment. We have been running graduate schemes for 3 years now & I am happy to report that some of these graduates have now moved into senior roles within the company and have been a big part of our growth. Long may it continue.

about 7 years ago


Tim Ngwena

As a recent grad and ex union president,it's promising and reassuring to see a positive focus on graduates given the contrasting and rather defeatist views circulated by national media. Also good to see so many organisations behind it and focussing on the career development.

about 7 years ago


Solar Panels

Though many organisation focusing on graduates career development but due to lack of ongoing internal promotions, opportunities exist for graduates who are ambitious, motivated, good communicators and able to work to deadlines can not able to develop a bright career.

about 7 years ago


Bolton DJ

Government should be come forward more to help graduate to build their career for the welfare of the country.

about 7 years ago


Suraj Atreya, MBA - Digital Marketing at Hult International Business School

That's a good list.

Graduating with an MSc in Digital Marketing, am sure this would be helpful to folks like me heading out of university looking for a career in Digital Marketing.

about 7 years ago


Nick Socrates

Thanks Jake, for a timely and pertinent post. I will share this post with my students and get them to act upon your advice. However, I am also going to check through all your procedures and make sure that not only my students but I also, am as safe as can be with a personal digital identity.

about 7 years ago

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