Mentorship and bootcamps are getting more and more focused, as evidenced by this article in the Rivard Report by Iris Gonzalez. Unlike many programs aimed at entrepreneurs or people who want to learn how to code, The Digital Create Institute founded by Brad Voeller in Austin is aimed at aspiring digital marketers. Mentorship plays a key role:
The Digital Creative Institute (DCI) is a 12-month digital marketing apprenticeship course based at Geekdom. The educational boot camp-style mentorship program pairs participants with companies to help recent college graduates gain the necessary digital marketing skills while providing local businesses in San Antonio and Austin with highly qualified talent.
DCI is an alternative to graduate school-level training for working professionals who want more education and access to a mentorship network.
DCI is modeled on apprenticeship programs, aimed at recent graduates who need experience in practical digital marketing skills in order to land their first job. Unlike some programs which rely on experienced mentors who may be retired, DCI provides mentors who are actively working at digital marketing agencies.
Voeller recognizes that coaching and mentoring are as important as the digital skills.
“We’ve seen the amazing impact of coaching with executives, so we’re providing this for graduates to help with their transition to a career,” Voeller said. “We’re surrounding them with a community of practice with mentors who have day jobs at leading agencies, local companies such as Rackspace, or even a tech company in Austin. We reach out to partner with the best talent in the region to create that community of practice.”
DCI is the second accelerator/incubator for designers I’ve come across, Design-X at MIT was the first.
Given the importance of design in both product development and marketing, I would not be surprised to see additional accelerators focused on design crop up, especially at schools like Mass College of Art or Savannah College of Art and Design.