Acadium is a unique and growing platform to connect businesses with free digital marketing apprentices.
The company’s stated mission is to “to enable anyone, anywhere to acquire the skills, experience and relationships they need to succeed in the job market.” How they accomplish that is by providing online training courses and matching students with businesses who need their help.
Why would these students choose to work for free? They’re looking for real-world digital marketing experience to boost their resume and attractiveness on the job market.
In exchange for their help, you’re expected to provide mentorship, guidance, and feedback on their work.
How Acadium Works
As an employer, you can create a free Acadium account here. The site will ask for some information about you and your company, which will be shown to prospective apprentices.
I answered questions about my proudest business accomplishments and the areas I could use the most help with.
You’ll find you’ll begin to get messages from proactive students right away, but you can also reach out to individuals yourself. Inside the platform, you can filter the student database by country, industry, the type of work, software tools, and language.
From there, you can check out the profiles of each student and start a conversation. You’ll want to sell your company a bit as to why it’s a cool / beneficial place to work, and figure out what the candidate is most excited to learn and work on.
Once you find a candidate you like, that’s when you pay your membership fee (see below) and start the apprenticeship.
Each apprenticeship lasts 3 months. At the end of the term, you can either hire your apprentice into your team or go back to the pool and get a new one. There is no obligation or expectation to hire, though the platform says 1 in 5 apprenticeships do end in a job offer.
Acadium provides the labor contract that protects your business.
Acadium specializes in placing remote digital marketing apprentices, which encompasses a variety of skills, including:
- Graphic design
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Marketing analytics
- Paid advertising
- and more
The platform is upfront that most of their candidates don’t have a ton of experience. Instead, “We screen for motivation,” they explain.
My Experience with Acadium
A member of my community first told my about Acadium (back when it was GenM) and I was curious to see what it was all about.
I was specifically looking for help with SEO and content marketing, and found several candidates that were interested in or experienced in those areas.
My apprentice helped build out a detailed database of my existing blog content. The goal was to help plug some holes in keyword and social optimization, and through her efforts we found several key opportunities for improvement.
Hopefully the experience was interesting and helpful for her going forward with her own projects!
Because she was balancing school and another job, she didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to my work, which was totally fine by me. I think as long as you’re upfront about expectations, you won’t run into any issues there.
Plans and Pricing
Acadium membership costs $299 per “credit”, paid quarterly, and your apprentice can work up to 10 hours a week. Each credit can be redeemed for a 3-month term with an Acadium apprentice.
(There is a limited free plan, but if you want to contact candidates, you’ve got to pay.)
There are no hidden fees or other costs, though you can potentially save money by buying multiple credits:
While the price is obviously a huge advantage of the Acadium service, the biggest downside I see is the constant turnover.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to a need in your business, bringing on and training a new apprentice every 3 months might be counter-productive.
Aside from the various virtual assistant companies, the closest competitor I could find to Acadium is Internships.com. On that platform you can post your internships for free, but in most cases you’ll probably need to pay your internship.
Have you worked with an Acadium apprentice? What did you think? Please leave a review below to help others with their decision.