Google extends industry-backed digital marketing course 'Squared' online
Google is extending its UK graduate scheme aimed at “bridging the digital skills gap” online to widen its scope to more remote agencies in the UK and overseas. The programme, called Squared, is a collaboration between the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and around 35 media and creative agencies which it launched earlier this year. It is designed to cultivate digital skills for a new generation of graduates and executives in the UK ad industry. Google has now created an online version of the course following a tie-up with e-learning experts Home Learning College. Agencies can put forward their candidates and graduates can also apply via the website to enroll in two pilot intakes in July and September. The part-time scheme stretches over six months, comprising a mix of interactive classes, high profile expert speakers, debates, projects and case studies. In February, Google launched the first official office space in central London dedicated to the programme, following two successful pilots last year. The two-year scheme kicked off with 160 graduates in March, each of which had been pre-selected by the participating agencies including Aegis, Mediacom and Starcom Mediavest. These graduates are being taught by a range of Google staff and industry experts such as executive creative director and vice-chairman at OgilvyOne London and Ogilvy & Mather UK Rory Sutherland, who will mentor students across topics spanning all areas of digital. Applicants who get placed onto one of the two pilot courses in July and September will pay the reduced price of £1,000 + VAT (or £1,200 including VAT). The pricing model will be revisited in 2014 to be more in line with other courses at this level, with the opportunity for bursaries for exceptional young talent.