June 9, 2022 by Anne Peasley
So many prospective students consider their higher education options with the question “will this education help me get a good job?” Prospective learners and parents increasingly expect a case for overall program effectiveness as it relates to careers.
Traditionally, that question is answered with individual alumni stories. Compelling, to be sure, but limited in scope. One graduate’s anecdote does nothing to speak to all the other graduates of a program or cohort.
Comprehensive career data, on the other hand, makes that case better than isolated anecdotes. And it provides a data-informed backdrop to let alumni stories shine. With the wealth of information available these days, it’s not difficult to supplement anecdotes with hard data.
What are the projected earnings for the top occupations in your local economy? You can answer that with data. How about the projected return-on-investment for recent graduates of a particular program? That too!
By including career outcomes data at every stage in the enrollment funnel — from attracting applicants to preventing melt — you can build a compelling case that helps you convert leads and grow enrollment.
At this stage, you’re focused on lead generation. Career information can help establish and build brand awareness, especially in how your programs lead to good jobs. This could be via prospecting emails, social media, digital ads, postcards, or brochures.
Engage your leads and keep their interest in your college or university. Encourage appropriate students to request information, and when they’re ready, apply for admission. Common tactics include engagement emails, social media, digital ads, website content, and brochures.
Encourage action. Entice students to deepen their engagement by applying, completing their app, or visiting campus. Take a targeted approach as you work with students who have applied for admission via campaigns (email, print, social media), presentations, workshops, website content, outbound calling, or text campaigns.
Seal the deal. Encourage students to take the necessary steps to confirm their admissions and enrollment. Common tactics include segmented or personalized communication (emails, letters, phone calls), individual meetings, presentations, and workshops during admitted student visit days.
Prevent melt. Continue to engage your confirmed students by ensuring they are taking the next steps, like attending orientation, applying for housing, and registering for courses. This might happen with segmented or personalized emails and phone calls, or individual meetings with advisors.
Welcome to campus! Ensure a smooth handoff as students transition from prospects to current students with segmented or personalized emails, as well as first-year career advising. As students embark on their plan of study, there’s opportunity to equip advisors with career data to help students explore the skills that will help them build toward their desired career or professional outcomes.
A little data can go a long way to support and reinforce your messaging. At any stage in a prospective applicant’s interest, from inquiry to enrollment, career data provides a way to show the success of graduates that complements individual student stories.