By Suzan Brinker, PhD
In higher education, especially on the graduate side, weaker job markets have historically meant higher demand for university degrees. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, ushering in an economic recession, the following three value propositions will be key to attracting students to your institution and programs.
1. Career Advancement
When the economy is strong, career mobility is high. However, once a recession imposes hiring freezes and spending caps, people tend to see fewer opportunities for internal promotions or new jobs at different organizations. This may be the time for professionals to invest in higher education to continue building their resumes and grow their skillsets.
To promote the career advancement that results from attending your institution, emphasize job placement statistics, rankings (especially recruiter-centric rankings as conducted by The Wall Street Journal), and partnerships with employers that heavily recruit your graduates.
Many times, students who pursue higher education during a recession demonstrate incredible grit and endurance by combining part-time or full-time work, taking university courses, and meeting family duties or other obligations. The more your institution does to increase flexibility for those learners, the better it will be positioned to meet their needs.
To promote flexibility, emphasize degrees that can be completed online, through hybrid learning, and evening and weekend classes. Keywords like “100 percent online” and “asynchronous courses” help prospective students zone in on those programs that allow them to reconcile their studies with other life responsibilities.
When people have extra cash to spend, they can travel the world and enjoy the thrill of exploring diverse cultures, cuisines, and geographies. When finances are tight and people travel less, it becomes especially important to build diverse connections and from our home base. College campuses (offline and online) are unique in their ability to bring together people from all over the world, including from different countries, regions, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and socioeconomic circumstances. This exposure to different perspectives facilitates personal and professional growth alike.
To promote the global networking opportunities inherent in your campus experience, emphasize stats about your student population and the impact of your alumni connections.
Know Your Competition
We at Viv Higher Ed love to work with colleges and universities to conduct actionable competitive analyses that equip enrollment marketers and other campus communicators with the differentiators needed to increase leads and applications. To learn more about our approach of mapping audiences, value propositions, and digital assets across your key competitors, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consult now.