How to Add Career Data to Your Enrollment Funnel

A Guide for Higher Ed Marketing and Recruitment (With Examples)

June 9, 2022 by Lightcast

woman holding books

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.

Prospect 

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.

  • Provide visuals that highlight your graduates’ job titles and the employment outlook for those roles.

  • Demonstrate your grads’ earning potential with salary estimates based on alumni occupation and place of residence.

  • Help prospects explore program options with a quiz — with results that include career possibilities.

Inquiry

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.

  • Show the top occupations by major. This will help students see how your programs can help them achieve their career goals.

  • Highlight the top companies that employ your graduates. This can be especially impactful when the top companies have national or regional name recognition.

  • Help prospective students explore career options in your region by showing location-specific occupation or career outlooks.

Applicant

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.

  • Show an estimated salary progression for grads from a given program.

  • Highlight the percentage of graduates now working in their field of study.

  • Feature employer partnerships that lead to internships, real-world experience, and jobs.

Admit

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.

  • Share career-focused skills information that aligns a prospects’ academic areas of interest with the in-demand skills sought by employers.

  • Engage with the parents/guardians of your admitted students using targeted messaging that addresses return on investment, top occupations or industries, and estimated annual salary.

  • As you help students to visualize their life post-graduation, highlight the top cities or states where your graduates reside, paired with top companies and occupations, all tailored to your admitted students’ academic areas of interest.

Confirmed

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.

  • Help your confirmed students keep their eyes on the prize by utilizing visuals that grab their attention, such as infographics that display potential future earnings over time.

  • Highlight growing job markets by occupation- or program-specific earning potential, and the percentage of students working in their field of study. These powerful data points can help keep confirmed students excited and confident about their college decision.

  • Continue to pair outcomes data with any and all messaging that touches on the value of a degree from your institution.

Enrolled

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.

  • Welcome students to campus with encouraging reminders about the opportunities that await after graduation from your college or university.

  • Top employers of alumni, their job titles, and earning potential can help students begin with the end in mind and stay focused on their goals through the ups and downs of their first year on campus.

  • Help students gain real-world experience by providing them with internship and job opportunities from nearby (or remote) employers.

 

Get started with career data

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.

Contact us to get started using data in your enrollment marketing plan.