Digital MarketingDigital AdvertisingThe latest trends in education demand & student digital engagement

The latest trends in education demand & student digital engagement

Grow Enrollments' new whitepaper looks at the latest trends in education demand and student digital engagement and what you can learn from them.

30-second summary:

  • Digital marketing is now crucial for education companies to appeal to prospective students and find them where they spend the most time during the research phase.
  • The demand for coding boot camps keeps growing. It is estimated that coding boot camp students and graduates grew by 19x from 2012 to 2019. The growth rate is projected to continue at 3-6% per year.
  • Students who would typically take a normal 4-year university course, are now evaluating quicker, cheaper and less established options to educate themselves in today’s market. 
  • There is a rising number of non-traditional education companies that teach people new skills to meet the changing needs of the workforce. It’s not enough anymore to get a degree to secure a job. Many of us feel the need to improve our skills at a fast pace.
  • A large number of prospective students use YouTube several times per day. This makes it a perfect channel to include to your strategy and provide more details about your program during the Awareness phase.

The education industry is experiencing a shift towards digital tactics that facilitate learning and keep students engaged. Students are eager to learn new skills as part of their job and are looking for time-saving and cost-effective solutions. 

While online learning is becoming more popular, students are also exploring different digital channels to conduct research for the programs they are interested in.

Digital marketing is now crucial for education companies to appeal to prospective students and find them where they spend the most time during the research phase.

Benjamin Arabov and The Grow Enrollments team have written the ‘Google Ads Guide for Success in 2020 – Education Industry Edition’ to help you master Google Ads so that marketers can take control of their ad budget, which allows the education company to bring in more students each year.

Their extensive survey included education marketers from universities, trade schools, online learning platforms, boot camps and certification programs. These respondents helped Grow Enrollments uncover challenges and the best practices that can help you succeed with your marketing.

In this article, we are looking at the latest trends in education demand and student digital engagement and what you can learn from them.

Content produced in collaboration with Grow Enrollments.

The latest trends in education demand

Demand for education is changing and as a result, there is a consistent decline in the post-secondary enrollments for 4-year educational programs. 

More specifically, as of Spring 2019, there was a drop of 20% in the post-secondary enrollments for 4-year for-profit traditional institutions compared to Spring 2018.

This means that less than 18 million students are enrolled in traditional, for-profit higher education institutions, the lowest number of the decade.

So is there a decline in education demand in general? Quite the opposite.

The demand for coding boot camps keeps growing. It is estimated that coding boot camp students and graduates grew by 19x from 2012 to 2019. The growth rate is projected to continue at 3-6% per year.

Thus, what we are noticing is a shift in the education industry and how people pick to build new skills.

Coding boot camps are very appealing if you want to build new skills, save time but also access various payment options. It can be tempting for prospective students to have the option to learn new skills in a faster and more cost-effective way.

Payment plans and Income Share Agreement (ISA) can make coding boot camps a more accessible option for many students. It was interesting to see in 2019 a growing number of boot camp programs adding ISA as an additional form of payment. 

The rise of e-learning 

Another reason that we’re noticing a shift in the education industry and how it was traditionally perceived through the years is the rise of e-learning. More people want to build up their skills in a more digital approach.

A digital approach can include:

  • Self-paced learning
  • Short courses
  • Virtual classes and chats
  • Online mentoring

As we are accessing more digital tools in our daily lives, we are seeking for similar tools to boost our skills. We are getting used to accessing information as fast as possible and this is also affecting the way we are learning new things.

This means that students who would typically take a normal 4-year university course, are now evaluating quicker, cheaper and less established options to educate themselves in today’s market. 

Clearly, the education demand is shifting from traditional institutions to more personal and individual growth plans through the use of e-learning.

The e-learning market was valued $190 billion in 2018 and it is estimated to grow to a value of $300 billion by 2025.

There is a rising number of non-traditional education companies that teach people new skills to meet the changing needs of the workforce. It’s not enough anymore to get a degree to secure a job. Many of us feel the need to improve our skills at a fast pace.

As tech companies and digital businesses evolve, more people feel the need to keep up with the latest digital trends and skills that will land them better job prospects.

E-learning can fit this changing world in the educational demand and the projections for the years ahead indicate the growing need for boot camps and similar educational programs. 

The latest trends in student digital engagement

Before looking at the best practices of using Google Ads for educational institutions, we need to understand how students engage with them.

The Grow Enrollments looked at the student’s digital habits and how they are conducting research before deciding on the best opportunities for them.

Here are some key points:

  • The average prospective student engages with more than 1000 digital touchpoints when researching programs in a 6-week period. This is the time until they are ready to fill out a lead form.
  • 56% of prospective students start their research on Google
  • 83% of prospective students watch YouTube an average 3+ times a day
  • Prospective students are 60% more likely to move down the funnel after watching online videos that are relevant to a program

What can we learn from this data? There are many interesting findings to consider.

First of all, before working on your digital marketing strategy in the education industry, it’s important to work on tactics that are based on your audience’s digital habits.

We cannot ignore the fact that 56% of prospective students start their research on Google. This requires a strong SEO and PPC plan to appeal to their interests.

Moreover, a large number of prospective students use YouTube several times per day. This makes it a perfect channel to include to your strategy and provide more details about your program during the Awareness phase.

Most of all, there needs to be an omnichannel strategy that takes into consideration the latest digital trends and how they affect the education industry. 

All the learnings above and the latest data can be your starting point to successful digital engagement for prospect students and learners.

Interested in finding out more? Make sure you read the detailed guide full of tips and best practices from the Grow Enrollments team. Download here.

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