Online higher education programs have never been more popular. Due to COVID-19, nearly every college and university has been shifting its course structure and expanding into the realm of online higher education. With large surges in interest for online offerings since the coronavirus pandemic began, it’s clear that prospective students are taking note.
The concept of online higher education was around long before COVID-19. And, in recent years the growth in online enrollment has been steady. More than seven million higher education students take at least one online course. Over these years of rapid growth, specific trends have emerged. These trends may help schools’ marketing departments determine which online education programs tend to perform well and generate the most interest.
Whether your school is new to or established with online education staying up-to-date is crucial. These higher ed digital marketing trends may help your college generate leads for online courses or even influence the creation of new online degree programs.
Don’t ignore graduate-level offerings
Many schools make the mistake of focusing marketing efforts solely on online programs geared toward general studies. Degree paths such as social sciences or liberal arts are often easily developed and deployed online.
However, the most in-demand online programs in the U.S. are Masters-level courses. That is closely followed by Bachelor’s degree programs. Together, these two degree paths make up nearly three-quarters of all e-learning programs. So when choosing which program types to funnel your resources and marketing dollars towards, don’t ignore the advanced degree offerings just because they may have a more niche audience.
Business is on top
Perhaps less surprising is the fact that business school programs dominate when it comes to course offerings and demand for e-learning. Business programs have been the most popular for both undergrad and graduate-level distance learning for more than four straight years. It’s worth noting, the high interest in online business programs is slowly slipping for undergraduate students. In recent years, healthcare and IT programs have begun attracting students and rising through the ranks.
However, business programs at the graduate-level continue, like an online MBA, continue to be popular for online learners. Highlighting these programs are a quick, high-volume way to engage with strong-intentioned prospective students across nearly every region.
Consider marketing the right educator programs
Online college programs marketed toward future educators or teaching are perhaps the most unique of any categories right now. When looking at undergraduate offerings across the country, education-related online courses are one of the least popular categories with the lowest search value. But at the graduate level, they rank fourth in popularity only behind business, healthcare, and IT. No other online graduate program has such a gap in demand and volume among undergraduate and graduate levels.
This highlights the uniqueness of the education job market. It’s an area where a postgraduate degree can make a huge impact on job availability and salary. This can be true for just about any profession. But teaching is a rare career where, oftentimes, a Master’s degree plays an essential role in opening new opportunities. It’s no wonder that online Master’s programs focused on education have seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years.
The uniqueness of these online programs provides the perfect opportunity for a digital marketing campaign to improve your student acquisition. Unlike many graduate-level business or IT programs, an education-centric graduate program usually requires the student to already have some form of teaching experience or certifications. This immediately narrows down to a target audience that you can seamlessly reach with various channels. For example, places such as LinkedIn can hone-in on users with teaching backgrounds. In addition, the platform allows you to target certain levels of training, certification, and observation experience. This could potentially allow you to deploy digital marketing strategies for specific programs without worrying about competition that comes from broader programs.
However, managing both traditional and digital advertising strategies is no easy feat. If you’re looking to promote your college’s online classes and generate more leads for online program enrollment, talk with the student acquisition experts at Statwax today.