Four Trends to Pay Attention to in 2019
January is a great time to evaluate your strategy and plan for the year ahead. As we look forward to what 2019 has in store, we anticipate these four factors to have a big impact on the state of the industry in the next year.
1. Economy/Unemployment Rate Change
Unemployment rates continue to drop and are currently at record lows, yet many people in the job market are still underemployed. While is should seem like a job seekers market, many who are unemployed lack the skills needed to fill the jobs that are open. With many of those opportunities falling in the construction, food services, health care, retail and durable goods manufacturing industries, how will schools shift focus to equip students with the tools needed to secure a job or career in one of those fields?
2. Employers and Educators Continue to Work to Bridge the Gap
There are currently more jobs available than there are people to fill them, and even though we know there is a skills gap prohibiting the filling of some of those positions, we still struggle with continued concerns around the value of an education. Education is a lifelong process that needs to continue evolving with the demands of present day. Students aren’t always successful the 1st time through and even those that are, as the market and one’s own career changes, so does the need for training. Combined with the amount of unfilled jobs in the market, there is an opportunity for employers and educators to better align their focus in order to create and push programs that help develop a workforce able to fill the open jobs.
3. How People Search for School Continues to Evolve
The student journey is still long and intertwined with both what is being searched and how and has continued to evolve at a rapid pace. People are cutting the cord from more traditional marketing platforms and instead utilizing more video, social, and voice activated search and need content that is easily digestible on their mobile devices. With more information available at their fingertips than ever before, students are shifting focus from only searching for schools and programs and instead relying more heavily on career outcomes, to better position themselves for success in the long run.
4. Reaching Perspective Students in Other Ways than the Phone.
It’s no surprise that reaching someone via their phone is difficult, especially when the target is millennials. According to a survey by Inc., millennials said they want to communicate faster and get better answers more quickly, and largely avoid the phone until they are ready to initiate a conversation. The introduction of text and chatbots has been huge as they have less option for conflict and can be responded to at the convenience of the prospect. This year’s trends also reveal that texting has become an integral part of a strong marketing mix. If you aren’t currently utilizing text you are missing out on a big opportunity.