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Entrepreneurship – A Way of the Future or a Passing Trend?

September 17, 2014 Digital Media Solutions

Over the summer, an article on explored the recent growth of entrepreneurial degrees from colleges and universities across the United States. Whether driven by the popularity of shows like Shark Tank or just by the all-American dream to come up with the next big idea, these programs seem to be catching the eye of prospective students looking to sharpen their business instincts.

Our partner schools are no exception to this growing trend. More than 12 percent of the schools in the Sparkroom performance marketing technology database offer some sort of entrepreneurial program, a relatively large percentage for a niche program. A significant majority (78 percent) of the entrepreneurship programs are bachelor’s level, and 18 percent are master’s programs.

Not surprising, inquiry volume for entrepreneur programs has increased recently. From Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, volume increased nearly 6 percent. This is a significant increase when you consider that overall higher education inquiry volume was down 21% for the same period, according to our Q1 2014 Review.

The conversion rate for entrepreneur student prospects decreased slightly over the past year, but stayed relatively stable in the most recent three quarters. This is typical for new program categories—a decline in performance is expected while schools begin to understand how to most effectively market the offering against increasing competition. Even so, entrepreneurial program conversion rates are better than the industry as a whole, which saw Q4 2013 conversion rates averaging 15-30 percent lower than those of Q4 2012 and Q1 2014 conversion rates down 4 percent year over year (YOY), according to our Q2 2014 Review.

With the proliferation of technology start-ups over the past few years, it should come as no surprise that the largest share (21 percent of all inquiries) of entrepreneurial degrees came from California, home of Silicon Valley. Prospective students from Texas, Georgia and Florida also show a good deal of interest, each contributing 7-8.5 percent of total inquiry volume for these entrepreneurial program.

The coming quarters will help determine if entrepreneurship is a passing trend or a category that’s here to stay.  Given the current increase in demand and the constant need for innovation in a changing business landscape, it seems likely the popularity of these programs will continue.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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