Higher education inquiry volume was up 2.2% in the first half of 2019 compared to the last half of 2018 according to the H1 2019 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review published by Digital Media Solutions® (DMS). The top five program categories in H1 2019 (January-June) were health, business, education, psychology and mechanic/repair technologies, representing a combined three-quarters of all higher education inquiries from prospective students during the first half of 2019.
In this article, we dive into the top three emerging programs*, as determined by half-over-half (HOH) volume growth in 2019, and examine conversion data plus employment trends, as labor market shifts can heavily impact student recruitment.
#1 Emerging Higher Education Program In 2019
Securities Services Administration/Management
With the largest prospective student inquiry volume increase from H2 2018 to H1 2019, the Securities Services Administration/Management program grew by 209.4% HOH. The inquiry-to-enrollment conversion rate (CVR) for this program was also above average at 10.8% in Q1 2019.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment of administrative services managers to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026 because “tasks such as managing facilities and being prepared for emergencies will remain important in a wide range of industries.” The faster than average growth rate plus a median annual wage of $96,180 in 2018 (significantly above the average of $38,640 for all occupations as of May 2018) indicates administrative services may be a high-demand career and education opportunity.
Based on reported statistics, we anticipate the Securities Services Administration/Management program will see continued growth for quarters to come.
#2 Emerging Higher Education Program In 2019
Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services, Other
With HOH inquiry volume growth of 125.3%, the Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services program had the second-highest spike in volume from H2 2018 to H1 2019. But this program’s conversion rate was just 1.8% in Q1 2019, significantly below the average for all higher education programs.
The BLS projected employment of dieticians and nutritionists to grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026. This growth rate is much higher than the 7% average across all careers because diet-based programs are increasingly being used to treat diseases and to improve overall health.
The median annual wage for dieticians and nutritionists was $60,370 in 2018, well above the average for all occupations. With the strong employment projections and salary, we anticipate continued growth for the Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services, Other program, despite the below average Q1 2019 CVR. Early indicators show improvement for the Q2 2019 CVR, supporting the projection of continued growth for this program.
#3 Emerging Higher Education Program In 2019
Computer Games and Programming Skills
With inquiry volume growing by 86.6% HOH, the Computer Games and Programming Skills program had the third-highest increase in volume from H2 2018 to H1 2019, and the Q1 2019 CVR for this program was just slightly below average at 8.0%.
The BLS projected employment of software developers to increase by 24% between 2016 and 2026, a response to the ubiquity of computer software. The median annual wage for software developers was $105,590, more than two and a half times as high as the average for all occupations, and a clear indication of the demand for labor skilled in programming languages.
Multimedia artists and animators, increasingly needed for today’s complex computer game experiences, are seeing less employment growth. The BLS predicted 8% growth from 2016 to 2026 and estimated average media pay of $72,520 for multimedia artists and animators in 2018.
Based on the strong conversion rate for computer game programs, high salary potential across the various roles in the industry and moderate to significant projected employment growth, we expect the Computer Games and Programming Skills program to continue its growth trajectory.
Download The H1 2019 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review Today
Featuring statistics on higher education inquiry volume, conversion rates, third-party media costs, media channel performance and more, the H1 2019 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review published by DMS Education covers trends in the inquiry generation and student acquisition activities of higher education institutions for the period of January 2017-June 2019, with an emphasis on January-June 2019.
*A minimum volume qualifier of 500 leads in H1 2019 and volume growth in both H1 2019 and H2 2018 was used to assess emerging higher education program trends.