As the academic year comes to a close, many COE leaders are looking ahead to next year’s program development goals: expand enrollments with cutting-edge programs, generate revenue to make up for declining state support, and ensure existing programs remain relevant in the marketplace. But all too often these crucial decisions and new program ideas are based on faculty hunches or sparse student surveys.
With no room for error when launching or repositioning programs, more COE leaders are incorporating real-time employer demand data into their program development decisions. We built State Demand Profiles so you can incorporate the most-requested jobs and skills in all 50 states into your program growth strategy. As in previous years, these profiles provide a snapshot of employers’ needs. New this year, State Demand Profiles offer:
- Discussion questions and guidance for how to use the data
- Extra insights into select data that go beyond points on a graph
Reposition and scale existing programs
Refreshing existing programs can help maximize investments already made in programs with the potential to grow.
Sample use case: Applying data to update existing programs
Generate new program ideas aligned to students’ motivations and employers’ needs
Employer demand can also ignite new offerings. Once discussions have identified gaps between employers’ needs and available offerings, explore what programming could teach those valuable skills and prepare students to enter those in-demand jobs.
Sample use cases: Brainstorming new program ideas with employer demand data
After brainstorming and additional research, program directors at Southern Methodist University developed a new non-credit project management certificate in response to employer demand. The original five-day intensives sold out almost instantly in fall 2014 and has become the highest-enrolled program in the non-credit portfolio.
Who should be using the State Demand Profiles?
Beyond program managers and developers, consider whom across your institution can learn from employer demand data, and whom can contribute to conversations about aligning your portfolio to students’ needs. Encourage stakeholders to review employer demand data annually.
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State Demand Profiles