When invited to design new programs, faculty and institutional leaders often fall back on the familiar: Develop a specialization in my research area, add a prestigious terminal degree in our field, let’s see what our peers have been developing. In conversations to improve existing programs, the path is similar—or concludes that, if just given additional resources, a program could be more successful.
These stagnant approaches could lead to developing programs that are misaligned with student needs and market demand. COE leaders can spark more productive discussions and ultimately achieve more successful launches by encouraging a data-driven approach.
Each year, the COE Forum analyzes statewide employer demand data. This informs state demand profiles with the top requested skills, employers with greatest demand, and most frequently posted occupations for each state. Beyond the data, the state demand profiles offer discussion questions and guidance for how to use the data and insight into select data points where numbers alone do not tell the whole story.
Read on for three ways to leverage employer demand data in program decision-making.
Leverage labor intelligence to identify and motivate partners
Labor market intel allows universities to approach prospective employer partners with a more granular understanding of potential training and educational needs. Employer partners can offer:
- Insight into nuanced needs via program advisory boards
- Access to high-potential audiences in need of education
- Opportunities for current students’ experiential learning and alumni employment
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 hot jobs.
Sample use case: Brainstorming new program ideas with employer demand data
Access our complimentary state demand profiles to get started
EAB just released our latest state-by-state analysis of employers’ demands. Download the profile for your state to learn the most valued skills, identify top statewide employers, and see the occupations with the greatest opportunity for graduates.
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State Demand Profiles