2016 Higher Education trends we’re thankful for

In the monthly CEO Keys blog series, Keypath Education CEO Steve Fireng shares his thoughts and insights into the most prevalent topics in the higher education industry.

As we close out 2016, I’m reminded of so many things we should be thankful for in our personal and professional lives. First of all, I want to thank you for reading my take on industry trends throughout the year in the CEO Keys blog series. Although our perspectives may differ, I know each one of you wants to help as many students as possible to realize their dreams of a better future through education.

I’m thankful for these 2016 trends that will continue to shape the higher education landscape:

  1. I am thankful for social media. Not only has it provided another inquiry source for schools, but it’s also another way to hold us accountable to do right by our students. Social media is a powerful avenue to speak directly to current and prospective students, as well as alumni, sharing the great things an institution does every day. It’s also a tool for open communication about positive and negative happenings throughout the year.
     
  2. I am thankful that online education is mainstream. While there is much debate around how to offer online education more effectively, we don’t have to debate its place in the education ecosystem.
     
  3. I am thankful that career preparation outcomes are being discussed more. While we have a long way to go with how best to invest in it, at least we acknowledge its importance. Students have said it for years that the No. 1 reason they go back to school is for a better career. We are starting to place more emphasis on services that help them showcase their skills and land a job commensurate with their education.
     
  4. I am thankful we are getting back to the basics of the media mix and using better targeting through data. During a time of heightened focus on digital efforts, it’s important to remember that building campaigns with a strong mix of online and offline media is the best method to attract students. With targeting and data mining advancements, we have gained better understanding of prospective student behavior, media performance, optimal media placement and effective messaging.
     
  5. I am thankful that students have more choices for where and how they want to further their education. Whether it is going a traditional route, trade school, boot camp training, or gaining free knowledge through MOOCs, we should be happy that students have so many choices and no excuses for not finding their path.
     
  6. Lastly, I am thankful for my team, our partners and all of the men and women that support students in changing their lives through education.

Have a great holiday and a happy New Year! 

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