The final of our three talks at our recent User Group was given by Craig Millar, Marketing Manager at New College Durham, who spoke to us about how the College had integrated Career Coach onto their website and how they are using it to promote their curriculum in the local area (the first two talks can be found here and here).
The story behind how the College ended up with Career Coach is an interesting one. At the time that the tool was purchased, the Marketing Team were in the middle of a web development project, in which they were basically revamping the entire site. Part of their plans were to include a course search, content search and career search bar at the top of the website, so that students and prospective students could easily navigate around the site, look up courses in an instant, and check out the kinds of careers that their courses might lead to, all without having to go to external sites.
In terms of implementation, the content and course searches were relatively simple, but the career search was a problem. In the words of Craig, “We were beavering away, wondering how on earth we could get a career search built into the website.” All sorts of ideas were proposed, until somewhat out of the blue, the College’s Assistant Principal announced to the team that the College had purchased Career Coach.
In one sense it could be seen as a remarkably providential answer, coming as it did at exactly the right time and providing just the kinds of solutions that the Marketing Team were looking for — a tool that links courses to careers in the local area, and gives solid information about those careers. However, according to Craig the initial reaction in the Marketing Team was not exactly positive. The data given by Career Coach was great, but the fact that it was a standalone tool meant that students and prospective students would have to go to an external website to access it — exactly what they were trying to avoid.
All was not lost, however. Through a series of conversations with EMSI, the College discovered that Career Coach has an API functionality which would allow their web developers to take the tool apart, extract the data, and then put it back together in exactly the way they wanted. In other words, the API gave them the option of having all the data of a normal Career Coach site, but this could be incorporated into their own career search bar on the home page of their website.
So if you go onto the College website, you will see at the top right hand corner a course, career and site search. Putting in an occupation into the career search bar will take you through to the usual Career Coach data on wages and employment trends, but rather than taking you to a separate site, it is all done seamlessly and looks to the students as if the information comes straight from the College — exactly what the Marketing Team had been looking to achieve.
The Marketing Team are now very much tapping into this desire for progression, and the data given by Career Coach is playing a vital part of their marketing campaigns. For instance, Craig mentioned that the College would shortly be sending out an email to Year 8 pupils in the local schools they are working with, who had expressed an interest in going into some sort of motor vehicle occupation. Using information from Career Coach, the message contained details of the number of jobs in this type of occupation in the local area, information on wages, and a link to the page on the College website featuring relevant courses. Similar messages are being put out on social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapshot.
It was really good to hear of the innovative way that the College has built Career Coach into their website. It was equally good to hear how they are really using the data from the tool to promote the College externally, to the benefit of many young people in the local area.
For more details about Career Coach or any of our tools, contact Andy Durman at firstname.lastname@example.org