Mark and Sally both log on to the website of their local college and type “accountant” into the search bar. Whilst Mark is met with just a list of courses and information about each of them, Sally is taken to a page headed “Career as a Chartered or Certified Accountant”. In addition to information on relevant courses she is also given information on the career, including typical tasks and desired skills involved in accountancy; expected salary data; the number of projected openings in the local area over the next few years; plus a selection of similar careers – all woven seamlessly into the college’s own branding.
Question: Which of these young people is likely to be most engaged?
The answer is of course Sally and the reason is that in being shown the link between what she wants to do and how the college can get her there, she has been given a vision for her future and so is far more likely to be engaged than Mark, who is only given course information.
We are now working with a number of them to provide seamless integration of labour market insight alongside the college’s own course information, through a range of widgets and API access. Not only does this provide a compelling way of empowering people with careers information, but it also enhances the college’s own brand and image. This has certainly been the case at one of our partner colleges, New College Durham, with their Head of Marketing & Recruitment, Craig Millar, explaining:
“The integration with the website gives our prospective students the opportunity to gain insights, helping to steer them to knowledgeable choices about the College’s offer. Doing this inside the website further increases our brand equity by improving trust with our customers and stakeholders.”
Promoting Your College as a Place to Realise Career Aspirations
Hull College is another provider that has integrated careers data into their website and marketing. In 2016, they completely revamped their website to create an image where careers really do take centre stage, with any potential student logging onto the site being met with the words, “Your Career Starts Here”. Integrating data into the site and linking it to their courses is now an essential part of the college’s drive to promote themselves as a place where people can realise their career aspirations. According to their Group Head of Marketing and Communications, Matthew Lilley:
“The integration of LMI into the website has greatly enhanced the promotion of the College’s focus on employability and preparing our students to progress in work. We’ve received very positive feedback, including from external school partners who are able to use Career Coach in lessons for pupils to compare different sectors”
Integrating Careers Data Really Does Drive Engagement
This might all sound very good in theory, but does it actually produce any tangible returns? The experience of Loughborough College suggests that it does. Over the course of a year the website has generated over 7,000 unique career-related hits. Even more crucially, of these visitors to career pages, there were more than 100 goal completions including:
- 55 registrations for an open day
- 11 applications for either an apprenticeship vacancy or a course
- 52 completed general website enquiries
“Embedding data into the website gives us credibility with potential learners and their parents that the college and its programmes genuinely do lead to careers. Where students search our website for careers first, linking data through the API allows us to show the pathway to achieving that career.”
You can download a PDF version of this case study here, or by clicking on any of the images above. To discuss how we can integrate local careers data into your website and marketing, contact Doug Heckman at firstname.lastname@example.org