The mission of Dundee and Angus College is “to generate regional economic growth and social well-being through the provision of skills and education for individuals, employers and the wider community”. To achieve this aim, the College has developed a strong commitment to building strong links with employers, delivering courses that provide the skills needed by local industry, and ensuring that every student coming through its doors is given the best possible chance of gaining future employment.
An important part of achieving this last goal is engaging young people with better careers information, both before and during their time at the College, and in order to do this more effectively, earlier this year the College invested in Emsi’s online careers tool, Career Coach.
Linking Courses to Careers is Increasing Web Traffic
Designed to give solid data on career options in the College region – such as occupation demand, salary expectations, and other careers which require a similar skillset –, crucially the tool also links this insight to related courses at the College. The benefit of doing this is that by linking careers data to course data, young people are not only more informed about the careers options that exist in their region, but they can also see clearly how the College and its courses can help them get into the career(s) they want to pursue.
Dundee and Angus have recognised the potential that exists in connecting courses to possible outcomes, and their decision to position the tool’s search bar front and centre of their website appears to be paying off in increased web traffic. As Sam Stirling, the College’s Learning and Digital Resources Manager explains:
“Since introducing Career Coach at the beginning of 2017, we’ve been really pleased with the numbers of people who have been using it. In recent months, we have been getting up to 2,700 visits per month to the Career Coach page, which is a clear sign that people are being engaged.”
The highest engagement, however, has come about from work the College has been doing within local schools. One of the biggest successes was the Future Talent Vocational Event. Prior to the event, the College contacted every school in the region, and offered them the chance to send their 3rd and 4th year pupils (14-15 year olds) along. Across the two days, almost 1,000 pupils from seven schools in the region participated in what was billed as “a fun introduction to your career”, and a chance for young people to participate in a range of vocational skills activities.
According to feedback from those who attended, the most highly rated event was the Future Talent session, which was where Career Coach was used. Many saw the session as a really good opportunity to think about their skills and strengths, and to gain a better understanding of the options that might be suitable to them in terms of both careers and related courses.
According to Sam, the real value in this kind of activity is that it engages and enthuses young people with the range of real career options open to them, and increases the likelihood of positive destinations for pupils who are looking more at a vocational route, rather than university:
“This early engagement activity means we can start to build relationships with prospective students, giving them a better idea of what they want to do before they come. This makes them better informed of both courses and potential careers, which in turn gives them a better chance of being engaged and less chance of dropping out once they get here.”
You can download a PDF of this case study here, or by clicking on any of the images above. To discuss how Career Coach or API web integration can help your college drive up web traffic and engage with schools, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org