In Step 1, we pointed out that because a college’s Core Product is not so much its courses or the qualifications they lead to, but rather where those courses and qualifications can lead those who do them, it makes sense to emphasise the link between courses and regional careers in promotional and marketing activities. Then in Step 2, we showed how this link can be made.
However, making the link between courses and careers is only one part of the solution to better engagement. The other part is to bring in localised information about those occupations, which is what we’ll take you through in this step.
When young people are considering their career options and looking at the possibility of going to college, their natural tendency is to start by thinking of occupations that appeal to what they like doing and what they are good at. However, there are a number of questions that they should then start asking before deciding to pursue a certain route:
- Are there likely to be any jobs at the end of my training?
- How much can I expect to earn?
- What transferable skills will I learn?
- What other career options will this course give me?
These questions are the sorts of things that careers advisors should be helping young people answer, but they are also the sorts of questions that you can answer using localised Labour Market Insight (LMI), and which you can then use to promote your courses. Let’s look at them in turn.
Are there likely to be any jobs at the end of my training?
Imagine a young person who is looking at possible careers, and is thinking about your college as a possible route. If you can show them that there is significant job demand in their area for the career options they are considering, won’t this be a powerful inducement for them to enrol in a course that can get them there? The good news is that with our granular data, this can easily be done. Just by way of example, the graphic below includes data for the Coast to Capital region, with the Top 10 Level 2-5 occupations in terms of annual openings being shown:
How much can I expect to earn?
After finding out whether there are likely to be any jobs in related occupations in their area after they graduate, the next question that people generally want to know is around earnings potential. What is important is that the earnings data shown are not just aspirational, but also include entry level and median earnings for the occupation. This ensures that we present a realistic expectation of what can be earned.
Again, our data enables us to do this, and the graphic below shows the entry level, median, and high-end wage for one of the occupations seen on the graphic on page 6 – Nursing auxiliaries and assistants:
What transferable skills will I learn?
At a time when the idea of a career for life has practically disappeared, and those coming to your college are likely to have a number of jobs and even different careers throughout their working life, an increasingly important factor for people looking to train for a course are the transferable skills that are learned whilst performing the occupation.
We have adapted a US skills classification system (O*NET), which identifies the knowledge and skills required in an occupation, for the UK. This means that we can identify what it is employers say they are looking for, for any occupation. For instance, looking once again at Nursing auxiliaries and assistants, the Top 5 competencies, both in terms of knowledge and skills, are as follows:
What other career options will this course give me?
By giving your potential students insight on local job demand for the career they are thinking of doing, along with earnings data and details of the transferable skills that the particular occupation will give them, what you are doing is helping them make an informed decision as to why they should come to your college to do a particular course. Yet even so, there might still be the nagging suspicion that even if they train in this particular field, there could be no jobs for them at the end of it. What then?
The answer is that the data on transferable skills shown above can also be used to compare one occupation with another, in order to find those with the closest skillset. For example, if we compare the skills and knowledge of Nursing auxiliaries and assistants with other occupations, we find careers with the closest skillsets include jobs such as Playworkers; Hospital porters; and Nursery nurses and assistants. This is a hugely important concept that you can use to show young people how your courses relate not only to the particular occupation they are looking to do, but how they also relate to a number of alternative careers.
If you’d like to speak to us about how we can help you give this sort of careers insight to people in your region, contact us now.