Degree Outcomes.

Transformation. NewCareer. Better Job.

No doubt - education offers new opportunities. Yet these terms rarely explain how a prospect views the way in which a degree helps them. Choosing one program over another comes down to a focus on either the curriculum, the institution, or both. To improve marketing we should look at the strength and reputation of the curriculum separate from the institution in order to better understand the various ways in which a program can help a graduate.


If we think in terms of 'general' to 'specfic' for both curriculum and institution, then there are four segments of prospective students based on their expectations:

Platform of Stones

Platform. Stepping Stone.

Minimum requirements. Many times a degree serves as a platform for entry into the job market or advancement within a career. It is possible that the graduate is simply saying: "Yes, I have a degree."

What one learns and where they learn it may take a back seat to convenience, flexibility and doing it on their own terms. This thinking applies to all levels of education, e.g. careers in nursing, education, and social work often require a Master's degree to advance.


Position: general institution, general curriculum.

Content Focus: emotional drivers of educational benefits.




Badge. Short List.

Credentials. When students have a clear career objective they search for the options that provide the specific skills necessary to succeed. Their objective is to use these credentials to differentiate themselves on a hiring manager's desk. When asked they will tell you "I want to be a (insert job title) who does (insert task or function.)"


Graduates use what they learn in a program to get the best possible placement. Thus, they choose first on curriculum, then on institution.


Position: general institution, specific curriculum


Content Focus: capabilities, skills and specific careers.



Open Door

Access. Open Doors.

Connections. Getting an education results in a network - classmates, alumni and companies. For a segment of prospects this is the primary reason for choosing a school. They see the network in terms of personal relationships or access to targeted recruiting by the 'best' companies. If one wants to work at a specific company then finding the schools where they recruit becomes part of the evaluation process.

When the objective is access, students choose the best possible option for placement.


Position: specific institution, general curriculum

Content Focus: broad networking opportunities.




Keys. Laser Focus.

Singularity. When prospects seek the best possible place for a specific program they want both the skills and the network. In this scenario the brand is the combination of what you study and where you study. The professional designation of being a CIA-trained chef speaks volumes.


They are thinking: "What I learn must come from the place to learn it."


Position: specific institution, specific curriculum


Content Focus: specific placement success stories.




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