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Gainful Employment Impacted Inquiry Generation Trends in 2015

By: PRLog
Sparkroom's 2015 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review Reports Program and Degree-Level Shifts
PARAMUS, N.J. - March 14, 2016 - PRLog -- According to the recently released Sparkroom 2015 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review, higher education institutions made significant adjustments in 2015 in the period surrounding the release of the final gainful employment rules. Program categories with strong links to employment, including skilled trades, performed well, while inquiry volume declined for programs, such as criminal justice, that are less likely to lead to getting hired at satisfactory wages.

With a 17.4% year-over-year (YOY) increase in share of voice, the Health Professions and Related Programs category generated more than a third of all higher education inquiries in 2015. Education, Psychology and Precision Products were the only other program categories in the top ten to grow.

Still in second place in terms of share, the Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services program category declined in share by 14.5% YOY due to job placement concerns. The Homeland Security, Law Enforcement Firefighting and Related Protective Services program category also took a hard hit with a 24.4% YOY decline in share of voice.

"Prospective students are looking for programs that will help them find employment or progress in their careers," explained Kim Kelly, senior vice president of client services at Sparkroom. "Schools that adjust their program mixes to match employment opportunities can look forward to enrollment growth."

Propelled largely by the growth of online Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), Educational Leadership and Administration and Psychology programs, doctorate degrees had a strong 2015, ending the year up 27.5% in inquiry volume. Master's level programs also had a strong year, in part due to schools developing business-to-business partnerships to drive enrollment for these programs.

Dropping 6.4% inquiry volume, associate-level programs were the biggest degree-level category loser in 2015. A much smaller category, graduate certificates was the only other degree-level category to slip last year. As a whole, higher education inquiry volume was up by 0.4% in 2015 with conversion rates relatively flat to 2014 at 8.4%.

The Sparkroom 2015 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review covers trends in the inquiry and student acquisition activities of higher education institutions for the period of January-December 2015. Inquiry volume, conversion rates, channel mix, cost per inquiry, program distribution, degree-level distribution and expectations for 2016 are addressed with the objective of helping higher education marketers adapt to the continually changing marketplace. The Sparkroom 2015 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review is available for download at A webinar on the topic, hosted by Kelly, will be held on April 5. Interested parties can register for the webinar at

About Sparkroom

Sparkroom, a leader in performance marketing, provides full-service, data-driven marketing and technology solutions designed to measure marketing effectiveness in relation to customer acquisition efforts. Sparkroom services address the full customer lifecycle, with a focus on delivering higher-quality prospects and better conversion rates. The Sparkroom Marketing Services team focuses on the strategic development and management of media plans that incorporate a variety of performance-driven channels. Sparkroom Marketing Software integrates marketing data, automates processes based on performance and provides robust, multidimensional reporting and analytics. Sparkroom also offers strategic consulting services, including enrollment management, brand strategy and development and media strategy. To learn more about Sparkroom, go to

Kathy Bryan

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