Top 3 Business Programs: Student Recruitment and Employment Trends

Higher education business program inquiry volume increased from H1 (January to June) 2017 to H1 2018, according to the 2018 Report on the State of Business Education Demand published by Digital Media Solutions. More than half of business program conversions were for bachelor’s programs in H1 2018. The share of volume for master’s programs declined from H1 2017 to H1 2018, a trend felt even by the country’s elite business schools. Across all business programs, just three programs accounted for 75% of the inquiry and conversion volume in H1 2018.
business programs sov soc by degree level h1 2018 education dms chartIn this article, we’ll dive into the top three highest volume business programs in H1 2018 and examine conversion data plus employment trends, as labor trend shifts can heavily impact student recruitment. All program share of voice (SOV) statistics in this article are reported as a percentage of inquiries within the business category.

#1 Business Program in H1 2018: Business Administration and Management, General

Business administration and management, general had the highest business category inquiry volume in H1 2018 with a 58.3% SOV, up from a 55.1% SOV in 2017. The campus-based learning format had a particularly strong jump, increasing from 40.0% SOV in 2017 to 47.7% SOV in H1 2018. Conversion rates differed significantly by learning format for this program, with campus-based programs at a 20.8% conversion rate in H1 2018, while the online learning format had a 7.6% conversion rate for the same period. The conversion rate for business administration and management, general in H1 2018 was 11.5%, the highest of the top three business programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of management occupations is projected to grow 8% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for management occupations was $102,590 in May 2017.

#2 Business Program in H1 2018: Office Management and Supervision

Office management and supervision had the second-highest SOV for business programs in H1 2018 at 11.3%, down from 12.9% in 2017. The conversion rate increased significantly from 1.6% in 2017 to 2.6% in H1 2018. Office management programs skew heavily toward the campus program format, with a 34.2% SOV for campus-based programs in H1 2018, but less than a 1% SOV for online programs in H1 2018. The BLS projects employment of office and administrative support occupations to show little change from 2016 to 2026. The median annual wage for office and administrative support occupations was $34,740 in May 2017, below the median for all occupations of $37,690.

#3 Business Program in H1 2018: Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership programs decreased from a 7.1% SOV in 2017 to a 6.5% SOV in H1 2018. The conversion rate also dropped slightly from 7.5% in 2017 to 7.1% in H1 2018. Organizational leadership skewed heavily toward the online format, with a 10.9% SOV for online business programs in H1 2018, but less than a 1% SOV for campus-based business programs in H1 2018. The BLS projects employment of training and development managers, one of the positions related to organizational leadership, to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than average for all occupations. The median annual wage for training and development managers was $108,250 in May 2017.
For more information on other business program recruitment trends, download the 2018 Report on the State of Business Education Demand.
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