AUDIO START: [0:00:00]
Philip: Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining Gray’s monthly webcast on the most recent student and employer demand trends in higher education. Our monthly webcast is derived from our program evaluation system that supports ongoing academic reviews at all types of institutions across the country.
Before I pass the baton over to our C.E.O., Bob Atkins, a couple of quick housekeeping items. Please feel free to share any questions or thoughts in the chat window on the left-hand side of the page. We will be sure to answer all questions at the end of today’s presentation. A copy of the presentation as well as a recording will be delivered to all registrants via e-mail. Without further ado; Bob.
Bob: Thank you very much Philip. This is Bob and I am C.E.O. of Gray Associates. I thank all of you for joining us this week. We’ll be pointing out our results for May on student demand trends, employer demand trends, and some information on competition in ad pricing as well. So, without further ado, let me take a moment and describe where all this data comes from.
Who is Gray
Gray Associates keeps a big database on student demand, employment competition, and what we call degree fit, or what degree is appropriate for the program. And we use that with our clients to help them decide what programs to stop-start to stay in growth. There are a few data on those instances we will share with you today. On student demand we actually keep three data sets. One is IPEDS completion, another is Google search, and finally we keep a data set on inquiries which come in from aggregators and agencies across the internet. So, this is three different ways of seeing what’s going on. Since the IPEDS data only updates once a year, what we’ll focus on today is the data on student demand that comes from Google search and from our inquiry database. We’ll also share some information on employment. That, we keep several sources as well—the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Community Survey has some wage and employment information, and we also get very current data from Burning Glass Technologies, so we weave those together and we’ll be sharing some information both from BLS but primarily from Burning Glass today. And last but not least, to keep information on competition in particular, competitive bidding on keywords and such, and you’ll see some of that information. That comes from Google, we also have data that we keep on competitions from IPEDS. And we have all sorts of other information on demographics and wage. And our newest set of data is employer requirements—that is skills, competency required for a given job and then we translate that back to align it with programs. And I should say that when we do all this, there’s a crosswalk that sits behind this that aligns jobs with academic programs, which is a bit of a dark art. So, if anybody wants me to put them to sleep for a little while, give me a call and we can talk about crosswalks together.
Agenda - Demand Trends in Higher Education
So, let’s see what’s going on in Student Demand Trends first and we’ll start at the National level.
Overall Student Inquiries (All Sources)
How we read the charts we are about to share—they basically have three bars. The dark blue bar here is 2016, the green bar is 2017 and the red bar is 2018. And while this may seem obvious, if the dark green—blue bar, excuse me, is behind the green bar then last year had higher volumes then this year and if the red bars are lower than the other two, then things are going down.
Google Search Trends: Programs
So, let’s take a look at the actual results on Google search for the 200 largest programs in the U.S. and we keep track of these programs at the county level. Today we’ll just share national information primarily. And what we see is a three percent decline in Google search volume for the largest programs in the U.S. That decline has been fairly persistent. If you look back at September, October, November, December—each of those months was down except for October which is up slightly and again this year, we’ve seen January, February, March, and April all down. I had hoped that this was coming to an end when April very nearly made it past last year, but it seems to be reverting back to the trend again—down three percent this month.
Google Search Trends: Brands
There are two ways people search. The one we just touched on were people searching for a particular program name and of course many people are really looking for a college. When they do that they may look for the name of a particular college in what is called Brand Search. So, we started keeping track of that for 75 brands. Over the course of the next month or two we will be adding a couple hundred more brands to this index. And we see here that not only has the search for the program gone down, but Brand Search is also down. This is a more recent data set, so we don’t have history going back too far, but we can compare the first few months of this year and we were flat in January and April, but February and March were down—May’s down and March was actually down by quite a lot. So, we’re seeing a little bit of a downward trend here that’s worrisome in Google Search by brand that indicates a decline in demand overall in higher education’s database.
Overall Student Inquiry Conversions (All Sources)
Now, we obviously keep another data set and we do that to make sure we have two ways of looking at everything and each one tends to highlight different aspects of the market. And what we’re looking at now is our inquiry database. This data comes from aggregators and agencies on the web. So, if you were searching for, let’s say, medical assisting programs and you looked at the top three or four listings, one of those would probably be a school—several of them would be, and one of the one’s down would say, ‘explore careers in medical assisting’ or ‘get a medical assisting education today’ and if you went into that, you’d discover it’s not actually a school at all, it’s an advertising site in which you fill out your name, address, and phone number. They put you in touch with schools that offer medical assisting programs and what happens in practice is they sell those leads back to schools who need applicants.
We get an extract of that data, the meta-data if you will, and that’s what comprises this particular data set. It’s been going down for quite some time. Really for a couple of reasons. One, is there has been a decline overall demand for higher education—two, and perhaps the most important single thing, is that this was a channel that was heavily used by for-profits, and as the for-profits got decimated in the Obama administration, their purchase of these went down and the sites got consolidated so we see a decline from that. And then last but not least, many advertisers were a bit leery of this channel, so they stayed away, but nonetheless the pattern is pretty consistent here, even after those things have had time to wash through the data. We’ve been watching a decline here. It’s beginning to get better—January, you can see we were slightly ahead, February dropped, March dropped, April fell flat year over year, and this month we’re up. So, my hope is that this long decline in demand is grinding its way to a close. We may see some growth. So, we have a little bit of conflict between the two data sets. It would suggest we’re either looking at a little bit of decline or a little bit of growth, but nothing too dramatic on either end.
Inquiry to Application: Overall Conversion Rates
Now, obviously an inquiry or search is not a student. There are many steps between an inquiry and the start. What we see here is a conversion trend and percentage, more specifically. A conversion is a student who progresses from an inquiry to any stage later in the process and the challenge here is that every school records it differently, so you can’t really get very precise about exactly what a conversion is. But this is somebody who has applied or started or done something else to raise their hand during the admissions process.
This had hit a peak—up 54 percent versus our baseline of Q1-2014. It’s down a bit from there—we’re still up 29 perfect for Q4, which is now fully mature. Q1 is almost mature, and it’s running about 29 percent ahead of the index, but we are a little bit off peak here. Still quite healthy in terms of—you know, we’re above the trailing average for those numbers so, it’s still a good number in terms of conversion rates but not as good as we’ve seen in the last few quarters.
Overall Student Inquiry Conversions (All Sources)
Now, what does that translate to in terms of net conversions? January was down for this metric, February’s down actually six percent, and you might ask yourself, why in June am I talking about February numbers? Well, it takes about three months for an inquiry to mature and convert. So, what does that mean? It means if an inquiry came in, in January, we could still see somebody converting as late as March—and in fact even beyond that. So, we don’t count a month as mature, all the conversions haven’t taken place until at least three months after the inquiry’s received. And in the last couple years, we’ve found that actually that period’s stretching out even more. So, when we call it a day after three months, there is still a trickle conversion that could happen well after that.
So, February’s the only month that we have actually this year—January and February are the only months that are mature and again we see both of them down. When I look at March, April, and May though, they—May for example, the conversion should grow, by about 40 percent as it matures. So, that will probably beat last year. March and April are also fairly close to last years’ numbers. At this point I don’t think that March will quite make it, but will make it very close. I think April will beat last year as it matures, and as I mentioned, May I think will come in ahead.
Average Price for Pay-per-Inquiry
With that improvement in conversion rates, inquiry quality, you might even expect that the cost goes up and indeed it did. And actually, this is the first real spike I’ve seen in this number in several years. Our average cost per inquiry here went up from $47.35 last month to $49.47. So that’s an increase of 8.7 percent year over year—pretty substantial. And this has been trading in a tight range around 45 dollars, so I’m a little bit surprised to see this spike this year. It’s been a fairly steady upward trend from 47 on up, this year, again with the spike this month. So, inquiries are getting to be a little more expensive than they used to be.
Student Inquiries: 10 Largest Inquiry Budgets
What are people that money on? As we’ve talked about in the last few months, there’s some big programs that attract most of the inquiry volumes and most of the spending—we’ve indexed it here and this is quite simply the volume of inquiries times the dollars per inquiry for each of these programs. And Business Administration, not surprisingly, is the largest. Medical/Clinical Assistant which has suffered the pretty severe demand declines over the last few years, still is number two in terms of ad-spending for this category.
And then we see an interesting one—Psychology, General which is not a traditional trace program. Most of these inquiries are for undergraduate programs—they’re not really able to get a job as a psychologist but it is one of the biggest programs in the U.S. so it’s not surprising to see it there. Then we get into a variety of other—primarily healthcare programs—that’s the other big spending areas. Healthcare Administration, Medical Insurance, Billing and Coding, Medical Office Assistant Specialist, and then we get some non-healthcare things in a very random group—Webpage Design, HVAC, Graphic Design, and Public Administration. And actually, this month—we’ll pick up a little bit later in the presentation, and talk about Public Administration and what’s going on in that specific program.
Student Inquiries: Budget Spending for 10 Largest Programs
So, let’s take a look at trends for a minute—where spending is going up for those top 10 programs. And interestingly Public Administration had a really big spike year over year in May, up over six times so somebody out there is running a big campaign against Public Administration, but we see pretty rapid growth in all the programs from 110 percent growth in Medical Office Assistant, 94 percent growth for Health Care Administration, Psych up 83 percent—just general growth across the board. This is quite unusual—for the last three or four months we’ve been reporting this. This chart has generally been split with some growing modestly and many of them shrinking, so it’s interesting to see this increasing confidence and increasing spend, and increase in volume of inquiries coming from the market as a result.
Agenda - Demand Trends in Higher Education
Now let’s take a look and break the data down between Online programs and On-Campus.
Inquiries for Online Programs
So, when the people come in and fill out an inquiry, they tell us whether they’re interested in an on-ground program or an online program and what you see here is a five percent growth over the last 12—excuse me, in 2017 versus 2018 and as we droll down a little bit and look at 2018, May, I think, is up seven percent and online has actually been up every month this year, except for March. So, this is the healthier sector of the market as you might imagine and it’s growing at a decent quip. Looking on campus, and those of you who got your algebra down, know it had to go down if online went up and we’re in fact down 12 percent for on-campus. So, the growth in the market looks quite different depending on whether you’re primarily an on-campus school or an online school.
Inquiries for On-Campus Programs
On-campus has been going down incessantly for the last three years. So, this is a fairly beleaguered sector and honestly, I don’t see any end in sight. Now I should—what are the comments on that? There’s a logic behind this that has to do with the type of customer that’s growing in the higher ed sector. So, the traditional on-campus student—fresh out of high school, looking to go to college is a dwindling share of the overall market. The growth is coming with adult learners and of course, adult learners have jobs as a result they’re less interested and less able to get to a campus for their studies. So, that I think can underline the shift between on-campus and online programs, is really an underlined shift in the demographics of the higher education market.
Agenda - Demand Trends in Higher Education
Take a look at cities.
Student Inquiries: The Big 5 Cities
We’ve been looking at this for several years and you can imagine it’s been kind of depressing. If you look at that bright blue bar, that’s last year’s growth rate for this month and all five of these markets were down a year ago and most of them down by double digits. Last year, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston all were down 15 percent or more. New York was the best-case scenario with just a three percent decline. This is finally starting to shift, and Philadelphia is actually up 15 percent, year over year this year. Chicago up four percent, New York was flat, and we have a couple decliners but at much slower rates in L.A. and Houston.
The Big 5 Programs: May Growth Year-over-Year
Now switching over to programs, we’ve mentioned a few before. These are now the largest programs in our database in terms of inquiries. Healthcare Administration was up 91 percent, Criminal Justice up 22 percent, Registered Nursing up 14 percent, Medical Assistant up eight percent, and Business Administration up eight percent. And I would only think this is a big shift too. We’ve been watching these programs, almost all of which were down, year over year for the last three years so it’s a very welcome change to see some growth.
The Fast 5 Programs: The Higher Education Programs with the Fastest Inquiry Growth
Fast five programs—these are the guys that are always growing and growing pretty fast. Public Administration shot the lights out this month with almost a nine-fold increase in inquiries. But we had over a hundred percent increase in Medical Records Tech and Pharm Tech, close to a hundred in Computer Programming, and 91 percent in Healthcare Administration. So, while there are some major programs out there that are in decline, there are many of these that are growing very, very rapidly.
Now, if we look at the fastest-growing programs in terms of Google search, it’s an interestingly different list. We’ve got primarily tech programs—two-year and below certificate programs. Those include Esthetician, Nail Specialist—so we’ve got our cosmetology degrees well represented. Medical Rad Tech, Truck and Bus Drivers—glad to see people are still doing that, though I don’t think the outlook in ten-years for truck drivers is particularly golden, given automated driving. We’ve got HVAC growing at 17 percent, Surg Tech up 17 percent, Cosmetology in general up 15 percent, and finally Health Care Administration Management which is the only non-certificate program that’s on this group. So, some pretty fast growth in the certificate space in terms of Google search.
Now there’s some decliners here as well and these tend to be more four-year programs and actually very heavily weighted toward education. Teacher Education, Multiple Levels down 23 percent, Elementary Ed, you can see a couple slots down there down 28 percent, Education General down 46 percent. So, we’ve got some education programs that are seeing very severe drop-offs in Google search volumes. And then it’s kind of a random assortment after that. Chemistry down for some reason, we’ve got a little bit of Hospitality down in two of these—Hospitality Management and Administration, they’re down 43 percent and the last one Hotel/Motel Administration down 68 percent. So mostly a hit to education, a little hospitality, and then some random other degrees that seem to be declining.
Now, we decided that it’d be important that since there are two ways people search, as I mentioned at the outset—one by program and one by brand—to start to keep track of brands and what’s going on with brands in the industry. So, what we do is track volume of search for about five or six key words per each of the 75 brands in higher ed. We’re going to expand that to several hundred brands over the next few months, but for now it’s 75 and we see some brands here that are really doing quite well. Universal Technical Institute—auto mechanic training up 22 percent. Western Governors up 19 percent, West Coast and Florida Career College, both up over 10 percent, along with SNHU, University of Wyoming and University of Oklahoma- Norman Campus.
And finally, the University of Kansas made the list with an eight percent growth rate. But it’s an interestingly eclectic list and there’s some names here I would’ve absolutely expected, Western Governors in particular, and SNHU, but they didn’t lead the list. And then we’ve got some large publics who did very well for themselves, which I think is encouraging for the sector as a whole—whether that’s University of Oklahoma or University of Kansas.
Agenda - Demand Trends in Higher Education
Program of the Month—let’s turn to Public Administration. We saw the Google search volume’s up—excuse me the inquiry volumes up 900 percent so let’s have a look at the program.
Cost Per Click (CPC)- Google Keywords
After a run-up last year in September, what we’ve seen cost per click for this program basically flat, but it’s flat at a high level. The cost per click for Public Administration is almost double the average per click for all programs. This is an expensive place to play where a single click on Google can set you back 35 bucks. It’s expensive because there are a lot of people that want to sign up folks for Public Administration programs—relatively inexpensive to teach, it’s relatively large, and as you’ll see, it can be taught online, so you’ve got national players bidding on these keywords.
Public Administration: Salary
If you have the good fortune to get a degree, what’s gonna happen to you in Public Administration? Well, you’re not going to be paid terribly well if you become a public administrator and that’s what we’re showing here. These are folks in the field of public administration, primarily of course, working for the government. And you can see that the majority of them are making around 35,000 to 50,000 dollars, running up to 74,000—a relatively small number over 75,000 and quite a lot actually making less than 35,000. The mean salary here is 54,000. The median is lower at 47,000. So, there are a few people that make more, but by large it’s a relatively moderately paid field as we would hope and expect of our civil servants.
Public Administration: Bachelor’s Graduate Salaries
But not everybody that gets a degree in Public Administration actually becomes a public administrator. We’ve got—if you look at the American Community Survey, which is a part of the U.S. Census, they ask people what job they have, how much money they’re making and what their undergraduate major was. And this is only done for a bachelor’s degree graduate and that allows us to find all the people out there who may have gotten a degree in Public Administration but decided to go on and do something different for work. And as you can see that skews up the wages here—the 81,000 is considerably higher than the median wage we talked about from BLS. And BLS is not tracking people with a Public Administration degree, they’re tracking pubic administrators and so this is actually saying, okay if I get that degree, what money might I earn? And the answer’s quite a bit more because many people don’t go into Public Administration, they go into a wide variety of other fields once they have their bachelor’s degree and that brings up the wages.
Public Administration: Education (Minimum Advertised)
What kind of education do you need to get one of those Public Administration jobs? You’ve got to pretty much have a bachelor’s these days—74 percent of the job posting requesting education—request a bachelor’s degree or higher. 16 percent actually request a master’s degree. So, it does require a bachelor’s as it’s known to get in the field.
Public Administration: Employer Requirements
Primary work activities—this is kind of fun. We start at the top with direct implementation of new policies or procedures—lets not go and think about-- that includes putting babies behind fences, but hey. Manage financial activities—that makes sense, manage broad organizational programs or initiatives, yeah that makes sense. What I found interesting here, if you go about two-thirds of the way down you see ‘terminate employment of employees or contractors’ and ‘terminate relationship with client or vendors’—I had no idea that our public servants spent quite so much time firing people, but apparently that’s a significant component of the job.
Public Administration: Program Scorecard
Now, let’s take an integrated look at the program across about 40 variables that we keep track of. And the card’s a bit busy, so let me take you through it and look at it in a little bit more detail. Let’s start with demand and what we see here is that demand inquiry volumes are dark green, which puts them—that dark green color means they’re at the 98th percentile, so this is one of the largest programs in the U.S. Google search volumes also dark green, as are completions so each of our three student demand indicators suggest that this is a very large program.
Now, if we take a look at competition the story’s not quite so rosy. We’ve got some 443 institutions offering this program and nine new institutions entered the market. So, not only are there a lot of schools offering it, but there’s still folks getting into this space. We’ve got some interesting issues on competition as well. Google search cost per click we’ve talked about. Their competitive index comes in at .61—that’s on a zero to one scale with one being the highest level of competition, so we definitely have above-average competition here for this particular program.
Now, the interesting part here is online and it’s been a good online program, it’s a growing one. We’ve got 151 of those 443 institutions offering this program online and they’re about 32 percent of institutions but they’re producing about 38 percent of all completions. So, this program is moving fairly rapidly to be an online program which would really give me pause if I had an on-ground offer here, especially for graduate level programs. It’s going to be hard to compete with the online offers, so this is one where I think you have to be looking at online if you’re not already there.
And last but not least, lets touch on jobs. It’s not a great field for employment. We’ve got some 19,000 job postings, that puts it at about the 90th percentile in terms of job volumes. You can see a little bit further down that there’s red there so the jobs actually appear to be declining. And we’ve got some 180,000 people employed in the field according to BLS and almost 6,000 job openings, according to BLS. So, what that does—puts it about the 90th percentile, so we’ve got two data sources here that confirm that we’ve got a pretty big program-- 90th percentile compared to 1400 other programs but it’s not at the very top of the list, but it’s good—very solid. So, to wrap that up, we’ve got very healthy student demand, we’ve got decent employment, but we’ve got a pretty high level of competition and very intense competition online for this program.
Public Administration: Completions per 1,000 Population (Ages 18-34)
Now, think about this geographically—many of you either have a region or a city in which your programs or your school is more powerful—your brand name’s more powerful and that would make this program more or less relevant in those markets and those markets are more or less competitive. One index we keep to try and understand relative competitiveness of a market per program, is completions per capita. And we keep track of the population age 18 to 34, and we index this for number of completions per thousand population. And not surprisingly, the District of Columbia leads the pack in educating Public Administrators with 1.12 graduates per population. Indiana interestingly follows and after that you begin to see where your public education programs are located.
If you are thinking about offering a new program, you might want to look elsewhere and try and identify the markets where there are relatively fewer completions per capita, i.e. there’s less competition. And whilst many of these are small—Wyoming, North Dakota, and Idaho, and Maine for that matter, there’s some pretty big markets here as well where there’ relatively less competition for this particular degree. Wisconsin is only .1 completions per thousand, Louisiana with .08, Tennessee with .06, South Carolina with .06—so these markets have, if you think about it compared to the chart on the right, or on the left of this page, something akin to 10 percent of the level of competition that those intensely competitive markets have where they’re well established programs. So, again if I were thinking about offering a new program, I’d be thinking about offering it in the markets on the right here, not the markets on the left.
Agenda - Demand Trends in Higher Education
Let’s summarize today’s conversation.
Key Demand Trends and Observations
The decline in inquiries seems to be slowing, unfortunately the decline in Google search does not. So, we’ve got a little bit of disparity in trends between the two data sources. Which would suggest that we can’t—certainly that the trend may be less bad then it used to be, but it could be premature to be optimistic that we’re going to start growing. Conversion rates, however are beating our baseline and we believe that the actual number of conversions is likely to start increasing as the last few months mature.
Unfortunately, you’ve got to pay more to play in this game. Inquiry costs are rising but some of that will be offset by brand search and you’re seeing some successful brands who are seeing a run-up in searches. That has two benefits—first it should increase their starts, but importantly will also lower their cost per start as they pay nothing or much less for those brand searches to hit their website then they would pay for cost per click or inquiries. So, it has two benefits really, both in terms of increasing revenue and lowering costs.
In this environment, we continue to believe that one skill is going to be critical—you’ve got to know how to take share. There isn’t enough volume out there, there’s not a rising tide that you can ride to grow enrollment. The market’s soft and fundamentally to sustain your enrollment and especially to grow you’re going to have to take share from someone else. So that requires some great marketing, differentiation of your offers, and we believe it requires great data so that you can make good decisions on programs and markets in which you invest.
Questions and Contacts
Thank you very much, that’s the end of today’s webinar. Let me stop, we’ll take questions and also want to make sure that you’re invited—that you know about our webinar coming up in July.
Upcoming Gray Associates’ Webcast
Which will take place on Thursday, July 19th at two o’clock, eastern daylight time. Never mind, yes Tuesday, July 19th at two o’clock.
Questions and Contacts
Philip: Well, thank you Bob. We do have a couple questions that came in throughout the webcast this afternoon and if you have any additional questions please feel free to enter them into the chat window on the left-hand side of the screen and we’ll take them as they come in. First of all, on the, I believe, third chart which I’m going to pull up here real quick--
Google Search Trends: Programs
Philip: You mentioned the 200 largest programs. Can you help us, the audience understand what that means?
Bob: Yeah. We looked at IPEDS and we pulled down the 200 zip codes with the highest volume overall across all degree levels. So, that’s how we chose the programs to keep track of on Google search.
Upcoming Gray Associates’ Webcast
Philip: Perfect, thanks for that. The other question was on a lot of the slides it says, ‘Gray reports inquiry trend’, can you provide a little bit more detail into what that means?
Bob: Yeah. We keep track of inquiry trends. We used to call that ‘chronically reports’, primarily that is now available as part of our program evaluation system. So, if you’re interested in just the inquiry data and the volume and the trends, let us know we can provide that, but most of our clients get that information through our program evaluation system.
Philip: Perfect, thanks for that Bob. Intended with that inquiry question, do we have the ability to torrent the online inquiries that are coming from specific institutions like large institutions like SNHU, or even smaller institutions?
Bob: We do not see inquiry volumes by school. Part of our agreement with the inquiry providers is that they don’t share the school name that, that inquiry has been sold to. So, we do not know that.
Philip: Perfect, thank you Bob. We do have a specific question based on some of the trends we released this month which this participant asks what if your inquiries and apps are up on ground but conversion to enroll is down? Is there a trend to explain that? And this might be—I’ll preface that one and say this might be an opportunity for us to follow up and have more of an in-depth conversation and we can try and answer that. So, I’m going to put you Bob, if you have anything on that.
Bob: I do.
Philip: Go ahead.
Bob: Yeah, this is part of the ongoing dialogue that takes place between marketing and admissions. You know, one day admissions wants more leads and the next day they’ll typically complain that the leads they’re getting aren’t high enough quality. So, you know, who knows really what’s going on, but in general, when you see an increase in lead volume and a decline in conversions, probably time to look at admissions and see what’s going on and how those opportunities are being handled. But it could be that you’ve shifted alter your media or other channel and you’re just pulling in a lower quality lead into the funnel. So those are the two places I would go look. It’s not, to my knowledge, a national trend.
Philip: Perfect. What is, in terms of different sources of student demand data, what is there—why is there such a difference in the top programs between Google search and other data choices like our inquiry set? How would you explain the difference in the programs?
Bob: Sure. The big difference is between IPEDS completions and either Google search or the inquiry data set and, I think, there’s a very good reason for that. The IPEDS volumes includes every student that goes to college and graduates and we look at completions. If you look at inquiries, especially program inquiries, they only include students who searched for a specific program. Many students don’t know what program they want to take until they get into college and even then, they may change majors several times in their first two or three years. So, that final major may not be decided until well into their sophomore year, maybe even their junior year. So, for those people who see college first, they really only show up in the IPEDS data, those people looking program first, we can see them clearly in inquiries and Google search. And to me that’s one of the reasons you want to have all these different data sets. Each one illuminates a different segment of the market.
Philip: Okay, thanks for that. So, Bob, we released a couple trends this afternoon about Public Administration and someone had a specific question about Public Administration and it was obviously one of the top 10 programs of inquiry budget that all of them—one of the fastest growing programs. Can our participants assume that, that’s because there’s great competition and growth of market share?
Bob: I think there’s a positive spiral that can happen here where schools focus on a program. They increase the ad-spend for it, that stimulates interest among potential students, and that cycle repeats. So, yes, I think you can assume that there’s probably heightened competition, there’s been a high-level of competition for some time in this program and you know obviously some students are responding to that as well.
Philip: Great. We have two more questions and then that will be all for this afternoon, unless anyone else has any other follow-up questions, we’d be happy to take them. So, the second to last question this afternoon is about the program scorecard—the one-page summary of all of the data for a single program in a given market. How often is that data updated for our subscribers or in this presentation?
Bob: So, the update depends really on the data source. So, we update all the overall card quarterly, but IPEDS only updates once a year so that’ll update as soon as it’s complete. We’ve got the preliminary data in now, so we’ll be updating that over the course of the next month into our systems. BLS also only updates once a year, that’ll happen in December/January. We’ll update that. But the inquiry data, the Google search volumes and so forth, those update every quarter. We actually get the data monthly so if anybody needs it faster than that we can provide it but PEDS we update quarterly.
Philip: Alright and this is the final question of this afternoon. Great set of questions, thank you everyone for your thoughts and vows. Are there any plans to expand our data sets with international demand information?
Bob: You are not alone in wanting to do that. Plans no, aspirations absolutely. Okay, I’ll put a marker down that we’ll get that done this year. I have found sources that keep track of those inquiries so it’s doable and it’s long overdue. Thank you all very much, I hope you’ll join us again in July when we’ll bring you up to date on the latest trends.
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