Market research can help determine how successful (or not) a new concept will be via actionable feedback on what people are actually looking for. This was the case when we were engaged by a higher education provider looking to design, streamline and implement a new degree.
With the help of the client facilitating the focus groups, we were able gather valuable qualitative insights into why students thought what they thought regarding the new program options. Through a series of focus group sessions; consulting prospective, current and past students, we were able to narrow down and hone in on which of the predetermined scenarios students supported: i.e. a new degree or a variations of the older models.
We dived straight into the verbatim and extracted key themes within each of the groups. We took into consideration a number of major influences on their decisions and thought processes. Outcomes included:
- ranked preferences of the scenarios;
- perceptions of other higher education institutions;
- other degrees offered at the same institution;
- demographics, e.g. gender, race, age;
- sources of information for decision-making
- reasons for choosing their current place of study; and so on.
Using the qualitative insights, we identified that flexibility was a key driver for many students pursuing this field of study. They did not want to be pigeonholed early on in their studies, barring them from choices further down the track.
We worked extensively with our client to realise and incorporate students’ desires and direction into the new program as an outcome of the research. Through the power of market research our client was able to identify and tailor their approach to formulate a degree which would positively impact students’ career choices at their institution.