Higher Education Marketers Have Vast Opportunity in Pittsburgh

Education-Pittsburgh_shutterstock_124981049Reaching student enrollment and recruitment goals is essential for survival in the higher education industry and with finances being a nationwide concern, potential students are weighing their options with greater care.

Scarborough analyzed Higher Education Seekers, defined as adults who have some college education but do not have a degree, are taking college courses online, or are planning to go back to school in the next year. This consumer group comprises 38 percent of the national population, showing that many U.S. adults are looking to expand their education horizons. We focused  on the local market of Pittsburgh, PA, as it is one of the nation’s most popular college towns as it’s home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Melon and many more continued learning institutions. With 32 percent of the Pittsburgh adult population identifying as Higher Education Seekers, it is a ripe area for education marketers to target. According to Scarborough’s Pittsburgh statistics:

  • Messaging is key as Higher Education Seekers are striving to be in leadership positions.
  • Social media is a necessary medium on which to make those connections, as Higher Education Seekers are likely spending more than an hour on social sites daily.
  • Financing options should be outlined upfront, as Higher Education Seekers tend to already have major financial commitments.

Higher Education Seekers are Striving for Success

Messaging that resonates with Higher Education Seekers’ interest in being leaders is important in education marketing. Pittsburgh’s Higher Education Seekers are more likely to say that their goal is to be at the top of their profession, or that they often find themselves in leadership positions. They also want to impress others.


Social Media Conversations Important to Higher Education Seekers

Social media has become a key component of any job search. So, it is no surprise that those who want to better their employment situation through seeking more education are more likely than other Internet users to be on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Higher Education Seekers in Pittsburgh are 10 percent more likely than all Internet users in the market to spend an hour or more on social networking sites daily. Facebook is clearly the behemoth of the market. Two-thirds (66%) of Higher Education Seekers who are online visited Facebook during the past month. However, they are more likely to use Twitter – 22 percent of Higher Education Seekers in Pittsburgh used Twitter during the past 30 days, versus 17 percent of the total online market. Google + and Foursquare are the least used social media vehicles among Higher Education Seekers in Pittsburgh at eight percent and two percent respectively.


Higher Education Seekers are Listening to Financial Assistance Messages

Already carrying the burden of personal loans and home mortgages, Higher Education Seekers no doubt consider education affordability. According to Scarborough, Pittsburgh’s Higher Education Seekers are 69 percent more likely to already have a personal loan and 13 percent more likely to have a home mortgage than all Pittsburgh adults. They are also nine percent more likely to  agree completely or somewhat that they feel overwhelmed by financial burdens. They are more likely than all Pittsburgh adults to lack basic insurance for health (6% more likely), home (11 %)or life (8%). Therefore, marketing messaging that speaks to financial assistance and affordability is key when targeting this consumer group.

You Can Find Pittsburgh’s Higher Education Seekers at Music Events and College Sports Games

If you attend a concert in Pittsburgh, odds are that you’re sitting near someone considering pursuing more education. According to Scarborough, Higher Education Seekers in the city are more likely to attend music events such as R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop, Country or Rock concerts. They are also avid attendees of West Virginia University football games and other college sports events. This type of information is useful for education marketers considering co-sponsorship or event marketing programs at the local level.


SOURCE: Scarborough Pittsburgh Local Market Study, Release 1, 2013 and Scarborough/GfK MRI Attitudinal Insights Data.

LEARN MORE ABOUT EDUCATION MARKETING WITH SCARBOROUGH. Dive into demographic information, media usage data and shopping information to find out more about the higher education market in Pittsburgh or any of the other cities measured by Scarborough. Contact us today!




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