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Marketers of Master’s of Engineering Degrees face Special Challenges

See the challengers other marketers like you face..and how we solve them!

How can engineering programs make sure they are considered by prospective students at decision time?

Let’s say you are a marketer at a locally known university and you want candidates to consider your school’s online Master’s of Engineering Degree.  Or say your school is an engineering powerhouse, but is launching a new degree or now offering their courses online?

Getting the word to engineers isn’t easy.  Like most students, they tend to gravitate first to their undergrad school and second to a local college.  When they search for online education, the search engines give them an impossibly long list of unfiltered choices.

You could pay an agency to help you.  There are lots of agencies that will take on recruiting candidates for up to $10,000 per enrolment, but that doesn’t create a sustainable presence for your school.  

What have we learned from matching engineers to US universities and colleges?

1. Engineers aren’t Business Students

One thing that we have learned is that engineers aren’t business students.  They go back to school for a different reason.  While the business student has a goal of propelling their career and earning potential, most engineers go back to school because they feel that they are missing key skills to do their existing jobs better. 

That means you may want to tailor your web site content to talk more about the details of what engineers will learn rather than your school’s post-graduate employment rates and salaries.  

2. You can’t sell an Engineer a Master’s of Engineering Degree

Engineers go back to school for a Master’s degree when they find the need, not when an advertisement captures their interest.  Usually they are driven by a situation at work where they feel uncomfortable with their skills, often a few months after a promotion.  These applicants feel like there is something more they should know about leadership, about project management, or about finance.  Sometimes they see that their colleagues or superiors have Master’s degrees and they decide that it’s an important step.  Until then, they really aren’t open to hearing about the benefits. 

As a result, you probably don’t want to waste your marketing budgets trying to convince them that a Master’s degree is a good idea.  Instead, you are better off focusing your campaigns on making sure that they have heard of your program and that they consider it when they are looking.

A Better Solution for Candidates is an Ideal Solution for Marketers

The flip side of the marketer’s dilemma is that Master’s candidates aren’t having an easy time finding the right program.  Consider their process:  after they have contacted their undergraduate school, spoken with friends and colleagues, and run a series of intricate (yet ultimately frustrating) web searches, they are left wondering whether they have optimized their research. 

Screenshot of what's Masters Degree Discovery Tool looks like


In this blog I don’t typically talk about specific solutions, but in this case built a web tool to help engineers address this problem.  

Our engineering audience uses the Master’s Degree Discovery Tool to find their best match for a Master’s of Engineering degree.  They do it by answering a few questions about their background and education objectives.  The tool provides a personalized pdf report that contains:

  • A list of schools and programs that fit their needs
  • Interviews with faculty and students
  • Detailed program descriptions


Marketers receive Contact Information for Candidates along with Their Qualifications for a Master’s Program

Once the tool has matched the candidates to programs, we send contact information to marketers for those candidates who choose to be contacted. We also send along the candidates' qualifications, such as undergrad degree, GPA, TOEFL etc.

The Master’s Discovery Tool has been up and running since the summer of 2014.  Now hundreds of candidates use it every month.  If you are a marketer for a Master’s of Engineering Program, I encourage you find out more information.  Pricing starts at $5,000 and there is no cap to the number of candidates you can receive.




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Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
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