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What is Higher Education Marketing?

Higher Ed

With a career in the field of marketing communications, your options are endless. You can pursue careers that focus on public relations, digital and social media, content creation, even healthcare.

Right now, we want to explore a niche area of marketing — higher education marketing. In doing so, we’ll address the following questions:

  • What is higher education marketing?
  • What are some career options in higher ed marketing?
  • How can you specialize in Higher Education Marketing?

But first, let’s talk about Integrated Marketing Communications at West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media.

What is IMC?

So, what is IMC? As a discipline, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) adopts a human-centered approach where stories cater to an audience and where messaging is consistent across all channels of media.

By utilizing a wide breadth of channels, IMC professionals can unify all pieces of marketing communications to connect the consumer to the brand. IMC is a strategic, collaborative, and promotional business function through which a targeted audience senses consistent, persuasive, and reinforced brand messaging.

IMC students have an amazing opportunity to customize their Integrated Marketing Communications degree with a declared Area of Emphasis (AOE). Included on your transcript when you graduate, these specializations broaden your knowledge base, making you more competitive in the job market — but more on that later.

Now, let’s address the three questions we posed above.

What is higher education marketing?

The field of higher education serves millions of people each year and involves unique marketing challenges. The higher education field needs professional communicators to manage and position institutional reputation and advance student recruitment strategies that are targeted and personalized to prospective students.

Marketers working in higher education are responsible for things like team management, institutional branding, digital advertising, and content creation. Successful higher ed marketers have studied marketing communications from a higher education perspective.

What are some career options in higher ed marketing?

Before we explain how you can specialize in Higher Education Marketing through our IMC program, let's dive into a few career options for higher ed marketers.

1. Vice President of Enrollment Marketing

This VP role provides support and leadership for marketing communications for a particular institution. It is a crucial role that reports to the C-suite and manages other professionals in the enrollment department, such as the director of student recruitment and communications specialists. Working toward this job will allow you to become the point person and the face of the institution's enrollment marketing efforts.

2. Communications Specialist

These specialists are focused on handling public relations, information output, and press releases for a higher ed institution. Responsibilities may include handling media requests, social media marketing, and brand management. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for succeeding in this role.

3. Publications Director

Publications directors working in higher education marketing are responsible for creating and overseeing the production of various online and print materials. It’s a hands-on, detail-focused role and is perfect for someone who wants to see a creative project completed from start to finish.

4. Director of Student Recruitment

Professionals in this role are responsible for managing a team of professionals who are specifically focused on student recruitment strategies. This leadership role requires an ambitious, creative, and quick-thinking person who enjoys engaging with and leading a team toward essential milestones related to student recruitment.

5. Media Coordinator

In addition to collaborating with a variety of marketing communications teams, media coordinators ensure that marketing campaigns — including print, digital and broadcast advertising campaigns — are planned, executed and refined accordingly. Savvy, driven marketing professionals who are passionate about media and collaboration are a good fit for this role.

These positions are just some of the options you have for making a powerful impact within the field of higher education. Higher education affects the lives of millions of people each year, and which is poised to grow 10 percent between 2016-2026 (higher than the national average!).

How can you specialize in Higher Education Marketing?

At West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, students pursuing a graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of marketing. Getting the Higher Education Marketing AOE only adds one class to your IMC coursework, since the other three courses count for your three required electives. Adding an AOE to your IMC master’s degree adds tangible value to your degree and gives you a strategic competitive edge.

AOE Courses

You should pursue the Higher Education Marketing specialization if you're interested in learning more about:

  • Marketing content and strategies for higher education
  • Enrollment management and marketing
  • Student recruitment and engagement tactics
  • Branding and social media for higher education
  • Ethical marketing in a multicultural society
  • Cross-cultural marketing communications strategies

Connect with Us:

It's exciting that you're considering pursuing the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate degree as well as the Area of Emphasis in Higher Education Marketing at WVU. We encourage you to contact us today and jumpstart your journey toward being an indispensable marketing professional in today's competitive marketing industry.


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