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Show Me the Money!

All attitudinal segments pursue additional education to make more money
Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer | Tim Trull, Chief Strategy Officer

Education industry marketers intuitively know that messaging aimed at recruiting traditional students fresh out of high school won’t cut it with them. That’s the easy part.

Not all adult or adult re-entry students, however, have the same motivations or beliefs guiding their desire to improve their income.

That’s where attitudinal segmentation research comes in.

Uncovering the beliefs about how different segments feel about pursuing additional education. These insights can help you craft messaging that speaks to each potential adult learner in a relevant and meaningful way.

LAVIDGE conducted a national adult education research study post-pandemic. The objective was to learn attitudes of adult learners and define segments that share those attitudes.

The study uncovered three key adult education consumer segments:

  • Opportunist - Positive about the value of investing in education and the possibilities for trained workers. Believe college isn’t necessarily for everyone.
  • Worrier - Aren’t sure where their career is going, concerned about the cost of education, believe their skills are out-of-date and feel like they chose the wrong career path.
  • Planner - See value in education, have a career plan and feel responsible for supporting others financially.

This is the fifth in a series of articles in which we reveal several “Light-Bulb Moments” our post-pandemic research uncovered about adult learners.


Light-Bulb Moment 5: Show me the money! All segments pursue additional education to make more money

Much like Rod Tidwell, a fictional football player in the 1996 box-office hit Jerry Maguire, adults in all three attitudinal segments identified in our study agree with the film’s catchphrase: “Show me the money!” when it comes to furthering their education.

Opportunists ranked highest at 45% among those who said “to make more money” was their main reason to further their education. Worriers were second-most likely at 27% with Planners accounting for 19% of those who are motivated by money to upgrade their skills.

Money, however, isn’t everything for Opportunists. They also are far more likely to further their education to train for a new career (30%) The gap between Opportunists and the next-highest ranked segments is significant with 18% of Worriers agreeing. At 13%, Planners were more closely aligned with Worriers.

The desire to gain work-life flexibility also motivates 26% of Opportunists. The drop to the percentage of Worriers (16%) who agree with them is about double the difference between Worriers and Planners, of whom only 12% are motivated by work-life flexibility to seek additional learning.

Opportunists are far more likely to pursue education for more money, a new career or more flexibility in their work life.

Partner with an experienced education industry marketing agency for adults

Reaching patients who hold each of these beliefs—and targeting them one at a time for the best effect—requires attitudinal research. Going it alone, especially in a post-pandemic market, can be risky for educational institutions. It’s never been more important to choose the best agency to partner with for consumer education marketing messages for adult learners.

Consumer attitudes are changing, and you need an experienced team with significant industry experience combined with access to developing consumer insight based on what your audience of learners believe.

You’ll find just that with LAVIDGE.

In fact, education marketing is a core category at LAVIDGE. We invest in primary research to keep abreast of consumer shifts in the education industry, launching our first education study in 2018.

Finally, because our strong roster of current and past clients represents a wide range of organizations in the education category including CampusLogic, Arizona State University, Rio Salado College, International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), and Arizona Department of Education, it’s clear that LAVIDGE is an agency you can trust.

We’d love to bring you into the fold.

To learn more about our Adult Education attitudinal research study, contact Dave Nobs.

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