Academic institutions such as universities and schools might generally be imagined as places where students learn to conduct their own market research studies, rather than as purchasers of published market research. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In both classrooms and academic administrative offices there is a critical need for market research that is timely, detailed and reliable. Here are four people in academic institutions that use market research to round out their departments:
- Administrators: Even while classes are still in session, school and university administrators need to make decisions that will impact the direction and offerings for the next year, the year after, and the year after that. Market research provides critical landscape data for long-term decision-making such as identifying and targeting prospective students, and planning for the programs, degrees and skills that are rising in demand. Like any organization, schools also need to understand their market and their competitors so they can differentiate themselves to attract well-fitting students and talented faculty.
- Librarians: In order to turn out the highest quality papers and projects, students need access to top-shelf data. Instructors need real-world, current information to share with their students, and to publish their own original work. Most schools have a brick-and-mortar library and other school-licensed online resources to provide a breadth of information to everyone in the classroom, and a tailored market research subscription is a valuable and cost-effective addition. A market research subscription can provide students and faculty with access to a wide selection of current data across multiple industries, or even selected ones that align with the school’s focus, so that their work can stand up both inside and outside of the walls of the school.
- Small Business Development Center and/or Office of Technology Transfer Contributors: Many U.S. colleges and universities have business development centers, and most major research universities have an Office of Technology Transfer, which helps technological innovations and other research find applications for commercial use or public benefit. These departments need access to the same market data as any other business in the private sector because they are transacting with and/or competing with other organizations.
- School of Business Instructors: There is no substitute for hands-on learning and putting current market research in the hands of business students gives them a tremendous advantage when they later step foot into a real conference room. Students’ critical, analytical and strategic thinking skills all get a workout from having current data to compare to their experience and other contemporary analysis. Learning to read and apply the findings of a market research report is a valuable skill and a big step toward getting a real-world education for business students.
Regardless of size, all schools, colleges and universities have the same goal: to educate their students and prepare them for a career outside of the school. Access to current, detailed information about the academic landscape is a critical tool for administrators to keep the business of learning moving forward, and invaluable to instructors and students to understand and analyze current and trending markets and industries.