Gathering Competitive Data

List all the training centers in your community. What discoveries have you made in terms of serious competition to your institution and ideas for new programs to offer?

we have several public schools that have a massage program that are less expensive.
We also have schools that offer Cosmotolgy programs and Physical Therapy Programs. Students can take all three at other schools.
I would like to add these programs to our school.

Lena,

It can be difficult to compete price-wise with public schools and community colleges. Do you have data to support those decisions?

Lisa Sharpe

In this geographic area we have a few competition. There are a few private career schools and adult schools.

These schools used to offer some programs similar to ours. Mainly, Medical Assistant program, Nurse Assistant program and Phlebotomy program. But, recently some of our competitions discontinued few of their programs.

Our externship arrangement are comparatively better than some of our competitors.

We may offer dental assistant program and continued education for phlebotomy programs to attract new students.

We also have plans to offer some advanced courses to attract potential students.

S. I. Nusrat,

The medical field is booming, and you are to be commended for expanding into this area. How far into the futre aree your projections? At some point, we will reach job saturation in that market.

Lisa Sharpe

In my current area of the country we have some competition. There are a few private career colleges and community colleges.

Troy,

Remember online competition cannot be ignored, especially with adult learners. Who are your main competitors in the online arena? Are they accredited, and are their degrees considered as viable as yours?

Lisa Sharpe

There are lots of competition where I'm from. Living in an area with large diversity population gives institutions more reasons to compete. There are many career colleges and community colleges that are competing against each other.

Hameed,

Very true. Have you ever posed as a prospective student and tried to gather information about your competition? I have, and so have many others, but actually, it's hard to get information that is of any value that way. When you are introducing a new program, of course you need to justify (to accrediting bodies and the state) why that program is necessary. Demographic data, demonstrated job need, etc are all factors you probably already take into consideration However, sometimes a survey of local employers is a good gauge of the market as well.

Lisa Sharpe

There are numerous training, universities and higher education state institutions in our area. Serious competition to our institution is minimal. The program we offer is unique nationally. There are no Dual Language programs being offered at the higher education level except for ours.

George,

Wow. That is amazing. The only Dual Language program in my area that I am aware of is for American Sign Language interpretation, so yours must be very unique! Would you be willing to share a bit more about it?

Dr. Lisa Sharpe

I consider similar distance learning schools as direct competitors as well as local training opportunities. Community colleges are competition as well, because we have a similar target market, and they have captive audiences. I used to work at a community college, too, so I know how hard they're working to gain national and even international markets through their online courses, so it's getting more difficult to stand apart as a national, distance education school.

Kimberly,

Brand Identity is becoming more and more important as "big name" colleges and universities get into the game. Interestingly, the regionaly accredited universities are also allowed to discount their tuition, whereas most career schools are not. I'd say that's an unfair advantage!

Dr. Lisa Sharpe