Understand Your Target Market and Validate Student and Employer Demand

Understand Your Target Market and Validate Student and Employer Demand

How to use this section:

  • Understand the three EAB-identified online and hybrid student markets
  • Embed labor market analyses in program development processes

Introduction to Online and Hybrid Student Markets
EAB has identified three student populations interested in online and hybrid education. Use these research briefs to understand who these students are and how to best serve them.

For a more in-depth analysis of each student market see:


Evaluate the Top Skills Demanded in Your State Learn more about the top skills and jobs in each state as well as employers with the greatest hiring needs. Each profile has been designed to inspire ideas for new programs and highlight potential audiences, curricular components, and industry partners for existing programs.


Assess the Market Demand for a Proposed Online or Hybrid Program Source and interpret market demand data to assess the viability of a proposed program. This tool will help you identify possible data sources and their limitations, and guide decisions that align programs with market needs.


Six Internal and External Analyses to Identify and Respond to New
Program Opportunities
This resource outlines six analyses to surface promising new program ideas. The analyses guide senior leaders toward in-demand, mission-aligned new program ideas.


Determine if Proposed Programs Align with Labor Market Needs This checklist offers guidance on four types of program design decisions—credential, delivery, admissions, and student experience—to help faculty champions align new program design with market demands.


Learn How to Embed Market Demand Validation in Program Development Processes Use the following tools to propose new programs.

  • New Program Pre-Proposal Form helps faculty address how a new program will be positioned for enrollment success.
  • Interdisciplinary Major Interest Form ensures that the university can capture valuable intelligence about what interdisciplinary programs have attracted student interest.

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