Competing for Enrollment with Emerging Academic Programs

December 15, 2023

Launching a unique program that appeals to students and potential employers can increase enrollment, revenue, and margins in good times and bad. Innovative programs generate media attention, reassure parents, and attract potential students. The advanced skills students learn can lead to great careers in emerging industries with high wages and rapid growth.

Understanding Emerging Academic and Industry Demand Trends

Identifying emerging programs requires a broad understanding of the academic, social, technological, industry, and investment demand trends in a sea of innovations. This year, AI poses a unique challenge: sorting through its immense promise to find practical opportunities for higher education programs.

How to Find the Most Promising Academic Programs of the Future

Each year at Gray Decision Intelligence, we showcase five emerging academic programs and disciplines with enormous potential. These programs are the fruit of months of research on business innovations, technological breakthroughs, venture capital funding, Department of Defense spending on advanced research, and societal trends across industries, academic disciplines, and award levels. We also keep an eye out for opportunities emerging at the intersection of various disciplines, such as the application of AI in chemistry and healthcare research.

In conclusion, staying competitive in enrollment requires launching unique academic programs that appeal to students and potential employers. By understanding emerging trends in academia and industry, we can identify some of the most promising programs of the future.

On January 11th, Gray Decision Intelligence will present our picks for the 2024 Emerging Programs to watch. Take a break from worries about demographic cliffs, skepticism about the value of a college degree, and stiff competition to learn about emerging programs that can help us all buck the headwinds facing higher education.

Click here to register for our 2024 Emerging Academic Programs to Watch webinar.

Mary Ann Romans


Mary Ann creates, defines, and executes marketing strategy at Gray Decision Intelligence.

About Gray DI

Gray DI provides data, software and facilitated processes that power higher-education decisions. Our data and AI insights inform program choices, optimize finances, and fuel growth in a challenging market – one data-informed decision at a time.

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