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Trends in Education 2023

By Marie Rosecrans February 1, 2023

The education landscape has shifted dramatically, but as the parent of a college student and a high school senior, I admire how higher education institutions have become powerful change agents. These institutions are supporting lifelong learners as they look to grow their skills while shaping the economy in new ways.

I’ve been at Salesforce for nearly 15 years, and like other Salesforce leaders, we try to stay on the front lines of the latest trends, technologies, and challenges impacting the education industry. Bringing insight from market analysis and customer conversations, I’d like to share what I see as the 2023 top trends to watch in education.

Improving Student Enrollment and Retention Will Be Top Priority

Enrollment has declined in the past couple of years, particularly in the U.S., with higher education institutions losing around 1.3 million students between the spring of 2020 and the spring of 2022. To recapture the attention of prospective students, institutions will rethink their enrollment strategies by painting a clear picture of campus life. This will not only help boost the number of students choosing to attend an institution, but it will also pave the way for student retention and higher graduation rates. 

That said, while there have been slight gains in recent years, student departure remains an enigma for most institutional leaders, as they seek to understand and remedy the causes of attrition. In 2023, we are likely to see enrollment and retention challenges being tackled by implementing new campaigns to encourage potential students to enroll, offering new degrees and courses, providing holistic and personalized support, and increasing hybrid learning opportunities.

New Strategies for Staff Recruitment and Retention Will Be Explored and Executed

A 2022 survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found that more than half of the respondents said they were likely to look for other employment within the next 12 months. So what can institutional leaders do to minimize staff turnover?  

It is important for institutions to offer more remote work options and flexible schedules. According to the third edition of the Salesforce Connected Student Report, 57% of staff expected more flexible learning and working moving forward. In addition to flexibility, staff want salary increases, a greater investment in career development, and more focus on employee wellbeing. 

Investment in Automation Will Be Necessary in an Effort To Do More With Less

In our current macroeconomic environment, we continue to see uncertainty and volatility as constant headlines. As a result, institutions are being forced to increase efficiency, productivity, and overall return on their technology investments. 

By optimizing and prioritizing through automation and intelligence-based insights, institutions can design scalable services for issues that do not require personal touch, and enable staff to focus on doing what they enjoy most: deeply connecting with students on high-value topics.

I welcome your feedback and the chance to talk more about these trends. Please reach out on LinkedIn! To continue your learning, take a look at the full Connected Student Report to understand more of the changing expectations of students and staff,  while uncovering opportunities to increase efficiency and improve student experiences.