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Easy lessons to learn

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Key points

  • 7:10 readers believe formal education is vital to success in life.
  • News media reaches
    • 94% of parents whose children are under 17.
    • 87% of higher education prospects (aged 17-29).
    • 95% of professionals 25-39 who continue to study.
    • 97% of 500,000 aged 40 or over who continue to study.


The value of the national education and training sector is set to rise from $118.7bn to $147.8bn over the next five years – an annual growth of 4.5 per cent that will outpace forecast GDP (2.6%).1

Researcher Ibis states growth to 2020-21 will result from solid demand from students and employers, supported by changes to government funding and demographic shifts.

Education providers can maximise commercial opportunities to educate the young and upskill an aging workforce by deploying marketing strategies that exploit the impressive relationship news media has with target buyers.


The population aged 4-18 is forecast to grow at a faster rate over the next five years.1 Along with an increase in secondary school retention rates, this is expected to provide a significant boost in demand for kindergarten to Year 12 schooling.1 Given the underlying trend towards private education, this is particularly positive for the private sector.1

Local newspapers provide education marketers with the ability to reach parents of prospective students in their own environment. Half of the 4.7 million Australians with children under 17 read regional or community newspapers.

Results from a recent study show many of these readers highlight services, including education, as content that is important to them.2

Higher Education

Diminished barriers to access for higher education courses, rising numbers of international students and an increasingly competitive job market have boosted demand for higher education services.1

The variety of tertiary courses on offer presents a communication challenge. While it is important to maintain a consistent brand, higher education marketers must also convey the nuances and benefits of a range of courses.

Newspapers help conquer this challenge, allowing providers to convey detailed education options and course information in an engaged reading environment. Studies show newspapers are a high-attention medium3; so advertisers can reap rewards by placing their messages in an environment where consumers concentrate on the content.

Advertisers seeking to engage younger candidates will find news media reaches 87 per cent of consumers aged 17-29 across all platforms. Digital news media reaches 69 per cent of this market segment.

Newspaper media also has high penetration rates among professionals and managers. Some 80 per cent read print newspapers, while the 25-39 age segment of this group are 18 per cent more likely to engage with digital news media than the average Australian.

Higher education providers can reach those actively considering their options in dedicated editorial supplements and careers pages. emma data shows these sections reach 631,000 print readers each month.

Life-long Learning

With an aging workforce and a growing need to stay abreast of increasingly rapid technological change, opportunities will arise for education and training providers.

More than a third of those aged 55+ are currently working, up from 25 per cent 10 years ago. This age group has almost doubled in size as a proportion of the total workforce since the 80s.4 However, three-quarters of all new jobs will require science, maths or technology proficiency.5

To meet the skills demand, people are predicted to stay longer in the workforce.4 Consequently, Federal Government policy aims to lift the percentage of those with tertiary qualifications, and this brings added opportunity to the sector.

News media provides advertisers with direct access to this life-long education market. Key statistics from the latest emma data:

  • More than 500,000 aged 40 and over are currently engaged in higher education studies. Of these, 97% read news media.
  • 96% of 911,000 aged 40+ who attended a short course or seminar in the past three months read news media.
  • Digital is not just for younger generations: 74 per cent of those aged 40+ get their news online.


  1. IBISWorld Industry Report, Education and Training in Australia, Jan 2016.
  2. Research Now, Think Local 2016: Community Newspaper Report, Jan 2016.
  3. Gallagher, K., Foster, K. D., & Parsons, J, The Medium Is Not the Message: Advertising Effectiveness and Content Evaluation in Print and on the Web. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(4), 57, 2001.
  4. Australian Treasury Department, 2015 Intergenerational Report, Mar
  5. ANZ, Blue Notes: Education one of Australia’s great growth opportunities, Jul 2014.

emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending March 2016, Read newspaper media in the last four weeks.

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