The study ‚Evaluating the acceptance of continued education programs focusing on the AIM’ has been carried out at Forschung Burgenland between June 2016 and August 2016 at the order of the AIM – Austrian Institute of Management GmbH. The study’s target group comprised potential program participants and it aimed at gaining a deeper understanding for their needs and expectations so the AIM can identify potential for improvement concerning their marketing and concerning the acceptance of its continued education program.
The results show that persons with higher degrees of education and those who work in upper management are more often concerned with continued education. In addition, the study shows that persons who have been concerned with issues surrounding higher education have a higher income than those who have not yet busied themselves with continued education.
About one in three interviewees named the following areas as areas of interest related to continued education: project management, process management and organization, followed by information technology. Also, more than a quarter of all interviewees were interested in continued education in issues related to entrepreneurship and management, energy, environment and sustainable development.
Continued education programs with an average workload of 81 ECTS were considered adequate. Interviewees report being willing to undergo slightly lower workloads: on average 72 ECTS. A distance-learning contingent of about 70% was ideal, according to the interviewees; any face-to-face lecture should be held either in the evenings between Monday and Friday or Friday evenings and during the weekend.
As far as pricing was concerned, interviewees stated that € 11.000 were acceptable for a program, however, they themselves were ready to pay on average only about € 7.750. Although the professional ambitions tend to factor in when it comes to deciding on a program for continued education, people rank personal interest in the core subject of the program as the key deciding factor.
AIM is evaluated as personable, innovative, modern, respectable, trustworthy and on the rise. The most important categories are respectable and trustworthy. The highest importance is attached to the high quality of the programs, which is confirmed by the interviewees. Thus, the AIM can be viewed as authentic and modern.
It appears that persons who have already reached a certain level of professional recognition and who are more ambitious are more interested in continued education programs. Continued education is an interesting topic for around 95% of interviewees – the remaining 5 % is possibly content with what they have reached (they hold a tertiary degree) or may not know about some of the educational programs on the market (compulsory and/or vocational school graduates)
The AIM’s offer with continued education programs comprising 90 ECTS is regarded as adequate. There is a certain degree of demand for face-to-face courses. In addition to that, the AIM’s tuition fees are well within the range of what persons interested in those programs are willing to pay.
Even to persons who have not yet been in contact with the institute, the AIM seems modern and authentic. In the future, it remains an important issue to convey a high degree of quality awareness in addition to appearing respectable and trustworthy, because those are by far the most important criteria for the target groups when it comes to deciding on a continued education program.