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Engineering schools: the top 5 maintain their lead by attracting the best students

The panorama of the best Engineering Schools has been unchanged for some time. We find in the top 5 : École Polytechnique, CentraleSupélec (resulting from the merger of École Centrale and Supélec), École des Mines ParisTech, ISEP (Institut Supérieur d'Électronique de Paris), as well as Telécom ParisTech.

For years, these Grandes Écoles d'Ingénieurs have attracted the best students.

They certainly benefit from a great reputation and recognized training.  Nevertheless, in order to remain attractive in a globalized and competitive education market, these schools have ended up taking an interest in the candidate lead generation techniques offered by Inbound Recruiting.

A rich content strategy

Inbound Recruiting is partly based on the Content Marketing.

As a Grande Ecole of Engineering, in order to gain attractiveness and attract the best students and professionals, it is not only necessary to create content but also to enhance it.

With the multitude of sources of rich, worked content at your disposal (faculty, students, specialized researchers, members of the administration, etc.) it's easy for you to leverage this (nearly unlimited) pool to gain traction.

Let's take the case of École Polytechnique. Its website highlights a " Press Room " within which one finds :

  • The latest press releases
  • Events
  • The media library
  • A specialised insert on the school's foundation

École Polytechnique hosts a press room on their website

The Newsroom on the École Polytechnique website

This section presents both the rich news of the school as well as the content of its online courses (MOOC).

For its part, the Éole CentraleSupélec uses its site to highlight the publications of its research teachers. It lists the various interventions during conferences or publications in specialized journals.

The site also includes a list of the publications of the school.

Publications on the CentraleSupélec website

Examples of publications available on the CentraleSupélec website

When it comes to creating content and enhancing it, the schools at the top of the rankings are redoubling their ingenuity, using all the tools available. This is the case, for example, of Éole des Mines ParisTech, which has created numerous videos, addressing different themes related to their teaching body. Here is an example of very rich educational content !

Video on the École des Mines ParisTech website

Example of a video proposed by the École des Mines ParisTech

Thematic video channels on the École des Mines ParisTech website

The different thematic channels that École des Mines ParisTech offers

Télécom ParisTech chooses to publish the research resulting from the activity of its laboratories. The Interdisciplinary Institute of Innovation named I3 (which is a joint initiative of École des Mines and École Polytechnique) makes available its latest "working papers" (case studies).

Télécom ParisTech publishes the I3 working papers on their website

I3's "working papers"

Can't neglect social networks 

In the digital age, students tend to choose their education via the Internet rather than at open houses. It is now impossible to neglect the power of attractiveness of social networks, the Grandes Écoles d'Ingénieurs have understood this well. In the image of Polytechnique, for example, which is even present on Youtube and Dailymotion with its own channel, as well as Flickr and Instagram for images.  

  • On LinkedIn, social network dedicated to the professional world, schools mainly publish about student innovations or else the discoveries of their research teachers. The idea here is to highlight an innovative spirit, in line with the advances of its time. One can also see testimonials from students or alumniwho tell about their school career.

Publication on the LinkedIn of the École des Mines

École des Mines LinkedIn publication

  • On Facebook, schools generally target prospective students.  As the image of ISEP, which insists on the degree of internationalization of its degree courses (notably via the obligation to spend part of one's schooling abroad) with student testimonials that tell of the richness of their exchange and experience.

Posting on ISEP's Facebook

Exemple de publication de l'ISEP sur Facebook

  • Sur Twitter editorial line mixes news and humorous animations (GIFs). As is the case with CentraleSupélec, which knows how to reassure its prospective students on the day of admission results in particular.

Publication on CentraleSupélec's Twitter

GIF posted by CentraleSupélec on Twitter while waiting for admission results

  • On YouTube, the use of video reaches all Buyers Personas. Télécom Paris offers videos dedicated to those who are eligible, videos on the school's start-up gas pedal, information on the various degree courses (for example, the one in Big data), etc. 

The Télécom ParisTech YouTube channel

Different playlists from the Telecom ParisTech YouTube channel

All the E Engineering schools in the TOP 5 have pages on each of these social networks and offer a redirection to their publications on their site. The use of these networks depends on the audience there, so you have to skillfully juggle the different platforms to publish the right content to the right Candidate Persona.

New Call-to-action

There's no point in attracting if you don't convert !

The Landing Page 

By following the previously mentioned Inbound Marketing recommendations, you will manage to increase traffic to your website. However it is not enough to have traffic, you must know how to convert these prospective students into future admits of the next class.

To convert traffic, nothing is left to chance. It's best to know the basic rules of the "landing page", the science of User Experience (UX) or the strategic placement of "calls-to-action". 

Let's take the Éole Polytechnique for example, on its homepage, the school highlights :

  • News
  • Community information, including alumni
  • Recent news briefs
  • A digest of recent tweets

Landing page on the École Polytechnique website

"Landing Page" of the É Polytechnic School website

This page has an interesting Content Marketing strategy but it doesn't convert traffic. The overall layout is nice, the navigation easy but it seems impossible to leave your contact information to be contacted back.

CentraleSupélec offers on its homepage a very large number of headings directing to rich content on its activities and training. The school particularly highlights :

  • The significant number of patents filed, the fruits of the 18 laboratories and research teams
  • The strength of the faculty with 420 PhD students
  • The plurality of degree programs with 13 research and teaching chairs

On the other hand, the site is not optimized to convert traffic into qualified leads.

Infographic on the École CentraleSupélec website

 Site of the École CentraleSupélec


" calls-to-action " are essential to accompany visitors in an engagement loop to leave their contact. For the moment this method of lead generation is not very widespread in the Grandes Ecoles of Engineering. Yet it is an essential cog that allows you to know your visitors and see the impact of your content strategy.  

ISEP has integrated these "calls-to-action" into its header. By doing so it can retrieve contact information when students fill out the form. Thus she increases her base of " leads " and most importantly she will be able to re-contact previously undecided prospective students to direct their choice to ISEP.

Call to action on the ISEP website

CTA in the "header" of the ISEP website 

The market for Grandes Écoles of Engineering is eminently competitive. Training courses are multiplying and to gain attractiveness Inbound Marketing offers you solutions to stand out.

In effect, leverage the richness of your sources to create quality content and add value to it.

Relay it on social networks by adapting your editorial line to the audience specific to each communication channel.

Finally, once you get the attention of prospective students, don't wait to engage with them and get them to join you!

Topics: Inbound Recruiting, Conversion, Etude de cas, Marketing RH, Inbound Recruiting Grandes Ecoles