The economic crisis is causing more students to think about staying in school longer.
Weak job markets and economies prompt people of all ages and levels of experience to go back to school and get another degree or higher degree. However, the latest trend in graduate programs is the amount of students attempting to go directly from undergraduate to graduate school.
“Graduate school is a good place to hide out,” said Anne Sandoe, director of admissions for the Leeds School of Business M.B.A. program.
However, the M.B.A. program at CU discourages students without a few years of working experience from applying.
“It’s hard to connect with the material if you don’t have any work experience,” Sandoe said.
Occasionally, the program will take students straight from undergraduate programs, but real working experience is a very important admission criteria. But with a dismal job market, it becomes more difficult to get the experience needed for an M.B.A.
“The MBA program has more than doubled over the last two years…applicants have increased, in part, due to the economy,” Sandoe said.
Some graduate programs at CU have yet to notice any changes in amount of applicants they receive. Both the engineering and journalism graduate programs report little change in the number of applicants to their programs.
Some students, such as Jane Alt, a junior sociology major, seem to agree that graduate school might be a safe haven until the economy stabilizes.
“I want to go to grad school because the economy is so bad right now, it’d be hard to get a job,” Alt said. “A graduate degree would better my chances versus someone who only has a B.A.”
In addition to economic stress, some current undergraduates think graduate school will help them get ahead in the business world.
“I want to go to graduate school so I can advance myself up the ladder at a corporation and to gain further knowledge of how the business world works,” said Brian Totte, a senior mechanical engineering major. “All executives have at least an M.B.A. or master’s degrees in the business fields.”
Current graduate students at CU say they are satisfied with their choice to attend grad school given the insecurity of the job market and the extremely qualified pool of potential competitors for even entry-level positions.
“I didn’t think an undergraduate degree was enough,” said Ross Raitman, a first-year civil engineering graduate student. “I also didn’t want to go into the work force right now. The economy sucks.”
The economy and the job market may take a few years to recover, but there is no denying that graduate and post-graduate education makes for a more competitive candidate for any position at any time.
“I like college, it’s really interesting,” Raitman said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Allison Doyle at Allison.email@example.com.