(U-WIRE) LONG BEACH, Calif. -With jobs in short supply, college graduates are flocking to graduate programs at colleges across the nation.
According to published statistics from the Law School Admissions Council, applications to law schools are up 22.6 percent nationwide, with some schools reporting increases as much as 40 percent.
With 20 percent fewer jobs available this year than last year, fresh graduates need a way to make them stand out from everyone else looking for the same job, said Albert Chen, executive director of graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep.
“Any time the market falls, people go back to business school first, then law, then other graduate programs, ” Chen said. “This last began in fall of 2000 with the dot-com bust and it is still continuing. “
Chen’s statistics come from the number of students signing up for Kaplan’s Test Prep classes, which help to prepare students for admissions tests months in advance of applying to graduate schools.
Graduate School Degree Increases Job Opportunities
Most students go back to school to become more marketable and to command higher pay, according to Bonnie Eissner, public relations manager for Kaplan.
“As more people enter the job market, a higher degree is insurance that you will not be replaced by someone less qualified, ” Eissner said. “But many people also go to graduate school to prolong job entrance. “
Statistics have shown a woman’s salary can double with a master’s, while a man’s can increase by 89 percent, according to Chen.
“We seem to have a lot more interest in our program, ” said Kathy Rice, MBA operations manager at California State University-Long Beach. “Inquiries have doubled in the past few years. “
While interest has risen, the school’s master of business administration program has not experienced a large increase in enrollment. The school receives more than 300 applications each year and typically accepts about 110 students. The program has no quota to fill and can take as many students as are qualified.
Rice explained the inconsistent interest in the program as an issue of money.
“Students seem to be more cautious about applying because of cost, ” Rice said. “The cost is important, and many students do not have the financial means to go back to school, even if they want to and know it will help them in the long run. “
Vocational Careers: Graduate Programs Lead to Salary Increase
Kaplan studies show vocational careers such as nursing, education and engineering are always in demand, and with additional education, people can receive a salary increase of 50 percent.
Many test preparation classes exist for students interested in applying to graduate school. These can give additional confidence and knowledge to applicants competing for a small number of spots in a highly competitive area.
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