Graduate school becomes more popular in tough job market

What’s in store for graduating seniors during these tough economic times?

No one has the answer to the economy. Analysts say it has recovered one day and is the worst it has ever been the next.

Multiple sources said that with a decline in the economy and thus job availability, more and more students continue their education past the undergraduate level.

In the graduating class of 2010, 29 percent of respondents say they planned to enroll in graduate school. For the class of 2011, Assistant Director of Career Advisement, Terrence Hood, believes this number will go down.

“If I saw, let’s say, fifty students, I would say at least 85 to 95 of them are more interested in full-time employment,” Hood said.

There are factors at play in the choice concerning graduate schools other than the economy for some students.

Senior Jon Kasik said he has student debt and wants to pay some of it off before considering going to graduate school.

Texas’ budget cuts have forced many school districts to lay off teachers. This leaves education majors like senior Ryan Gaughan unsure of their post graduate future.

“Hopefully I can find a job,” he said. “I’m leaving my options open though with graduate school,” he said.

Some students had already prepared for this lack of job opportunities by adding majors that would give them a more definite career path.

“I added FTDM [Film, Television and Digital Media] as a second major when I was a sophomore to kind of open up job opportunities because my other major was history,” said senior Arthur Aven. “I think you’re kind of limited with history as far as career opportunities, besides maybe teaching of law school or something, which all require more school after your undergrad.”

To try and help students find jobs with advice catered to their degree and college, Hood said a new program was launched at the beginning of the semester called the college liaision program. This assigned a career advisor to each college within the university to be available in each college three days a week for personalized advice.

Hood said Career Services has had a positive response to the program thus far and will continue to try and make students aware of the resource available.