Posted by: newperspectives85 | August 27, 2013

Why might your bachelor’s not be enough

Bachelor’s degree may not be enough

Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 9, 2002

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the past decade has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of annually awarded bachelor’s degrees. But the job scarcity caused by the economic recession has caused many students seeking premium employment positions to realize that an undergraduate education may no longer be enough.

Monique Washington, director of admissions at Rackham Graduate School, said the school has been experiencing a steady growth in application volume for the past five years, and cited the improved opportunities for students seeking admission to graduate schools – such as financial aid- as a key motivating factor.

“We did have an increase in applications for the graduate school. (More) students are utilizing financial resources through the University and through private resources such as fellowships and scholarships,” she said.

Tom Lehker, senior assistant director for graduate student services at the University Career Center, said the state of the potential job market is another important factor when students are deciding to go to graduate school.

“Whenever the economy is a little tight, students should think carefully about the decisions they’re going to make,” he said. “But graduate school shouldn’t be an option (just) because they don’t have anything better to do.”

Many students see additional education as an investment for their futures.

MBA student Jamal Jenkins, who received his bachelor’s degree from West Point, said he knew a master’s was necessary if he wanted to advance in the business world.

“I did feel I needed a master’s degree to go further and gain a position of increased responsibility so that I can contribute to the company on a larger scale,” he said.

According to the Council of Graduate Schools, masters’ degree recipients, on average, earn about $10,000 per year more than bachelors’ degree recipients – an increase of 19 percent in annual income.

Washington said additional degrees give students the expertise needed to enhance their professional growth.

“You need an advanced degree to get more lucrative jobs and better salaries, (especially) when taking a broad liberal arts curriculum. Someone who graduates with a (bachelor’s degree) in English may not get a job out of college. (But) if they get a (doctorate), they have more options available,” she said.

But money is not the only factor motivating graduate students. Washington said some students seeking personal growth also pursue masters’ degrees.

After working in the military for eight years, Jenkins said he decided to attend graduate school as a way of following his interest in business.

“I wanted to make the transition from the military world to the corporate world, and business school gave me the opportunity to gain exposure to the corporate world before jumping in,” he said.


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