Demand for education past a bachelor’s degree and state of current economy

Lynn Klavetter

Lynn Klavetter

Offering seven doctoral degrees and 19 masters degrees, SDSU has a variety of options for students who are considering graduate school. The demand for education past a bachelors degree has been growing over the past years.

“Potential employers often times expect a bachelor’s degree. That is the minimum, so a graduate degree can give a job applicant an extra edge,” graduate school recruiter Ruth Manson said.

There are many reasons for students to attend graduate school.

“With the economic concerns, people have and people are going back to school,” Manson said.

Another reason for SDSU’s large graduate enrollment, approximately 1,200 students, is its attractiveness to international students.

“SDSU has one of the lowest application fees-$35. We are a great deal. Brookings is a safe, good place to live with friendly people,” Manson said.

The Economics department offers an accelerated program where students, who have a 3.5 or above grade point average, can get their bachelor’s and master’s degrees within five years.

The Accelerated Masters program allows undergraduates to take 500 level graduate courses while they are still an undergraduate. 400-level courses are taken as an undergraduate.

“If you look at wage premiums, they are about 50 to 60 percent higher for a master’s degree over and above a bachelor’s degree,” Adamson said.

The current economy has made graduate school more of an opportunity.

“We’re coming out of a recession right now. There is a countercyclical trend in graduate attendance. Part of this is that if you can’t find a higher paying job, the opportunity cost of going to graduate school comes down,” Adamson said.

A shortage of higher paying jobs has led students to graduate schools.

“I was looking for jobs around the Brookings area, and I couldn’t find anything. I was able to get a job as a teaching assistant at SDSU if I went back to school,” graduate student Becky Hunter said.

Hunter choose to attend SDSU’s graduate school for several reasons.

“I earned my undergrad degree there so I knew the faculty and staff and the teaching opportunity was there. Since I live in Brookings with my husband, it was ideal to go to SDSU,” Hunter said.

Senior Elliot Ennis also choose graduate school due to lack of job opportunities.

“I applied for five jobs and all of them turned up negative due to lack of education and experience. Grad school will definitely help employment prospects. A great deal of jobs I looked at required more education than I had,” Ennis said.

The current economy played a role in Ennis’ decision to attend graduate school.

“The professors I talked to said that now is a good time to go to graduate school because there are not as many jobs out there,” Ennis said.