As students search for security in today’s troubled economy, graduate school becomes an appealing option. Though attaining post-undergraduate degrees can be costly, Temple’s graduate programs are maintaining steady admission enrollments.
Nationally, graduate school enrollment this year has remained the same in comparison to 2008.
“The interest is still there,” Associate Dean of Graduate Admissions Zebulon Kendrick said. “They are recruiting well, and the international students are coming to the United States.”
Last year, Temple had 5,002 graduate students, excluding Temple Japan. Graduate Admissions estimates it will see a similar number this year.
“We are pretty much on par with where we were about this time last year,” said Dr. Michael Toner, a graduate school research associate.
To finance their graduate educations, some students work as teaching or research assistants or do fellowships and externships. Footing the bill themselves is an option for doctoral candidates who take one-credit courses while writing their dissertations.
Some employers pay for their employees to take graduate courses, but the practice is fading.
“I was working for a big company, and I was let go back in November,” said Michael Rosen, a MBA candidate with a concentration in finance. “When I was with the company, they actually paid for most of [graduate school]. Now, I have to pay for it, which is probably six or seven grand over the next six months. It is doable, but I cannot keep going back to school without any support.”
Temple admits international students and mid-career professionals.
Temple last saw a dip in graduate enrollment post-9/11, mirroring the national decrease in applications and enrollment during that time.
“After 9/11, in those years, there was a decrease in international applicants,” Toner said. “Overall in the nation, it has gone back up, and it did the same thing for us.”
Students in the College of Liberal Arts, Fox School of Business and those with health and education majors are most likely to go to graduate school because they have the biggest selection of master’s programs.
Other schools, like the Tyler School of Art, tend to have fewer graduate students because the programs are more specialized and have limited space.
Kendrick said graduate school is a viable option for students looking for job security.
“As the economy gets tight, a lot of people realize that in order to keep their jobs or move up in their jobs, they need to be better trained,” Kendrick said. “I see a big move that way in the United States for people to receive extra training at the graduate level.”
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.