For years students hoping to avoid the real world have turned to grad school to prolong their precious college days. Recently, however, many American graduate programs appear to be in significant decline. New data from the Law School Admissions Council shows that 74,670 students applied to schools accredited by the American Bar Association in 2005, down 7.2 percent from a year before.
The same trend holds true for would-be CEOs. Over 15 percent fewer GMAT exams were given last year than in 2002. It seems that those Wall Street go-getters might actually be hitting the trading floors instead of the books.
But what’s behind this latest trend in real-world jobs? Traditionally the number of American grad school applications has largely reflected the condition of the economy. When the banks are booming, they’ll throw money and offers at those bright, young graduates. A study by Experience Inc. found that in 2005, 25 percent of graduating college students received full-time job offers by April—a significant improvement over the 18 percent in 2004. But a healthy economy is not the only contributing factor. Mae Shores, associate director for the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, says, “Some of the numbers are down because of an increase of programs abroad, changing demographics, and more part-time opportunities.”
Just don’t think all these declining numbers are going to make you a shoe-in at Yale Law. Even with the low applicant rate, most admissions officials agree that acceptance at the top law and business schools will remain a struggle. Numbers may fall, but according to Wendy Hanson of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the competition at star-schools isn’t going anywhere. So if you’re banking on an easy ride into the school of your dreams, keep dreaming.
What’s Next? 接下来呢？
Come graduation season, the dreaded “what are you going to do with a degree in that?” question enters almost every conversation. Putting your offbeat major to professional use can make anyone worry about getting stuck in the career desert.
Turns out, it’s easier to stay near water than you think. Yes, a degree in higher math might get you closer to those i-banking millions, but Italian literature scholars shouldn’t despair.
A recent study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau found that a graduate with a degree in arts and sciences is just as likely to hold a management position as one in the area of engineering and computers.