As Graduation Comes and Goes, Student Hiring Outlook Begins to Brighten

May is graduation time for most full-time MBA and graduate students, and with it comes a whole new class onto the job market. At this time last year students were graduating into the worst job market in decades, and many were forced to settle for their Plan B job or even any job at all. Is this year shaping up to be an improvement or another year of disappointment? According to a recent survey of MBA employers conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the job outlook for this year is better than the previous, yet still significantly below pre-recession levels.

Growth has been driven in part by increased hiring from overseas, particularly in the booming Asian markets. Asian companies had previously had limited success in recruiting among American MBAs because of their inability to offer the same financial incentives as American employers. That has been changing in recent years as salaries in emerging markets have increased significantly, resulting in greater numbers of MBAs leaving the country to pursue attractive opportunities abroad.

While the job market remains difficult, there are signs that employers are becoming increasing positive about the near-term outlook for the economy and are therefore showing greater willingness to hire. According to the GMAC survey, 55% of companies surveyed plan to hire MBAs this year, up 5% from 50% in 2009 yet still below the 2008 level of 59%. A similar trend applies for graduates of other specialized business masters programs. Hiring is expected to pick up the most this year in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries as well as in consulting. The bad news is that companies are being more selective in hiring, taking in on average less MBAs than they did last year.

Anecdotal evidence has supported the fact that hiring is up slightly over last year, but it also varies widely from school to school. The Wall Street Journal reports that at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and Northwestern (Kellogg), hiring has begun to pick up noticeably, while at other schools such as University of Texas (McCombs) and NYU (Stern), level remain similar to last year.

While in past years grads have relied mainly on their school's career center to open doors to opportunities, this year the job search has shifted from a school-led effort to a more individual search. As many employers have significantly cut back on their on-campus recruiting efforts as part of larger cost-cutting programs, students have recognized that developing contacts themselves and leveraging these contacts to find a suitable position is key to the search.

Graduate School - The New Prerequisite For Employment?

A number of years ago, when America was still depending on manufacturing, your high school diploma was your ticket to ride. When you graduated high school, you could find job that would support your family. As the country evolved into a service based economy, employers began desiring candidates with higher levels of education, and slowly but surely, it became hard to come across a very good paying work if you ever did not have a bachelor's degree. Nonetheless, in today's day and age, with a lot more men and women seeking bigger education than ever just before, even a bachelor's degree may not cut it. Much more and far more employers are enthusiastic about work applicants with a master's or bigger, producing graduate school practically important to locate employment. Thus, it really is essential to think about the gains and drawbacks of attending graduate school, in addition to the points one must look at when selecting a graduate school to attend.

First and foremost, one ought to note that attending graduate school might be tremendously beneficial. A lot of undergraduate programs today however place a high value on general education requirements. Whilst the hours you put in for your main will even now be substantial, practically a third from the time you spend in college, and in some situations, practically half of it, though be devoted to classes unrelated for your main. Graduate school has no such restrictions. For two to three years, you'll discover yourself taking classes that directly apply for your field of analyze, giving you the knowledge, and in a lot of situations, the hands on expertise, to be much more successful within your chosen line of perform. Moreover, most master's degrees will require managerial classes tailored for that specific field of analyze, generating you a far more qualified candidate for larger paying positions.

That doesn't mean that graduate school is constantly the greatest idea. For one issue, it may be incredibly high-priced, particularly for out-of-state students. If you've already taken out thousands of dollars in student loans for your undergraduate degree, as most persons in American do, you'll be adding anywhere from twenty to fifty thousand dollars of debt onto your tab, if not far more. Unless your graduate school training will prepare you to step into a incredibly high paying work, it may possibly not be worth the price tag. In addition, for some careers, expertise is however a lot more critical than a piece of paper saying you're actually smart. Though graduate school is needed for some, it really is certainly not a one-size-fits-all affair. It truly is critical to do your exploration just before you make a choice.

If you ever do decide that you happen to be enthusiastic about graduate school, you will discover a couple of steps it is possible to take to ensure that you're entering the plan that's proper for you. The first factor to think about is your understanding style. Are you someone who advantages from hours of reading and class discussion, or are you someone who prefers to learn by expertise? Some schools offer a excellent deal of study opportunities for their graduate students, and others don't. Your understanding style must be a factor within your choice. The other factor to contemplate is the length from the plan you happen to be entering. Some graduate schools provide master's degrees that should take a year to complete, and other degrees which will take practically four years to finish. You will find also accelerated programs at graduate schools where you are able to gain your master's AND your Ph.D. in one analyze plan. These are all items to think about when looking into graduate school.

Comparing and Evaluating Graduate Programs (III)

My first two postings on Comparing and Evaluating Graduate Programs discussed the importance of gathering information about admissions data, faculty size, requirements and graduate level courses in the programs that you are comparing, as well as funding, teaching, time-to degree, health insurance and career support. This article will continue to explore what you need to know to make informed decisions about which schools to apply to, and finally, which offer you accept.

In major metropolitan areas graduate student housing may not be a critical concern because there is an ample [sometimes overpriced] housing stock in the surrounding urban area, but in more rural communities housing options may be limited and you may need to commute, support a car, and pay for parking. Does your school offer married student housing? Four or five years of rent controlled graduate housing [with free Internet and electricity and heat, all of which may be part of the deal] is certainly worth asking about.

Summer classes serve two functions: if your graduate program 'exists' during the summer you may be able to take graduate level courses and make progress toward your degree; you may also be able to land a course or two as an instructor to earn extra money - this is a consideration for students in the humanities and social sciences who are usually not funded during the summer. Larger schools may offer these summer opportunities and there is no harm in asking about them so that you can plan ahead.

Graduate school applications, especially if you apply to several schools, can get expensive, so check to see if you are eligible for any kind of fee waiver [McNair scholar, alumni, minority, etc.].

Disability accommodations may be crucial for your continued education; if you had accommodation during college and want or need to continue it during graduate school you need to check on how to apply for one and whether you will need to update a diagnosis because in some cases your accommodation might need to be verified by a recent diagnosis. You are better served knowing the answer to questions like this before you arrive on campus and classes begin, instead of waiting until you have no time and other obligations once school is underway.

Campus visits either before or after you are accepted into a program are important and while they may be expensive, they are worth making. Visiting before you have applied, has several advantages: 1) you may discover that you hate the campus, the town and the program [or conversely that you love them]; 2) you can meet faculty, explore facilities and have a chance to make a good impression and sell yourself as a desirable candidate. If you visit after you are accepted, and you have more than one acceptance in hand, you can decide whether you [and your spouse?] can spend the next 'n' years at this school. Post-acceptance visits may sometimes be underwritten or subsidized by a school, so do not hesitate to ask for travel money. Schools sometimes have graduate student open houses with tours, dinners and presentations about the campus - ask if they are sponsoring such an event. The cost of a weekend trip from California to New York may be prohibitive, but if you have been accepted to a school in New York and one in Philadelphia, for example, see if you can schedule them for the same weekend, get some funding from each school and combine the funding to make the trip doubly informative and half as expensive...if you can.

Meeting with students at a school may be as important as meeting with the faculty. They will probably be candid and forthcoming with information about the program, so ask and ask and ask [that means ask more than one student the same questions]. What is advising/mentoring like in the there a congenial social environment within the program [competitive or not] graduate students serve on committees in the program [how else will you be trained to be a faculty member someday if not through close mentoring and meaningful apprentice programs?], are classes stimulating, is the library well stocked and are the librarians helpful? This is just a short list of what you can inquire about.

If you are assiduous in gathering this kind of information your decision about the program you attend, especially if you don't have many choices at the end of the day, will be made in a more comfortable and satisfying way.

Milton Kornfeld, Ph.D.

Economics Of College Grants Trickle Down To Underrepresented Students

Colleges and universities are reaching out to students who are considered "underserved." With help from grants, they're providing services to help disabled students, as well as those from certain ethnic backgrounds and low-income families. Also with help from grants, higher education institutes throughout the country are expanding their educational offerings. Here are a few examples of where some of the education-related grant money provided to colleges and universities is being spent:

In Kentucky a college received a $5,000 grant from the Louisville, KY-based Cralle Foundation, Inc. The grant money is to be used to support a Learning Resource Center that is being built at this university. The center is expected to be completed in 2011 and is to feature nursing program classes, a teacher education department, an equine laboratory and faculty offices. The Gheens Foundation, Inc., and the James Graham Brown Foundation, both of Louisville, have also provided the college with grants in support of the $5 million construction project.

A university in Oregon has been awarded a $1.85 million five-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue providing academic support services to low-income and disabled students and those who are among the first generation in their families to participate in higher education. The grant provides funding in its entirety for Student Support Services that are part of federal TRIO programs intended to help students who face challenges to obtain their degrees. At this college, the TRIO Student Support Services grant each year provides some 265 students the academic assistance they need to stay in college and graduate, according to a grant announcement from the institution. About 40 students who benefit from TRIO services graduate each year, the announcement noted.

The south hasn't been left out. In Southeast Florida, a college received a $2.87 million grant from the US Department of Education. The grant, provided over the course of five years and known as a Title V grant, is intended to help Hispanic students and other minorities academically in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. To accomplish this, the university is to focus on outreach efforts, mentoring and more as a means of increasing enrollment and graduation rates among these populations at its Oceanographic Center.

A $19.2 million US Department of Education grant was provided to a Chicago university. The grant money, to be provided by the agency's Institute of Education Sciences over a period of five years, is intended for reading-related research. As part of a project involving several institutions that this particular college would lead, researchers would look into ways to help middle school and high school students read so that they not only understand what they're reading, but so that they can also think critically and build arguments, a June grant announcement from this institution noted.

Grant money in the amount of a $1.2 million Kresge Foundation award, was provided to a college in Maryland. To be provided over a three year period, the money is designed to help pay for a project intended to keep underserved adult students in Maryland schools. The project would accomplish this by closing an achievement gap and helping to better ensure student success, even in instances where students serve in the military, work full-time jobs, have family responsibilities or are in more than one of these situations, the October announcement from this college suggested.

New Englanders benefit from a grant provided to a college in the form of a $100,000 Davis Educational Foundation Grant. The grant money, to be provided over the course of two years, is intended to help these students enhance the writing skills education provided to undergraduates, an announcement from the university suggested. The institution plans to hire an expert to guide faculty in teaching effective writing as part of their instruction, the announcement noted. Faculty members in six academic departments are to be involved, according to the announcement.

How to Become an Eternal Student

What is the eternal student? Well quite literally it is one who studies forever. You might say that everyone is in fact an eternal student. But I am referring to that type of person who is a permanent resident in a university. The perks of staying in college are numerous-- namely you don't have to pay for your life. Some of the lucky are able to con parents into paying for their stay at institutes of higher education, but one can occasionally trick the government and other scholarship organizations into paying. There are several types of eternal students ranging from the truly dedicated to the wild partier.

Most often when one refers to an eternal student the automatic assumption is that of the Truly Dedicated Eternal Student. This is often a student who has chosen random and rather bizarre course work. You most often find these students among Classical Studies or History students. The reason is simple. No one cares about those majors except the people in them. Who really needs to major in Sanskrit anymore? It's a five thousand year old dead language. So students of these types of majors can always find something old to study and claim the need to study that fully before they move into "the real world".

These students can always find something else to study because the stuff has been around so darn long. Since no one cares about these studies anymore these students are free to hide is the sunlight-deprived coroners of dusty libraries and remain free from responsibility. The major difficulty in being a truly Dedicated Eternal Student is to lie convincingly enough so that the parents, friends, the university, and financial supporters all believe that the student needs to remain ensconced in their studies.

The Multiple Degrees Eternal Student is a nefarious schemer. This student is the only eternal student to ever actually earn a degree. And not only do they earn one degree, but they earn several. The primary goal of this type of student is to have more letters after their name than in their name. They will earn a BA and a BS and an MA, MS, MPH, JD, MBA, MD, PhD, DrPH, and on and on and on. In some ways this Eternal Student is the most talented and most conniving of all Eternal Students.

Not only must they posses the intelligence and talent for earning these many degrees but they must convince others that they actually need these degrees. The danger, however, in being a Multiple Degrees eternal student is that, unlike other eternal students, these individuals have actually completed acceptable levels of education. At some point their financial support will revolt due to the immense financial burden these multiple degrees impose and the student is generally told to go ahead and utilize their degrees. The best counterattack to this type of difficulty is to be educated out of any possible job and so, after a brief interval, return to higher education.

Another study bound eternal student is the Cutting Edge Eternal Student. These students study material on the cutting edge of technology. Often the world assumes these are the students who are first to venture from the confines of college life. In this the world is sorely mistaken. Most major advances in technology are made by doddering old men and women who made the mistake of leaving college and have been trying to keep up ever since. True there are your Walt Disney's and Bill Gate, the rare examples of young people achieving great technological successes. But those individuals are few and far between. The Cutting Edge Eternal Student insists on learning the latest new technology before entering the workforce, so as to be "well prepared". Cleverly enough, by the time they finish learning the last skill there will be new material to be studied.

The only problem with study bound eternal students is that they almost always have enough or more than enough credits to complete their degree. Parents or government officials who notice this often require the said student to graduate, putting an end to their free ride. The Multiple Minors Eternal Student manages to dodge these questions of graduation by never achieving enough credits to qualify as a major in any given subject. These students cleverly craft their schedules so as to always be without the correct requirements at the appropriate time to have continuous course study.

Because of these "scheduling mistakes" the students must then take alternate classes where they "discover" new interests and the same scheduling problem arises. The most common excuse from such students is that they are using college to "expand their horizons". Despite appearing to have a lack of foresight these students are very conscientious of timing in courses. The only difficulty with The Multiple Minor Eternal Student is that after a period of fifteen or so years lines of study become restricted. So these students can most often be found petitioning for new majors and can be thanked for many of the more curious majors found in colleges today.

The Lack of Core Eternal Student is another student who fails to meet the prerequisites of graduation. These students do, however, study all the course work required of their major(s). These students refrain from graduating by failing to meet certain prerequisites of the core curriculum. They are different from The Multiple Minors Eternal Student is that their goal is to receive all credits BUT the core course whereas The Multiple Minor Eternal Student's goal is to meet ONLY the core course requirements. Obviously The Lack of Core Eternal Student can only be found at schools with a core curriculum, preferably an extensive one. The difficulty with this method of study is that the student must work hard in their major to counter the effects of their "failed" core courses in order to not be kicked out of the school. These students are most easily found supporting the need for a "liberal arts education"; also know as a ridiculously extensive and hardly useful core class requirement.

The Eternal Transfer Student also manages their education so as to avoid gaining any real credit form a given school. Often these students take a "leave of absence" to "explore" other schools. In that way they fool the schools that they attend into not giving them credit while still remaining in the college lifestyle. The Eternal Transfer Student must be very astute like The Multiple Minors Eternal Student and plan the course and schools they attend.

If they are very good they can successfully fail to obtain a degree from dozens of universities. The key to this failure is choosing courses at a given school that do not transfer to another as anything more than elective credit. A subset of the Eternal Transfer Student is the Eternal Study Abroad Student, who is merely a transfer student of foreign universities. This specialized Eternal Transfer Student is slightly more difficult to maintain, due to the immense expense of foreign travel. Another common pitfall of the Study Abroad Student is to unwisely fall in love with a foreign city or person and to permanently move abroad, therefore putting to end their "studies".

The last and most infamous Eternal Student is simply called The Eternal Party Animal. The name speaks for itself. These students are the students who always manage to miss class because they are sleeping off a hangover. These students require very gullible PARENTS. The government cannot be conned into supporting The Party Animal's habits for long. The most common fault among The Party Animal Students is carelessness. They are so busy partying they fail to pass enough classes to remain in school. Therefore a smart Party Animal will only attend a school that is easy and abundant with fraternities and sororities. Schools that provide that atmosphere are more likely to be lenient towards The Party Animal and let him or her thrive. The Greek System is also very supportive of the Party Animal in providing instant friends, abundant booze, and term papers. A warning to those considering The Party Animal life: most former Party Animals die of depression, cirrhosis, or venereal diseases.

The privilege of Eternal Studentdom is not to be taken lightly. At no other point in your life is it a) acceptable that you not know what you are doing b) normal for people to give you excessive amounts of money and c) expected that you will do dumb things. If you doubt what I say is true just look at all the adults trying to go back to college- it can't be done.