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Today's Question: Finding opportunity in a down economy

Monday, May 25, 2009 | 2:07 p.m. CDT

With a struggling economy and hiring down across the board, recent graduates are hesitant to enter the market. 

More graduates than ever are choosing to pursue graduate degrees with expectations of entering the job market when the economy is stronger. According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey , only 19.7 percent of 2009 graduates who applied for a job attained one, compared to the 51 percent in 2007 and the 26 percent in 2008. Consequently, approximately 27 percent of 2009 graduates reported plans to forgo the job market in favor of graduate school.

According to Business Week, the average salary for those with bachelor's degrees dropped 5.5 percent in the second quarter of 2008, while those with masters’ degree enjoyed a 2.1 percent increase.

The five-year master’s degree is becoming a popular alternative for graduates, but many may find their higher degree more of a hindrance than help.  According to ABC News, 1.7 million Americans worked part time because full-time work was unavailable. ABC estimated 650,000 jobs were erased in the last month alone. Former employees of Fortune 500 companies are finding themselves competing with recent grads for entry-level positions, flooding the market with the "overqualified."

 Is the deflated economy a good opportunity to pursue an advanced degree?


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