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Sparse work, competitive spark prod grads back to school (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley Maybe it’s because they’re out of work and getting frustrated with the job hunt. Maybe they’re out of work and have time on their hands. Or maybe they’re seeing their co-workers getting fewer in number and are getting nervous. Whatever the reason, applications for graduate schools surge whenever a recession throttles the economy. The research and advocacy group the Council of Graduate Schools reported a steady increase in new grad students: a 4.7 increase in 2008, followed by a 6 percent increase in 2009. “Historically, more students do apply and enroll in grad school in a tight economy,” said Stuart Heiser, the council’s spokesman. “What we’ve seen so far is that the trend has held up.” Thirty-year-old Erica Cassidy, an executive recruiter for BB&T bank and a student in the professional MBA program at the McColl School of Business at Queens University, dismissed the recession-education connection in her case. Cassidy said she thinks that to compete in the job market, members of her generation are going to need an advanced degree.

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