Reasons to pursue graduate studies during an economic recession

An economic recession is defined as a period when a nation’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) falls for at least two consecutive quarters, and there is a significant rise in unemployment rates and prices of commodities. During such periods, unemployment rates rise because most companies lay off their employees to lessen expenses. This is one of the reasons recessions are a good time for individuals to evaluate their current career paths, progress, and long-term professional goals.

According to a study conducted by the University of Washington, pursuing graduate studies during economic recessions is a growing trend. During the recession between 2001 and 2003, they found a significant rise in the number of grad school applications. During this time, there was also a nine percent increase in the number of individuals who took the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), as preparation for applying to grad schools.

For college graduates, an economic recession often translates to the postponement of job hunting endeavors because of the unstable state of the job market. It would also be harder to earn a steady income during a recession, so paying off student loans will also become a problem for those who received financial aid for their college education. Instead of doing nothing while waiting for the economy to bounce back, a good option for professionals and college graduates is to pursue an advanced degree in graduate schools.

Graduate studies will help you plan career shifts

As mentioned, recessions are a good time for professionals to do some introspection and evaluate their current career paths. If you’re not happy with your current job, you can try shifting careers and going into an industry that you feel is more suitable for you or one that is more adaptable to the changing business and economic climate. Graduate studies will help orient and train you on the industry you plan on entering when you shift careers. By the time you graduate, you’ll already have that MA or PhD which can translate into a higher income for you.

Invest in yourself so employers will invest on you

Economic recessions often don’t last very long, and it may only take two to three years for an economy to bounce back and fully recover from the fall. When this happens, companies will again need employees to fill the posts that were vacated during the recession. If, by this time, you’re well on your way to earning that master’s degree or PhD, you’ll already have an edge over the other applicants you’ll be competing with in the rat race. See, getting into grad school is a way of investing in yourself to improve your marketability when the time comes that employers are ready to invest in their people again.

Getting into graduate school means that you have to prepare several documents such as your records during college (transcripts). You also have to keep in touch with your college professors so that they can write letters of recommendation for you. You also have to take the needed preparations for the GRE or other standardized tests, which usually comprise three areas – verbal section, quantitative section, and analytical writing section. Also, you should write an excellent graduate admission essay. Coming up with a well-written graduate admission essay is important especially if some of your grades in college are quite low.

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