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Graduate Applications and the Recession December 9, 2008

Posted by A Texan In Grad School in Uncategorized.
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At Carpe Diem, Mark Perry has an interesting post about GRE exams.  Evidently the number of GRE exams is down this year vs last year, which is surprising since usually a recession pushes people into graduate school.  But, GMAT examinations are up.  There’s a lot that can be infered from this.  If we think about the sectors that are experiencing a rise in unemployment, we think about finance and manufacturing.  When people lose a job in finance, they usually go back for an MBA, which means taking the GMAT.  When people lose a job in manufacturing, they are generally older employees (because they cost the most to keep on).  The older you are, the less likely you are to go to graduate school to make a career change.

Personally, I think a major issue is that people may be cutting back on multiple tries on the GRE.  While in the past students would simply retake the GRE if they weren’t satisfied with the results, these students are now opperating on lower incomes than the past few years and so the GRE is comparatively more expensive.

Finally, there are a large number of grad-school-esque Executive Education programs.  These programs do not require standardized tests and if somebody with some sort of an executive role loses their job, they are more likely to go to one of these programs than a regular graduate program.

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