Gen Y Sees Grad School as Plan B

A recent article on, describes how jobless grads are increasingly applying to graduate school as a backup option in the face of a bad job market, even though some of their possible post-school job prospects are also disappearing.

Law schools and MBA programs aren’t the only ones that have seen an influx of applicants. Even schools of journalism have seen record numbers of applications this past year, even though this is a notoriously industry for jobs (and one that keeps getting tougher). So what gives?

The answer is that these young professionals are biding their time. While their job prospects may not be especially bright when they graduate, these young grads would rather take their chances in the job market in two or three years, rather than now. Even if the job market isn’t significantly better in 2012, then at least these folks will come out of school armed with additional skills, certifications, and contacts, making their reentry into the job market a little easier (at least in theory). No matter what the job market looks like then, getting into grad school will give these young people the luxury of being able to hide out on campus and not quite yet have to face the real world. Sometimes, especially when the economy is rough, this can be grad school’s biggest appeal.

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