More students are aiming education at business

The economic turmoil is causing many students to think ahead about ways of getting a high-paying career straight out of college. Carlson graduate registrations have spiked, up by almost 300 in the last two years, according to the Office of Informational Research, and a recent Kaplan survey found a 45 percent increase in interest in its business, law and doctorate preparation programs. Graduate School Admissions Director Dean Tsantir said the number of students admitted to the Graduate School for fall 2008 increased by 5 percent and enrollment increased 6 percent. Tsantir said itâÄôs too early to say how the economy will affect overall graduate school applications at the University because, unlike undergraduate education, graduate programs set their own application deadline dates, which are subject to change each year. The fact that higher levels of educational attainment equal higher salaries, Tsantir said, should speak for itself. The 2000 U.S. Census Bureau found that the mean salary for people with masterâÄôs degrees is $13,000 more per year than those with bachelorâÄôs degrees. The Kaplan survey, released Nov. 11, found that the number of test takers for the Graduate Management Admissions Test, the exam required by the Carlson School of ManagementâÄôs Masters of Business Administration program, increased 5.8 percent nationwide in 2008. Second-year M.B.A. student Juli Tidwell said she joined the program because she heard about what it could do for her career. Tidwell said she and her colleagues are worried about finding high-paying jobs out of school. âÄúJobs weâÄôll be applying for now are fewer in number than they were when we got here,âÄù she said. The economy has had real consequences for those already in Carlson. Part-time M.B.A. third-year student Jason Meyer , who also helps the Office of Admissions with recruiting prospective students, said heâÄôs seen a big cutback on the number of companies coming to campus to do recruiting. Meyer said heâÄôs seen a âÄúproven correlationâÄù between the state of the economy and the number of people applying to graduate schools. He cited the 2001 dot-com bust as another example where the number of graduate school applicants increased. Increased capacity for undergraduate students Undergraduate business applications have been increasing as well. Carlson received over 4,100 freshmen applications for fall 2008, the first time that number has ever hit the 4,000 mark. In an effort to address the increase in undergraduate applications, Carlson opened Hanson Hall earlier this fall. By 2010, the building is expected to serve 50 percent more undergraduate students than Carlson could hold in 2005. Carlson professor Alfred Marcus said business schools around the country have been doing well as a result of the current economic climate. âÄúM.B.A. programs tend to go up because people are out of work, and people are looking to build their human capital so they can do well when they re-enter the job market,âÄù he said.