Although the economy is improving and the labor markets are stabilizing with unemployment claims decreasing, University students’ fears of entering the job market still remain very high and some are even turning to graduate schools instead.

“After my interviews in October, companies told me that they are not hiring anymore,” said Stephen Suryo, a LSA senior majoring in computer science, who has since then applied to the University School of Information and to other engineering graduate programs.

“But even going to the graduate school is very competitive because people who didn’t get jobs and people who got laid off recently are all going back to school,” Suryo said. “It’s a lose-lose situation.”

The number of students taking preparation courses for graduate and professional schools has increased by a double-digit gross, Jaime Bederman, national director of graduate program marketing of Princeton Review said. She added that she couldn’t give the exact figure because of company policy.

Bederman said even after the economy picks up, students will continue to face difficulty in finding jobs, especially after three or five years when students with graduate and professional degrees flock back into the job market.

Fear of the job market isn’t found only in undergraduate students. Students graduating this year with a master’s degree are in a greater dilemma without the option of turning to graduate schools.

“It’s been tough, especially for those of us who are career switchers like myself. I have to find a job because I have a fairly large amount of student loans to pay off,” said Billy Chan, an MBA candidate at the Business School.

“There is certainly a trend for people to feel that going to graduate school might be a better option,” said Lynne Sebille-White, assistant director of recruiting services at Career Planning & Placement.

“Choosing to go to graduate school, we wouldn’t recommend that unless that has always been your dream. You need the same motivation to go to grad school as that you would need to go to get a job,” Sebille-White said.

But not all students are considering graduate school as an alternative plan.

“Even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could handle another three to four years of school. I am not to the point that I am actually worried about not getting a job at all. Even though I am graduating in about a month, I wouldn’t have started working until the fall anyway,” said Business senior Curt Brewer, who maintains an optimistic view of his current situation.

“If anything, being out of school will allow me to spend more time on my career search. The job market might be tough, but people have to remember that we are graduating from a top University that prepares us well for careers,” Brewer added.

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