One day, believe it or not, the late night parties, or cram sessions, will eventually turn into 8:00a.m. commutes to work, 10:00a.m. conference calls and 12:30p.m. lunch breaks.

That is, however, if the job market and graduate school don’t keep recent graduates around the campus social circle for a little longer.

With the current national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, an increasing number of college graduates are considering graduate degree programs.

In fact, UTSA saw a 17 percent increase in graduate school enrollment, marking the first time UTSA’s graduate programs surpassed 4,000 members.

More students are entering graduate school to “kill time.” With this in mind, some undergraduate students begin to think of what options they have; to graduate, get a job and enter the real world or unwillingly and unexpectedly, enter graduate school.

Some college students have decided to attend graduate school. Adriane Niedorf-Pierson, who is pursuing her master’s degree in English, has always known that graduate school was in her future. She believes that the students who go to graduate school to “kill time” will be “disappointed and stressed.”

But for others, the economy has led them to graduate school. When the economy fell Wendy Boaglio’s job as an account executive was met with a loss of clients. She decided to take advantage of the moment, move back in with her parents and study for her MBA while she had the chance.

She believes that the timing was right.

“I always wanted to get my master’s and I’ve been working in business for nine years, so when the economy took a down turn, it was a great opportunity for me to finally do that,” Boaglio said.

“Graduate school is much more intense. A lot more intense than I thought it was going to be, but I’m glad. I’m learning a lot and I’m very happy about it,” Boaglio said.

“When you’re getting your master’s, you usually know yourself and you know what you’re in school for, so it’s a different peer group, education, and a lot more intense for that reason.”

Sometimes, having just one degree might not be enough to allow someone to compete in a tight job market. Unless students want to settle for a job that might not be changing enough for them, they may have to go back to school.

James Hemmler, is pursuing a masters degree in anthropology and a graduate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate. He entered graduate school because in his archaeology field, one must have a master’s degree “for full employment in a cultural resource management company,” he said.

He did not plan to go to graduate school, but believes that things have a way of working out.

“If you can get the job you want without graduate school, I do not see the point of continuing. If it takes getting a MA to get the job you want, I suggest you do it,” Hemmler said.

Jessica Ikard, who is seeking a master’s degree in business, went to graduate school, because after spending a year after graduation in the business world, she realized how little she knew about it. Being young, unmarried and having no children, she decided it was the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity to get a degree.

“The economy weighed into my decision making. I think it’s great that the economy is causing graduate school admissions to increase because you never get too much education and it’s better to enrich your life,” Ikard said.

“In our economy right now there is not always going to be the best job available coming out of graduate school. It doesn’t guarantee you, but it does guarantee you to rise faster within your chosen profession.”

Although they might not be “killing time,” they have returned to highlighting more pages and having more reading parties.

“Graduate school is an opportunity on expanding your outlook, your experiences and your knowledge. If you have the means and availability to get to graduate school, I don’t know, why not,” Ikard said.

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