Universities Seek Doctoral Degree Students

By Chris Hassan
Posted October 17, 2012 11:00 AM

Universities look to attract more doctorate students.
Universities look to attract more doctorate students.
There are jobs that require no degree at all and then there are those that ask individuals to study for many years in order to earn a doctoral degree. Most clinical psychologists, for example, need to possess a doctorate, while the same is true of physical therapists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Something else the fields of psychology and physical therapy have in common is that they are both expected to experience faster-than-average growth through 2020, the BLS states. With job opportunities not always easy to come by, it should come as no surprise that many students are continuing on to graduate school after earning a bachelor's degree in order to acquire the credentials they require to assume a position in competitive fields.

Graduate Degree Seekers Shatter Records

Florida State University (FSU) is one institution where there is an increased interest in graduate degrees. The FSView & Florida Flambeau reports that during the 2011-2012 academic year, FSU granted a total of 443 doctorates – a new record and a significant increase over the 429 doctoral degrees that were awarded one year earlier.

Freshman Alexander Bueno understands how some students could value leaving school with a doctorate.

"Anything you can do that can progress your future is great," Bueno told FSView & Florida Flambeau.

However, in the eyes of Nancy Marcus, dean of FSU's graduate school, the heightened interest her school is seeing in advanced degrees has much to do with the institution's recruitment efforts. In fact, Marcus said she set out to attract doctoral students when she became dean seven years ago.

"The fact that we have more students coming and we’re advocating for more students to get graduate degrees is important and shows that Florida State is a major player in the world today in terms of contributing to the need for students to have advanced education," Marcus said. "Many of our students go on to highly successful careers."

More Graduate Students Desired

Like FSU, the University of New Mexico seeks more graduate students, The Associated Press reports. However, the institution has not been as fortunate as FSU, with the total number of new graduate students dipping 10% between 2009 and 2012.

While graduate enrollment was unusually high in 2009, university officials would still like to see their institution's graduate student body increase from the current 4,500 individuals who are pursuing degrees.

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