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Grad fair seeks to help students expand education

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The Graduate & Professional Schools Fair will take place Oct. 4 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the third floor at Union East.

Finding a job after graduation is a difficult task for many students, and fear of unemployment often encourages students to enroll in graduate school.

This is where UTEP steps in and offers information on graduate and doctoral programs through the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair, which will take place on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the third floor of Union East.

“This is an opportunity for UTEP students to explore graduate education,” said Nick Zweig, coordinator at the University Career Center. “Schools from across the nation come and join us and show us what opportunities are available for our students.”

Representatives from more than 60 schools such as Baylor and Perdue University will share information about their programs, and students can learn about the application process and the financial assistance that may be offered. 

“Everyone should come, even the vaguely interested in higher education. It is very important that they open their eyes to these opportunities for furthering their careers,” Zweig said.

Zweig also said students should not assume their bachelor’s degree will give them everything they want, and that money shouldn’t be the only reason to seek a post-graduate education.

“It’s not enough, you also want to pursue that next career, you want to make sure that the steps you are taking fit well with where you want to go and not just for the money,” Zweig said. “You should try to get greater responsibilities and work in something you really enjoy.”

The Pew Research reports that in 2009, master’s degree graduates who found a job earned more than those who hold a bachelor’s degree.

They reported that the median monthly earnings of a bachelor’s degree graduate is $3,836, which equals close to $46,000 a year. Meanwhile, graduate students had a median monthly earning of $4,772, which is more than $57,000 a year.

Yoshika Amamori is a graduate student seeking a master’s degree in accountancy, who started her graduate education right after earning her bachelor’s degree, and now she hopes to receive her degree this upcoming December.

“I didn’t want to lose the habit of being in school, I think that if you take a break it can be very hard to come back,” said Amamori. “I’ve learned a lot, this (master’s degree) will open many doors for me.”

Amamori said that there is a big difference between being a graduate and an undergraduate student. 

“The difference is that you are surrounded by people who want to be there, you are around people who want to succeed,” Amamori said. “Many undergraduates just go to school, but graduates are responsible for readings and homework, and the class discussions can be more interesting.”

Amamori said she did not attend the graduate fair before enrolling for her master’s program, but encourages students to attend if they don’t know the next steps they should take. 

“I already knew about the program and I knew what I wanted to do. I was aware of the benefits, but many students don’t know what they want nor what this school can provide,” Amamori said. “Use all your sources. If you don’t know what to do, it’s probably because you don’t know what’s out there.”

Amamori said that the current job competition should encourage students to seek a higher education.

“A bachelor’s is becoming a common degree, just as a high school degree,” Amamori said. “It’s important to put yourself ahead of other people if you want to succeed.”

UTEP is trying to help its students by offering 78 masters and 29 doctoral programs. Students may receive financial assistance through loans, need-based scholarships, and teaching or research assistantships.

“You can still get money to pay your education even after your bachelor’s, students need to explore what this school has to offer them,” Zweig said. “I understand that financial situations may get students away from the idea of graduate school, but always think about the benefit you may get.”

For more information on the grad fair contact UTEP’s University Career Center at 747-5730 or by email at [email protected].

Rene Delgadillo may be reached at [email protected].

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Rene Delgadillo, Multimedia Editor
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Grad fair seeks to help students expand education