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Why You Should Go to Grad School NOW (Instead of Waiting)


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Preparing for Graduate School — How to Best Use this Resource

Today, we are facing critical challenges — a polarizing political climate, a global pandemic and an economic downturn, to name a few.

At Kent State University, we recognize that graduate education is the avenue through which we will gain the tools needed to enact real, tangible change in the nation and beyond.

As you discern how you are going to enact positive change in the world, we hope that pursuing graduate school is at the top of your list.

With this in mind, feel free to explore this resource from start to finish, or click the side navigation to choose a section.

A Year that Required the World to Adapt: What are the Impacts of the 2020 Pandemic?

Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic: where were you when you first heard the words that would become an integral part of our vocabulary? 

It’s no secret that the global pandemic of 2020 changed the world as we knew it, and terms like “new normal” and “quarantine” became used in our daily lives. 

Let’s talk about the political, environmental and economic impacts of the 2020 pandemic.



It’s clear that we’re living in a polarizing political climate. Conflict in the United States has created difficult, bipartisan challenges across many sectors, such as national security, health care, infrastructure and immigration.

Now, more than ever, we need driven and compassionate leaders in every single industry where policy plays a key role in the United States. Through education and advancement of knowledge, you will develop the skills needed to dramatically transform the field you’re passionate about and have confidence to lead in times of crisis and conflict.



While experts saw a decrease in water and air pollution in 2020 (largely due to travel restrictions and social activities), the negative impacts of COVID-19 have been significant. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the generation of medical waste, the reduction of recycling activities and the number of people buying single-use plastics has increased globally — posing a threat to an already unstable environmental system.

The world needs leaders in every single field who can reduce the negative impacts of the coronavirus by developing the knowledge and tools needed to implement sustainable business practices, provide solutions to waste disposal and address countless other sensitive issues related to climate change.

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The unemployment rate quickly rose amidst COVID-19. Professionals from all industries were categorized as “essential” or “nonessential” workers, and this left many individuals either out of work or with reduced hours — resulting in millions of families struggling to make ends meet. On the other hand, many who were fortunate enough to avoid unemployment began suffering increased workloads and fatigue from non-stop, work-from-home restrictions. Further, as lockdown restrictions were put in place, many industries suffered, such as the travel and leisure industries.

As we navigate the economic impacts of the pandemic, it is critical that professionals enter the workforce with the competitive edge needed to stand out among the pack of job seekers who are all vying for the same position. Armed with an advanced degree, you will have the ability to command the attention of employers despite the economic challenges we’re facing today.

Have questions about graduate school at Kent State University?
Get in touch with us today!

How the Last Economic Recession Specifically Affected Working Professionals

The Great Recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, pushed the unemployment rate to a peak of 10.6 percent in January 2010. People who graduated from college between 2007 and 2011 entered an uncertain world.

For many, the Great Recession of 2008 changed the idea of a career trajectory: it was no longer a single, straight line from college to career to retirement. Suddenly, entire industries were wiped out, and hiring freezes meant that many industries weren’t hiring recent graduates — or anyone at all.

During the Great Recession of 2008, millions of recent college grads had to recalculate and rediscover how to secure a career — many chose graduate school.

With recession unemployment preventing many from pursuing their chosen careers, college enrollment grew by 3 million from 2006 to 2011. This contributed to the “overall growth of postsecondary enrollment during the Great Recession,” according to a U.S. Census Bureau report on postsecondary enrollment before, during and after the 2008 recession.

Those who chose to take advantage of this temporary interruption by pursuing an advanced degree saw graduate school as a strategic step that would make them more marketable in the workplace in the long term.

As a result, about ten years ago, the job market was flooded with candidates who pursued graduate degrees during a time of great economic recession.

Education is Changing the Way We React to Critical Situations — Here’s How

Professionals who achieve an advanced degree are changing the way we react to critical situations in countless fields. Let’s explore some of the fields that are benefiting from professionals who have obtained the skills needed to think outside the box and solve problems.

Health Care:

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, medical professionals have tirelessly worked to treat those who have been affected by the virus. Medical researchers have also developed a life-saving vaccine in record time. Without medical professionals with advanced skills, the United States would be facing a much higher mortality rate.


The work that engineering professionals do affects nearly every facet of modern life — from the transportation systems we use to the technology that fuels space exploration. Without skilled and knowledgeable engineers, everyday life as we know it would cease to exist and many fields would suffer from lack of progress. 


Climate change is very real, and professionals in public policy, advocacy groups, sustainable business agencies and countless other fields are working to combat environmental instability. Now, more than ever, we need empathetic professionals who can develop sustainable solutions for several industries and work to improve systems.

What Should I Go to Grad School For?

Maybe you’re wondering: what should I go to grad school for? What field am I most interested in transforming? Which degree will benefit my career the most?

Whether you’re passionate about marketing, health care, economics, counseling, public affairs or another field, there is a graduate degree that will prepare you to secure a meaningful career at Kent State University.

Learn more about the many degree options at Kent State University.
Download A Guide to Graduate Programs today!


4 Reasons You Should Choose Grad School During a Recession

You may be wondering: when is the best time to go to grad school? Let’s talk about what the data says.

The national unemployment rate peaked at 14.7 percent in April 2020. While that rate has dropped in recent months, the future of the economy remains uncertain, especially for recent graduates.

Going to graduate school during a recession can be a smart move if it will allow you to increase your salary and progress more quickly — but making a decision of this magnitude requires careful consideration.

Before selecting a graduate program, here are some important questions to consider:

Why do you want to obtain a graduate degree?

Everybody has different reasons for wanting to invest in a graduate degree, but it is important that you reflect on and identify why you are choosing to go back to school for a graduate degree. Keep an eye on your “why” — this motivation will be the force that pushes you when you’re experiencing the inevitable challenges of graduate school.

Will a graduate degree enable you to move up in my industry?

A graduate degree will not only set you apart from other job seekers — it will also give you more job security and allow you to command a higher salary upon hire. By obtaining a graduate degree, you will differentiate yourself from the many other professionals who hold only a bachelor’s degree — making you a more competitive candidate when it matters.

Which grad degree will help you achieve your career goals?

It’s crucial to choose the right graduate degree. If you’re looking to secure a career in a field like nursing, your degree options are fairly cut-and-dry. But if you’re looking to land a career in a business-related field, for instance, you will have several degrees to choose from, and you’ll need to carefully consider which will prepare you to fulfill your professional goals.

Is a Master’s Worth It? Important Benefits of a Master’s Degree

In times of economic crisis, there is no one-size-fits-all solution: graduate school isn't just a place to wait out an unstable job market — rather, it can be a calculated career move, if you're smart about it.

In a recession, there is a low opportunity cost of going to graduate school — meaning you’re less likely to pass up potential work opportunities by heading back to school. If you’ve been considering graduate school as part of your future plans, now may be the best time to get a positive return on your investment. 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the U.S. federal government announced that interest rates for direct unsubsidized loans for graduate students will drop to 4.3 percent. If you were planning to go back to graduate school eventually, doing so during this recession while federal student loan interest rates are lowered might be your cheapest opportunity.

Master's programs can help you build a bigger, stronger career network than you would have with just an undergrad. Graduate programs can help connect you with alumni and other professionals working in your intended field, giving you a better chance of securing a job and advancing your career after graduation.

BLS data from 2019 shows that graduate-degree holders, on average, had the lowest unemployment rates and highest earnings. If you want to poise yourself for a long and successful career, a graduate program can give you the boost you need.

Why YOU Should Choose Kent State for Grad School

While you have many options for continuing your education, it’s important that you are concerned with choosing the right graduate school. We have ample reason to believe that Kent State University could be the avenue through which you achieve your goals and transform your career.

Our Vision

We strive to be a community of change agents whose collective commitment to learning sparks epic thinking, meaningful voice and invaluable outcomes to better our society.

Our Mission

We transform lives and communities through the power of discovery, learning and creative expression in an inclusive environment.

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Learn to craft a remarkable graduate school application with
Kent State’s recorded webinar:

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It’s Time to Transform Your Career with a Graduate Degree — Connect With Kent State University!

If you’re ready to secure a lifelong, meaningful career in your chosen field, then now is the time to enroll in a respected graduate degree that will prepare you to do exactly that. 

Despite the challenges we’re facing today, you have the valuable opportunity to obtain a graduate degree that will position you for real success.

As you consider your options for graduate school, we encourage you to connect with the admissions professionals at Kent State University!

Connect with Kent State University today.


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