Unemployed Grads Seek Shelter In Law School

The rough and tumble economy doesn’t show many signs of turning around for recent college grads.  So some are putting off real life for a few years in a variety of ways, including attending graduate school.  Among the big winners are law schools, who widely report that applications are up, in some cases as much as 20%.

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For class of 2009, degree doesn’t mean a job
Fewer than a fifth of graduating seniors even have offers, research finds
By Alex Johnson

Matt Dumont has been looking for work since May.

“I’ve had a couple times that I was told that I was one of the top applicants, went in for an interview, and then I just never heard back from them,” said Dumont, who graduated last spring from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a degree in English and minors in Spanish and the Bible.

Dumont was haunting the college’s Career Center last week, looking for leads and advice. But the prospects are not promising for him and thousands of other new college graduates: Employment counselors and job placement specialists say the class of 2009 faces a daunting task finding work in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Labor statistics for July showed that 15.3 percent of Americans ages 20 to 24 were unemployed, up a tenth of a percentage point from June. That’s compared to the overall jobless rate of 9.4 percent.

Some seniors cling to alma mater

Others are postponing their careers in another way, choosing to extend the security of college life until bad times blow over.

In a survey of college students by The Associated Press and the college TV network mtvU, nearly 1 in 5 said in May that they had changed their plans this year and expected to attend graduate or professional school because they feared that an undergraduate degree wouldn’t be enough to secure a job.

Final data aren’t yet available, but the Council of Graduate Schools reported that applications for graduate schools were noticeably up this year, by as much as 20 percent at some institutions.

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