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University of California, Davis

Those looking at graduate schools are motivated both by advancement in their careers and a desire to change careers, according to a survey by Niche of 6,348 people looking at graduate programs.

Those seeking a graduate program because they want a career change are most often looking for M.B.A., other business and law programs.

Other key findings:

  • The majority of searchers reported that COVID-19 has made their academic preparation and their ability to afford a graduate degree more challenging.
  • Program reputation and awareness are more important than the university’s reputation. Thirty-seven percent of searchers say that the reputation of a program is more important than the university as a whole, and only 4 percent say that the university’s reputation is more important than a specific program.
  • The only concern that the majority of searchers expressed was that of being able to afford their degree, with 84 percent saying that they were concerned.
  • In-person classes are still highly desirable, with 80 percent of searchers considering on-campus-only programs, 70 percent considering hybrid enrollment and 62 percent considering online-only programs. Of those considering an online program, half want it to be offered by an institution with a physical presence, while only 22 percent prefer it to come from a fully online institution.

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