2 thoughts on “What can academic institutions do to make graduate education more appealing to students from disadvantaged and/or underrepresented populations?

  1. I think many students feel pressure to secure good paying jobs. To some students, especially first generation or low-income students, the professional degrees (e.g., MBA, MD, MPH, DDS, etc) appear to have very direct paths and curricula that lead to good jobs and careers. Academic graduate degrees like the PhD feel much less secure. The time to degree for PhDs in variable (4 to 6 years in some disciplines). The career options are vast but it isn’t clear at the beginning of the degree how the degree will actually translate to employment. I think the fact that more and more graduate schools are focusing on professional development and career planning for graduate students is a step in the right direction.

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  2. I agree that we need to do a much better job describing career opportunities that are possible with an MS or Ph.D. in an academic field, including fields of science. We also have to direct attention to the parents of first generation college students who often will not understand why their child should spend so much time getting a higher degree.

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