Opportunity to gain new skills gives job-seekers hope
February 19, 2009 - Enrollment is surging in certain key programs offered at the KU Edwards Campus, and officials attribute some of the increased demand to the recession.
For example, Business School enrollment increased by 22 percent for second semester, leading all programs at Edwards – and leading many to believe the poor economy is driving people back to school. Other schools experiencing a surge in enrollment include Journalism, up 14 percent; Engineering, up 13 percent; and School of Social Welfare, up 6 percent. Overall undergraduate enrollment increased by two percent while overall graduate enrollment increased by five percent.
The increased enrollments may be attributed to the recession. Job seekers, as well as those dreading potential layoffs, are looking to enhance their marketability by developing new skills or earning an advanced degree. Going back to school allows a window of opportunity and time to plan a new career path.
Rob Watkins, a professional who moved to Kansas City for a job, was recently laid off and is currently an engineering graduate student at Edwards Campus. “I decided being proactive and going back to school was a way to increase my experience and make myself marketable for future jobs,” said Watkins.
“Since Johnson County passed the Education and Research Triangle in January, the momentum has increased,” said Bob Clark, vice chancellor of KU Edwards Campus. “Students are tuned in to the fact that we have new opportunities and increased programs on the way.” Four new bachelor’s and six new master’s degree programs will be added in business, engineering, science and technology. To accommodate these programs, the campus will add a million, 75,000 square-foot building. Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2009.