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June 26, 2001
Middle-aged Drawn to Grad Schools
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se between the ages of 36 and 50 account for one-quarter of the people looking into attending graduate school, an indication of the growing importance of advanced degrees in career advancement, according to a survey conducted by an online provider of academic recruitment tools.

About 24.4 percent of respondents in the Educational Directories Unlimited poll were in the 36-to-50 group, while the commonly assumed age for graduate school matriculation, the 23-to-28 demographic, represented 29.1 percent of the respondents.

Correspondingly, career advancement ranked ahead of personal gratification, better paying jobs, and field of study requirements when searching for graduate schools.

"Graduate school has quickly become the preferred avenue for career advancement," said Mark Shay, president and founder of EDU. "That desire to break through the glass ceilings and move up in corporate hierarchy is leading many middle-aged Americans to turn to the Internet in an effort to quickly find those programs that can best accelerate and optimize their career opportunities."

The survey polled users of EDU's Gradschools.com throughout March 2001.

Nearly 48 percent of all survey respondents reported career advancement as the reason for continuing their education beyond undergraduate studies, far outpacing the second-leading reason of personal gratification (19 percent).

The other two most popular explanations for attending graduate school were because their fields of study required an advanced degree, while approximately 11 percent said they hope the degree translates into a better-paying job.
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