San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1477.1 - 25.1477.12
Why Do Professionals Return to School for Graduate Degrees?Recently, there has been increased interest in the population of graduate students who haveworked for significant amounts of time prior to their graduate studies. These “returningstudents” have a diverse range of experiences between their undergraduate and graduate careers,, and have different reasons why their pathways lead to graduate school.To study these pathways, we interviewed ten graduate students at a major midwestern universitywho had at least five years’ gap between the completion of their undergraduate degree and thestart of their current graduate degree. The participants came from different academicdepartments and included both masters’ and doctoral students of various ages and status in theprogram. The interview covered a range of different topics, including their motivation forreturning to graduate school. Reasons why participants returned to school were grouped intothree categories: To transition from their current career path into an academic career path, To change the focus of their industrial career into a new specialty area, To advance further along their current industrial career path.In this paper, we discuss these categories and the students who chose those paths. We alsoaddress the implications for graduate schools regarding the recruitment and support of returningstudents.
Peters, D. L., & Daly, S. R. (2012, June), Why Do Professionals Return to School for Graduate Degrees? Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/22234
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015