Although there's no concrete causal evidence, enrollment at technical and vocational schools is on the upswing. Furthermore, the average age of the typical new student is creeping upward. The New York Times quoted one director at WyoTech Schools (a chain of vocational institutions) as saying there's been an uptick in "non-standard" students. (That category consists of those who bore the brunt of layoffs , as well as newly-discharged military personnel who have a hard time getting hired in a shrunken job market.) Illinois-based technical and business college DeVry University has also seen an increase in the number of applicants who have either lost their job or are afraid they might. At another institution that specializes in "distance" learning (i.e. using TV or the Internet as instructional tools), the non-profit Excelsior College has marked a 30% jump in online course registration in the July 2008-March 2009 period (compared to the previous year). Enrollment for B.S. degrees in Technology is 44% higher than Excelsior had projected.
Mind you, these educational pit stops don't come cheap: In the Times article, the two subjects (who are enrolled at two different campuses of Everest College) are paying an average of $12,000 to reposition themselves. But the effort can yield some breathing room, career-wise. The price for temporary peace of mind is steep these days.
--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer
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