Postgrad degrees in high demand

Students at Technical Vocational Schools (TEE) are due to begin taking their university entrance exams today but a new study indicates that they should prepare for a long period of study ahead as 93 percent of students currently in tertiary education do not feel that one degree is enough. Some 3,000 TEE teenagers are due to begin their exams, marking the start of a two-month period that will see tens of thousands of pupils at normal senior high schools sit tests with the aim of gaining a place at university. However, research by students in the MBA department at the University of Piraeus indicates that the vast majority of teenagers now entering tertiary education are likely to try and obtain a master’s degree as well. «The insecurity in the job market leads undergraduate degree holders to further studies so that they can become more competitive,» the MBA program’s director Leonidas Hytiris told Kathimerini. «However this effectively diminishes the value of the first degree because the degree holders do not have faith in it. I think that the current economic crisis will lead to a rise in demand for master’s degrees.» Figures certainly show a large rise in the number of master’s degrees being offered by Greek universities over the last five years. In the 2002-3 academic year, 12,000 students were enrolled in 233 postgraduate programs. In the 2007-8 academic year, this figure increased to some 25,000 students on more than 450 master’s courses. In other words, during this five-year period, the number of courses on offer has risen by 87 percent while the number of students has gone up by 108 percent. There is now one postgraduate program for every 15 undergraduates.