Student Survey Examines Influence of War in IraqCHESTER, Pa.
Thirty-five percent of prospective graduate students say the war in Iraq has made them more interested in government or military jobs, according to a new survey from GradSchools.com. In addition, over one-third feel opportunities with defense contractors, the military and the government have increased since the war began.
At the same time, the war has not affected high school and college students’ plans to study abroad — though it has influenced their choice of destination, according to StudyAbroad.com in a just-released survey of high school and college students thinking of studying overseas.
The two surveys were conducted simultaneously in March 2003 by GradSchools.com, an online resource for graduate school information and programs, and StudyAbroad.com, an online resource for study abroad information. Over 1,300 students participated in the GradSchools.com survey, which sought to identify how the war in Iraq has influenced students’ interests in going to graduate school. Respondents were recruited through a link on the GradSchools.com home page.
When asked if the war in Iraq had made them more interested in government or military jobs, over 30 percent of respondents said “yes.” Nearly 30 percent also said that they had seen increasing opportunities with defense contractors, the military and the government.
Nearly 700 students participated in the StudyAbroad.com survey, which sought to determine if the war had affected students’ plans to study in a foreign country. When asked, “How has the war in Iraq affected your plans to study abroad?” over 60 percent of those surveyed responded that the war had not affected their plans at all. At the same time, however, nearly 25 percent indicated that it had changed their choice of destination.
When asked to rank countries in order of their appeal as a study abroad destination, Australia and the United Kingdom ranked highest, indicating that in a time of war, students feel most comfortable studying in English-speaking nations whose cultures are similar to those of the United States, while Saudi Arabia and Japan ranked lowest on the list.
“It’s clear that world affairs have had an effect on both students planning to attend graduate school and those who are thinking of studying abroad,” says Mark Shay, president and CEO of Educational Directories Unlimited Inc., the parent company of both GradSchools.com and StudyAbroad.com.
“Students are showing more interest in finding jobs with the government, the military and in international relations. At a time when many other industries are losing jobs, they see strength in the government, military and defense sectors — a clear reaction to the war and how it is playing out,” Shay says.
For more information visit <www.GradSchools.com> or <www.StudyAbroad.com>.
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