If The University of Texas-Pan American's Office of Graduate Studies' Grad Fair was any indication of the interest people have in furthering their education, graduate school is definitely on more of their to-do lists.
About 540 people attended UTPA's fourth annual Grad Fair March 10 at the UTPA Annex. This was a record high for the event's attendance, according to organizers.
"More and more people are looking to graduate school as the best option to get ahead during this economic recession," said Denisse Cantu, a graduate student recruiter in the Graduate Admissions Office.
Graduate school can provide individuals with more training to advance in their careers or provide a path toward a new career, said Sergio Palacios, a graduate student recruiter with the Graduate Admissions Office.
"I think people right now are realizing with a master's degree they can get a better position ... switch careers or advance in their careers, Palacios said.
The event included 12 information sessions that covered everything from preparing for placement exams to financial aid, as well as information on the University's 57 master's and three doctoral programs, Palacios said.
Some of those who attended said they came to learn more about what UTPA has to offer.
Miguel Gamboa, who plans to graduate from UTPA in May with a bachelor's degree in communications, said he is interested in furthering his education.
"I want to get my master's so I can have a competitive edge," Gamboa said.
The sluggish economy is what drew Luis Reyes to the Grad Fair.
Reyes said he wants to prepare himself should he need to find another job and he is impressed with what UTPA has to offer.
"They have great programs, great faculty and staff. It's very affordable compared to other universities," he said.
For more information about UTPA graduate programs, visit the Office of Graduate Studies' website or call (956) 665-3661.
Click here to see a photo gallery of the event.