Enrollment in UC San Diego's extended studies programs was up 10 percent last year, an increase university officials Wednesday attributed to the down economy.
According to UCSD, enrollment is increasing because job seekers, unable to find work in their preferred fields, are going back to school to get experience in other areas.
During the 2008-09 academic year, UCSD Extension had a record 54,020 enrollees. Online enrollment increased 89 percent last year to 8,643 students, also a record.
"For recent and mid-career college graduates facing a difficult job market and a troubling economy, our continuing-education certificates are becoming increasingly attractive as a way to transition to employment areas that are in higher demand," said Edward Abeyta, registrar and director of student services for UCSD Extension.
UCSD Extension offers 125 academic programs ranging from the life sciences and engineering to arts and business leadership.