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10 Recession-proof Businesses

6

Colleges and Universities

college students
During times of recession, people are more likely to go to college. Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

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Studies show that students are more like to enroll in college and even more likely to stay in college during a recession [source: Parker]. That was true during the Great Recession and every U.S. recession since the 1960s, making higher education one of the more recession-resistant sectors around.

Older workers fueled some of the uptick in college enrollment during the Great Recession. As layoffs increased, some older workers decided to go back to school to upgrade their skills. In 2007, only 1.9 million adults ages 40 to 60 were enrolled in college, but that number jumped to 2.3 million by 2011 [source: Airoldi].

While colleges and universities were less likely to hire young or first-time professors during the Great Recession, they held on to tenured faculty and even raised their salaries [source: Parker]. The time to get hired is in the boom years, though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 11 percent increase in demand for post-secondary teachers from 2018-2028, which the BLS calls "much faster than average."

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