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Even Harvard Grads Don't Want to Work on Wall St. Anymore

Looks like the recession may have irked the nation's so-called brightest.
 
 
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Wall Street's propensity to ravage the economy, launder money, and illegally foreclose on families with no harsher punishment than a slip on the wrist seems to have irked some of the nation's brightest. Either that or the shrinkage of jobs in the finance sector is turning them off. According to a survey by the student newspaper the Harvard Crimson, Harvard graduates are just saying "No" to Wall Street, with some of them looking instead to put their smarts to work making America a better place.

The paper reports that about a third of new graduates plan to work on finance, with 15 percent working on Wall Street and 16 percent doing consulting. In 2007, before the recession, 47 percent of Harvard grads went onto work in finance and consuting, a number that fell to 39 percent in 2008, and 20 percent in 2012.

As the Huffington Post noted, it looks like the financial crisis may have triggered a change in the aspirations of the nation's brightest, prompting millenials to prefer work in industries where they can contribute to social good, like health and tech, although many of them, no doubt, want to score big in tech. At the same time, Wall Street is laying off more employees than it hires, so grads' reasons for career shifts may be more pragmatic than idealistic.

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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