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

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.