Financial Sector No Longer Preferred Career Path for Graduates

As thousands of students attending college prepare to graduate, the Harvard Crimson reports that only 15% of Harvard graduates are planning to carve a career in finance, compared to the 47% who took jobs in finance in 2007, prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The decline of job opportunities on Wall Street over the past few years is likely a factor in this trend, but it appears that a large number of current job seekers are looking for job satisfaction rather than financial compensation.

In a recent survey by the National Association of High School Scholars, college students were asked which employer they would most like to work for. In recent years the answer to that question was Google, but this year students chose St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, an institution internationally recognized for its work in developing medical care for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Google still featured in the top ten, along with previous favorites Apple and Disney, but the 25 places students would most want to work included the Mayo Clinic, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and local hospitals, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

College graduates looking to Wall Street for employment may find that some companies are still hiring, but the positions are not necessarily based in New York. A number of Wall Street players are shifting their base of operations out of the New York and New Jersey area to places like California and Boston, as well as setting up and staffing offices in Asian countries. While traditional “Wall Street” type jobs may be on the decline, there are reportedly opportunities for graduates willing to start in the back office. The way Wall Street does business has changed as a result of the financial crisis and subsequent recession, and with the regulation of markets still being discussed at senate level, the way business is conducted in today’s markets is likely to continue evolving for some time into the future.