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Editorial: Students’ post-grad plans not driven by money

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

Go to college, find a viable career, obtain a job with a good salary, security, benefits and opportunities for upwards movement. While not a concrete plan, this model of how life goals should be realized and how one should attempt to succeed in the business of their career choice is certainly familiar for our generation. We are the generation whose parents recognized that business was power and grew up with the idea that within all of that power, Wall Street was king.

But according to reports from the New York Times, Wall Street firms are seeing a lower application rate for positions that were once considered the pinnacle of finance jobs. The recent Goldman Sachs controversy sparked an interest in the real world of finance and the discrepancies between employment levels, smaller salaries and increase in likelihood of being fired have made these fast-track-to-seven-figures jobs less appealing. Our generation has grown up and matured watching what a focus on profit does to both the society and the economy. While there are still applicants vying for the finance jobs, more college and business students are being driven by a social consciousness when considering where to look for employment.

This paradigm shift tells us many things about our generation. Instead of trying to benefit from the success and innovation of other industries, more of us are focusing on creative paths, where we can build something new. While job security and financial success is becoming a large question for all of us, we still are looking towards the options that are not morally ambiguous. It is not so easy to whitewash an industry’s wrongdoings when blatantly surrounded by the image of what corruption and greed do to a society. Students who are veering away from the white tower image of success and security to search for more self-fulfilling opportunities, and opportunities that give back to society are to be congratulated. Students who still choose careers in finance are more likely doing so with their eyes opened to the reality of the world they are entering, and given the growing social consciousness we are all experiencing, these people may be the ones able to affect a change within the industry itself.

It might not seem like a protest, and it does not come with the fanfare of rebellion and statement making, but the fact that students are quietly choosing to be more conscious of the ethical implications of where they work is an action capable of changing our society. Eventually, the industry will have to change and answer to people and society instead of looking down upon them. But for now, these students are taking the first steps to changing a system we all see as problematic. 

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