After Fancy College, Jobs in Service?

The NY Times published an interesting article about a push to encourage graduates of top colleges and universities to work in service positions (including National Service such as AmeriCorps and Teach for America) instead of investment banks.

Some points that gave me hope and food for thought:

  1. The highest-ranked colleges and professors are at least paying lip service to the idea that the purpose of their fancy education is not necessarily to create more investment bankers or consultants.
  2. Some colleges are putting money and scholarships behind this lip service, some even paying student loans for grads who go into service.
  3. It’s easy for Jr.s and Sr.s to apply for lucrative positions – the systems are in place.  Let’s put them in place for service positions as well.
  4. Obama supports National Service(!) and people have noticed (!!)

At a recent presentation by Jason Lum, he expressly encouraged the service-oriented audience to pursue scholarships to further their education so that they could afford to continue to serve their communities.  Nobody had ever specifically pointed that out that challenge of a public service position: it’s nearly impossible to pay for the credentials that are required.

This article gives me hope because it talks about barriers to service being addressed right now – awareness, prestige, access, and debt.  Fantastic news!  How can we keep up the momentum?

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One thought on “After Fancy College, Jobs in Service?

  1. Hi Emily,
    Glad you published this post. I’ve totally had the same kinds of thoughts about life/career after college reflected by the students in the article. I did graduate about 4 years ago and feel a bit more confident about career and security prospects, but it’s actually BECAUSE I took the public service route (currently second year AmeriCorps after doing nearly 3 years in the non-profit field:).

    It can be a scary thing to enter into the world of work and career – particularly if you don’t have any real world experience. You could of course be a total braniac, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to handle the basics of project management or setting deadlines and meeting them – key skills which I am still developing (along with other AmeriCorps VISTAs according to some surveying we did).

    I think if I had done more internships while I was in college, it might have propelled me a little faster into a career.

    Course, I have no regrets – the process has brought me invaluable insight to what I want out of life and how I go about pursuing them (also a constant, painful, wonderful, fun, tiring experience;)

    P.S. Have did you read “Gen Y Enter Stage Left, Baby Boomers Exit Stage Right “: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/06/22/gen-y-enter-stage-left-baby-boomers-exit-stage-right/

    It’s another interesting trend that I’ve heard discussed in my peer/professional network.

    P.P.S. I LOVE your blog. I feel I have something to say/relate to about just everything you’ve written on here. It’s un assuming and accessible. ‘Privilege’, ‘Preparing for the Future (let me know if you need tips on maximizing LinkedIn usage;) even to the URL of ‘notexactlyroughingit’ – totally resonates with me. Twit me up whenever:)

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