Harvard Grads Are Still Flocking to Finance

A blog about business and economics.
May 27 2014 1:00 PM

Harvard Grads Are Still Flocking to Finance

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What the future holds after Harvard.

Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Despite the allure of Silicon Valley, plenty of elite college grads are still heading to Wall Street, according to data released Tuesday by Harvard's student newspaper, the Crimson. Thirty-one percent of graduates pursuing jobs are taking them in the finance and consulting industries, roughly in line with figures reported by Harvard graduates in the wake of the financial recession. The data also indicates that the gender divide on Wall Street remains stark: 24 percent of men said they are going into finance, as opposed to just 10 percent of women. Perhaps in part because of that fact, the survey also found that 19 percent of employed men said they would earn a starting salary of $90,000 or more, compared with 4 percent of employed women.

The Crimson's stats—based on responses to an email survey from roughly half of the class of 2014—come amid debate over how much Silicon Valley is swaying elite college grads from lucrative paths in finance and consulting. Google is now considered the best company to work for according to a list compiled by Fortune while Goldman Sachs barely cracks the top 50. Kevin Roose, author of Young Money, has argued that Google is the new Goldman and that Silicon Valley is becoming the default for college grads. Technology and engineering drew 15 percent of employed Harvard 2014 grads and was the second-most popular option, according to the Crimson. But that's still well shy of what finance and consulting was able to attract.

Other fun facts about the Harvard class of 2014: 17 percent admitted to cheating on their academics (including 7 percent of those who see themselves going into government or politics in the long term). Twenty-one percent are virgins, but 12 percent have had 10 or more sexual partners. And of those who voted in the 2012 election, 80 percent did so for Obama.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

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