City | 2:34 pm | December 23, 2011 | By Caroline Tan

Times asks how many Elis go into finance, consulting

Last month, around 50 students protested outside a Morgan Stanley info session, questioning the value of finance and consulting careers.
Last month, around 50 students protested outside a Morgan Stanley info session, questioning the value of finance and consulting careers. Photo by Joyce Xi.

Regardless of whether 25 percent is, indeed, too much talent spent, an article published Wednesday in the New York Times indicates that, at least in 2010, the percentage of Yalies going into finance and consulting after graduation was not quite so high.

In 2010, 14 percent of Yale graduates employed one year after graduation chose jobs in the business and finance sector, according to the article. This percentage represented a smaller number than those working in education, at 24 percent, and in industry — which includes manufacturing, consulting, and sales and marketing jobs — at 21 percent.

In addition, about 9 percent of employed Yale graduates worked in the government and public service industry in 2010, while 6 percent worked in the fine and applied arts and 5 percent took jobs in law-related fields.

That same year, 20 percent of Harvard graduates who held jobs at graduation went into financial services, while 13 percent went into consulting, 12 percent into health or medicine and 11 percent into education. At Princeton, 35.9 percent of 2010 graduates held finance jobs at graduation, while 25.6 percent worked in the services industry, which includes consulting, and 20.8 percent chose the non-profit sector, which includes education.

The article traces data on employment trends among Yale, Harvard and Princeton graduates back to 1985 for Yale, 2006 for Harvard and 2000 for Princeton.

Though each university categorizes employment industries in different ways, making comparisons across the three schools challenging, the article’s data suggests that over the past decade, Harvard and Princeton graduates have chosen finance jobs more often than any other industry, followed closely by consulting. Among Yalies, however, the data indicates that the most popular industry over the decade has alternated between education and finance, with more Yalies working in education than finance in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and more working in finance than education in 2000 and 2004. The number of Yalies working in education and finance tied in 2008 at 26 percent each.

Overall, the percentage of employed Harvard, Yale and Princeton graduates holding finance jobs after graduation has decreased since 2006. At Yale, the percentage has been declining since its peak in 2000 at 31 percent, averaging in the mid-to-low 20s from 2002 onward and eventually reaching a low of 14 percent in 2010.

Comments