In a Tough Economy, College Graduates Choose Public Service

(New York Times)  It seems the poor economy has a silver lining, at least in terms of the promoting the common good.  In 2009, 16 percent more college graduates took positions with the federal government, and 11 percent more started working for nonprofit groups.  Diana Aviv, chief executive of Independent Sector, a trade group for nonprofits, affirmed that “it’s not uncommon for [her] to hear of over 100 applications for a nonprofit position, sometimes more than that, and many more Ivy League college graduates applying than before.”  When the economy picks up, though, it is uncertain that these young people will maintain a career in public service.  Still, the idea of improving the world is appealing despite lower salaries.  “Now I’m serving a purpose” as opposed to “helping some large corporation sell more widgets,” said Alison Sadock, a young college graduate employed by the Starlight Children’s Foundation.  Mortages, children, and other financial burdens that accumulate with age may cause a career switch for the young people currently working in public service, but for now, it’s a good day for nonprofits.

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