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Surveying the Class

In year of unprecedented market downturn, seniors flee finance and consulting for education and health

By Paras D. Bhayani, Crimson Staff Writer

The number of Harvard seniors entering finance and consulting has fallen by half in the past year, with just one fifth of all seniors seeking full-time employment taking jobs in one of the two sectors, according to The Crimson’s third annual senior survey.

The strong trend away from finance and consulting is likely the result of the economic crisis, which has devastated the financial markets and leveled major firms like Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two companies that had actively recruited at Harvard in the past.

The number of seniors entering finance and consulting has fallen from 47 percent in 2007 to 39 percent in 2008 to 20 percent for the current Class of 2009. The financial sector saw the largest reduction, falling from 23 percent to 11.5 percent, while the share of seniors entering consulting fell from 16 percent to 8.5 percent.

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