Monday, February 20, 2012

Ezra Klein on the Ivy League's Failures

One of the reasons I enjoy Ezra Klein's writing so much is that he will occasionally spin out a column like this one, "How Wall Street Takes Advantage of the Ivy League's Failures."  It is quite provocative, but let me reply with a question.  Has there ever been a time when the Ivy League's graduates have not gone in large numbers to the highest profile, most socially or financially rewarding occupations after college?

I'm going to venture that the answer is no.  The difference today is that the most socially and financially rewarding occupations tend to be disproportionately in finance (or Teach for America, as Ezra repeatedly interrupts himself to note).  And some of what we see in the financial industry today is grotesque, and that's what gives Ezra and the rest of us pause.

I will add, from my own point of view, that the typical Ivy League education needs to be more carefully reconsidered than what most of the Ancient Eight institutions are doing.  If you are curious to see what we are doing in this regard under my direction at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth, take a look at our student opportunities.

2 comments:

Tom said...

I thought the original article was a little bit of "old news". What other profession can a kid turn to with no graduate school degree and make six figures? Lord only knows why they pay so much; there must be some social issues surrounding that market. But you can't blame the kids.

As to the Rockefeller programs, I'm sure that both my children ('10 & '12) had no idea about them, as I was constantly agitating for them to audit a Tuck course on basic finance, management, etc., and they never mentioned the MLDP lectures. Now that may be just information overload...

Andrew Samwick said...

Hi Tom,

It's not like we are hidden on campus. The '12 can still do MLDP this spring. The registration deadline is 2/24. Links are provided on the Rockefeller website.

See you in June,

Andrew