Over at Wall Street Oasis, a site that aims to inform financial pros and students as they approach career decisions, 28 percent of 600 users polled listed their number one reason for wanting to work in finance as “$,$$$,$$$.” Meanwhile, a New York mag survey of 74 current and recently departed finance workers belonging to an online community for “corporate professionals who want to ‘do something different’” found that 47 percent quit because “my life is spiritually hollow.”
(The number two answers? At Escape the City, “I work nonstop, my quality of life is terrible” was the second most popular reason for leaving. At WSO, the young professionals are also choosing finance for “exit opps/career growth,” though in fairness, “Passion—I truly love doing this” was a close third. )
And so the world turns, and the burnt-out make way for the eager-eyed. There are 800,100 workers employed in the U.S. securities industry at the end of March, according to SIFMA, the industry trade group, down from about 870,000 at the end of August 2008, the month before Lehman failed, but up slightly over the last two years.
When the next round of budding financiers get tired of the hours, say uncle and start a new round of websites for students who want to be bankers, or bankers who want to start websites, there’ll be a new round of college grads waiting to take their place.
After all: $,$$$,$$$.