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Dream Job

College grads choose entrepreneurship.

Pin-stripe suits or blue jeans? Today's college seniors are thinking they'd rather wear the latter to work after graduation. According to a recent survey, college seniors are leaning toward entrepreneurship rather than joining the corporate world upon commencement. The study, commissioned by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and conducted by the George H. Gallup International Institute, contains some surprising revelations about how today's young people see their futures.

In the survey, which polled almost 1,000 college seniors nationwide, 49 percent of men and 31 per- cent of women said they were interested in pursuing entrepreneurship when they graduate. According to GMAC president Dave Wilson, "Young people are saying `Only I can ensure my employability for life. I can't count on anyone else to do it for me.' "

Also, says Wilson, "Young people are [no longer] making decisions [solely] for economic reasons." Where college graduates' main concern used to be starting salary, they are now more interested in being part of something exciting and achieving a balance between work and family. Quality of life is a precious commodity for today's college seniors.

How will the trend toward entrepreneurship affect the work force and the economy in the long run? Wilson says large corporations will find it increasingly difficult to woo top-notch grads and will have to work hard to attract them. Ownership in a company, freedom to set their own hours, a real chance to make a difference: These are a few of the things the next generation of movers and shakers are looking for in their jobs--and in life.

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This article was originally published in the January 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Dream Job.

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