More College Graduates Take Public Service Jobs


Rampell, Catherine




In this 2011 article, Rampell writes about the trend toward public service, particularly among “young college graduates who ended up doing good because the economy did them wrong.” In examining the shift toward public service, Rampell examines the motives of young people as they enter public service and raises questions about the relationship between service, egos, and intentions.

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Impact and OutcomesMoney and WealthMotives and ValuesPoverty and NeedServing and Volunteering

Big Questions

Do one’s motives for serving or giving matter? How?Is my service changing the world or only myself? Is that enough?

Sample Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think that many young Americans view public service as a fallback option if they fall short of a for-profit job?
  2. What do you think of the assertion that “The millennial generation is a generation that is just more interested in making a difference than making a dollar”? Does that hold true for you and those you serve with?
  3. What can young people who never intended to serve bring to public service work?
  4. Is service the same as a job? Why or why not?
  5. Are young people who serve superior to those who do not serve?
  6. Why did you choose to serve? Was it a choice or a necessity? Does this make a difference in how you serve?
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