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WSN Editorial Board - 9/14/2010

Recessions arguably hit college students hardest. According to the Atlantic, citing economist Lisa Khan at Yale, college graduates entering the job market in a recession are paid up to 25 percent less. Even 15 years later, those graduates are paid an average of 10 percent less than luckier, boom-time graduates, and there is little hope of an economic recovery anytime soon.

"In the past decade we've gone from the best labor market in our economic history to arguably one of the worst. It's going to take years, if not decades, to completely recover from the fallout," said Moody's Analytics economist Mark Zandi in the Los Angeles Times.

If true, that would mean even incoming freshman have little to look forward to upon graduation. Though this would seem to spell a special kind of doom for debt-ridden NYU students, there is good reason to think otherwise. Reporting at the Wall Street Journal this week indicates that the more college students pursue internships, the better their employment prospects are after college. While this is obviously not surprising, the numbers are worthy of note.

"College recruiters said more than 50 percent of their new-graduate hires had been interns at their companies; 14 percent said more than 75 percent were," the Journal reported. It also noted that almost 57 percent of the graduates from the class of 2009 simply converted student internships into full-time positions.

NYU students, for many reasons, take on internships far more often than students at other universities. Though the most obvious reason is our New York location, it is hard to imagine that the resources offered by the Wasserman Center for Career Development are irrelevant. As WSN reported earlier this year, nearly half of employed graduates had obtained their job through Wasserman.

All this suggests NYU students will be significantly better off in the current recession than their peers at other colleges. NYU has been wise in providing its students with superior, career-oriented resources such as the Wasserman Center. While we understand those who say NYU should focus on education β€” it is a university, after all β€” the dismal economic climate necessitates providing every possible resource to students bound for the job market. Helping students find internships is, now more than ever, a huge part of that.