Rhodes Grads Follow the Money

After endless accolades and two free years at Oxford, what’s a Rhodes scholar to do? These days, the answer seems to be “follow the money.” In a piece for The Washington Post, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust Eliot Gerson writes that since the 1980s, Rhodes graduates who traditionally went into research and teaching positions have increasingly left behind the hallowed halls of Oxford to join the cutthroat world of Wall Street. The shift over the past 30 years, which he labels a “break in an almost century-old pattern,” coincides with a massive increase in the occupational earning differential, a “grotesquely large gap” that means Rhodes grads can earn an astronomically higher salary in finance than they could in more scholarly positions. Gerson warns against the implications of this trend as reinforcing flawed economic practice in the U.S. and diverting Rhodes scholars from putting their abilities and education toward “world-changing breakthroughs.”