If you're a recent grad looking to go into a traditionally lucrative career in something like finance, good luck: the big banks are struggling, cutting down on hiring, and laying off seasoned veterans: so you'll be competing for jobs with people who have a ton of experience.

But if you're a new graduate, you have some worldly options the seasoned veterans don't. According to The Wall Street Journal, (subscription required), Teach For America saw its applications rise 36% over last year's level. The Peace Corps also is expecting a 16% rise in volunteers at the close of its fiscal year in Oct.

Hard to say if this is a new and refreshing altruistic trend of the young generation, or simply a good way to get some do-gooder experience to pad the law school resume.

Either way, when the job market turns around, as it always does, your resume will give you a competitive advantage, demonstrating creativity and a genuine desire to change the world. Some programs have strong connections with top companies, and you may have an easier time going to work for Google after you work for slave wages with Teach For America for a few years.

Make the world better, improve your resume -- at a time like this, that's something worth considering. Then you can go get rich.

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