Passion vs. Paycheck? Bank of America, Khan Academy Help New Grads Succeed in Life’s Next Chapter

June 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM Eastern

What do you wish you had known before you chose your career? That question is at the heart of a collaboration between Bank of America and Khan Academy to help young adults gain knowledge about careers and personal finance as they’re looking for jobs or just starting out in the workforce.

As the class of 2017 sets out on their own, it’s worth noting that:

  • Roughly eight in ten recent college students will graduate without a job lined up, according to an Accenture study.

  • Most young adults say personal interest (60 percent) is more important than salary (24 percent) in their job consideration, according to Bank of America research. 

With that backdrop, a new Khan Academy video series helps young adults weigh the options when it comes to their careers and finances. The resources, now available at and, include video interviews with young adults working in different fields – from salon owners to political staffers – who talk candidly about their careers, with a focus on how their paths have impacted their financial futures. The series, which will be expanded over the coming months, is brought to you with support from Bank of America through its financial wellness platform, Better Money Habits®.

“Choosing a career is one of the biggest financial decisions that young adults will make, yet so many make that decision without the full picture of what lies ahead,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. “We want to help empower the next generation to make informed decisions about their careers and their finances so that they can achieve their goals – both personally and professionally – in whatever path they choose.”

The videos offer a look at the life of young adults in the workforce; they candidly share how much they make, their job responsibilities, where they see themselves and their finances in the future – and what they might have done differently. For example, Ky-ree, a firefighter, talks about his decision to pursue a more active career after realizing that mechanical engineering wasn’t his calling. Sophia, an architectural designer, details what it means to be an independent contractor and her first mistake on the job. Fernando, a state senate district representative, discusses his passion for his job and the tradeoff he makes in work-life balance.

“Choosing a career path is an incredibly important life decision, but far too many people do so without a lot of information,” said Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy. “With real-life, first-person accounts, the series surfaces all of the sensitive, but important issues that young people need to think about.” 

The launch of the series marks the next phase in a partnership between Bank of America and Khan Academy. Since 2013, Khan Academy videos have been featured alongside financial wellness resources on Bank of America’s Better Money Habits website, with the mission of making financial lives better by connecting people to the information they need to achieve their goals.

“Today’s economy isn’t easy to navigate and, in so many ways, the old rules don’t apply. We know that this generation is looking for guidance when it comes to their finances, especially when they are making so many decisions about their futures,” said Meredith Verdone, chief marketing officer at Bank of America. “That’s our focus: listening to their hopes and challenges, understanding their needs and providing solutions that meet them where they are.”

This effort is just one way Bank of America is empowering young adults to live better financial lives. Other initiatives include: 

  • A partnership between Bank of America and VICE to create a millennial talk show called “The Business of Life.” The show, currently airing on VICELAND and, breaks down financial issues in a way that’s relevant and creative to drive behavior change among millennials.

  • The recent launch of a growing suite of digital products and services to help young adults manage their money, including a Spending and Budgeting Tool, peer-to-peer payment enhancements, and a virtual assistant enabled by artificial intelligence to analyze customers’ personal financial data and generate recommendations.

  • Working with nonprofits across the country, such as Goodwill Industries, LIFT, and Student Veterans of America, who are delivering financial capabilities to vulnerable communities, and engaging Bank of America employee volunteers to deliver Better Money Habits tools and resources in local communities.

  • Connecting teens to Better Money Habits in conjunction with summer youth employment programs organized by local mayors across the country and the bank’s signature Student Leaders® program.

  • Tracking with this generation’s attitudes and needs through studies like the Better Money Habits Report, Merrill Edge® Report and the Trends in Consumer Mobility Report.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 15,900 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users and more than 22 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Reporters May Contact:
Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
Phone: 1.980.683.2247