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As a newly minted PhD in the field of data sciences, one of the hottest areas of technology today, Adam Marcus could have walked away from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with his pick of jobs and handsome salaries from any number of computing titans, from Google Inc. to Microsoft Corp.
But like a growing number of his peers from MIT, many of whom will graduate on Friday, and scores of other recent graduates at top universities here and around the country, he’s eschewing corporate America for the unpredictable world of scrappy Internet start-ups.
In fact, Marcus, 28, won’t even be at commencement on Friday. He’ll be in San Francisco at the new offices of Locu Inc., which runs a service to manage restaurant menus on the Web. “I’d rather be working anyway,” he said.
The generation that is graduating this spring and entering the workforce grew up with the Internet and in an era in which pioneering figures such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were lionized for their business innovations. They witnessed the rise of Facebook and the rapid evolution of the iPod, and were often taught by Baby Boomer parents that anything is possible.
As a result, many of them have opted to forge their own paths, and are taking risks to start entirely new ventures or join other fledgling enterprises, which range from smartphone app makers and software companies to new kinds garbage recycling firms and food truck operations.