Want a job on Wall Street? Good luck.

Job cuts in the financial world are expected to persist for some time. But there are bright spots for MBAs, bond traders and investment bankers.

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By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wall Street's job woes don't appear to be over just yet.

At this time a year ago, layoffs were rampant at big investment banks and other securities firms. Companies were scrambling to exit some of the businesses that delivered massive profits in prior years but became big problems once the credit markets collapsed.

Since Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy last September, the securities industry in New York has lost a little more than 20,000 jobs, according to state employment data. And many leading Wall Street firms subsequently took a hatchet to payrolls around the globe.

Last October, Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) slashed 10% of its workforce, or approximately 3,360 jobs, as a result of difficult market conditions. Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) grabbed headlines a month later when it announced plans to eliminate more than 50,000 jobs.

While the pace of job cuts has slowed in recent months, many experts think that the number of people working on Wall Street will dwindle even further.

"Many, if not most, financial services firms are restructuring and laying people off, even though it may not be in massive numbers," said Marisa Di Natale, senior economist at research firm Moody's Economy.com. "I expect that will continue."

In late May, the Independent Budget Office, a non-partisan agency that reviews the annual New York City budget, published a report projecting that an additional 32,400 jobs at the city's financial firms would lost over the next two years.

The job cuts do make sense. Since most Wall Street firms are not as profitable as they once were, they can't afford (and probably don't need) as many employees.

Di Natale added that the threat of sweeping Congressional reforms looming over the financial services industry could lead to even more layoffs.

But despite the grim employment outlook, there have been encouraging signs for those some industry veterans or those looking to break into the business.

Even as recruitment numbers are off from their pre-crisis peaks, Wall Street firms continue to hire freshly minted MBAs in droves, notes Greg Ruf, CEO of MBA Focus, which maintains an online database of business school job seekers used by companies around the world.

"Banks are nervous if they don't hire enough they will be caught two years from now without having enough people to be involved in major deals," he said.

Higher up in the ranks, hiring continues in such key areas as bond trading, notes John Rogan, a partner and head of the global banking and markets practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

And if the current trend of companies looking to sell stock and make acquisitions continues, Wall Street firms will also need to add more experienced investment bankers.

"Once deal activity really accelerates, people at that level with great experience will be like gold dust," said Rogan.

But even in down markets, companies can usually identify an area to expand, said Richard Staite, a London-based banking analyst with Atlantic Equities.

For example, Goldman Sachs is said to be looking to hire up to 200 staffers for its asset management business, according to a report in the Financial Times reported earlier this week.

"I don't think you can say there has been any widespread rebound," Staite said. "Companies are simply hiring where they feel they are missing out on current opportunities." To top of page

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