ISSUE-146

Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.


As today's society becomes more utilitarian, more people begin to feel that educational institutions should encourage students to choose fields of study conducive to finding lucrative jobs in the future. While pragmatic, it would be a challenge to implement this idea, and those who hold it are prone to adverse consequences if they do.


First, should educational institutions actively guide students in their choice of majors? I agree with this point of view. While some may argue that it is students who should actively choose their majors, educational institutions, by contrast, know better about majors and what majors are more promising. Thus, it would be better for students, especially those unclear about their goals, to be actively guided by educational institutions to choose a particular major, even though mistakes could be made.


That being said, should educational institutions encourage students to choose majors that will bring them high monetary rewards in the future? Admittedly, I do agree with the motivation behind this view. First, although more people may believe that the purpose of education should be to produce qualified and helpful people for society, rather than narrowly trying to cultivate people who can make money, we have to admit that finding lucrative jobs is what students desperately need. Imagine a student burdened with a considerable amount of student loans, among many options, surely he still wants to find the job that can bring him high returns. Second, from a social perspective, there is no contradiction between finding a lucrative career and contributing to society. Although a person's income may not necessarily be positively correlated with his or her contribution to society, there are more ways for higher earners to give back to the community, such as paying higher taxes, donating more money to charities, etc.


However, even though educators may encourage students to study majors that will bring them high salaries in the future, the final results may not be what they want. First, this is because people cannot predict precisely what jobs will be profitable in the future. Education is a long and gradual process, whereas society is changing rapidly. There are a lot of fields that were hot when students first entered college becoming fields that no one is interested in after the student has graduated from college some years later. Take accounting and finance, for example. More than half of my classmates intended to study finance or accounting in college and work for a bank in a glamorous uniform when I was in high school. But the truth is, during my years in college, artificial intelligence has developed so rapidly that the vast majority of finance, accounting, and investment jobs that used to require a lot of workforce have been replaced by computers, and the recruiting of banks has dropped dramatically. This eventually led to many students ending up in jobs that had nothing to do with their finance profession. In a similar vein, when I was in school, computer science was not popular at that time, and the time that would have been spent on computer courses was even used to schedule subjects such as mathematics in school. But the year I graduated from college, the mobile Internet took off, and computer science became the best job to find and the highest paying job.


In conclusion, while I believe that educational institutions should take responsibility for guiding students in choosing their majors, it may not be realistic to place too much emphasis on choosing profitable majors because it is unpredictable whether the majors that students pursue will be lucrative in the future.




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