A Letter to my High School Counselor

As an initial matter, I realize that many people go to college in order to secure a high paying job. My family has reminded me, for instance, that college is expensive and a huge investment in my future. There is no question that I will be forced to find a job in order to pay back my student loans. In addition, I further recognize that employers value students with particular types of degrees and who graduate from highly-ranked universities. Had I chosen to pursue my engineering studies at Berkeley, there is no doubt that I would have been granted access to elite employers from around the world. Finally, I recognize that many colleges today are rethinking their programs and their curriculums. There is a growing amount of pressure for colleges to prepare students for employment. more particularly, prospective students are very interested in knowing the average employment rates and the average salaries of each college’s graduates. This, in turn, has led to an emphasis on programs which cater to engineering, science, and business. In the final analysis, both students and colleges seem to be more interested in seeing colleges prepare students for high-paying jobs. These imperatives are both economic and practical given the increasing costs of education and the value which employers and society place on particular types of education and skills.
Despite these arguments, many of which are valid, I am not persuaded that short-term employment prospects are strong enough to change my mind. I may be a traditionalist, but I have always envisioned education as something much broader and much more significant than a sort of quasi-vocational training. I have chosen to major in English literature because I believe that college is more about training the mind in a more interdisciplinary manner.