A troubling trend is emerging for consulting and financial firms’ recruiting efforts at Harvard. Recently, these companies have been shifting their recruitment schedules earlier and earlier in what has become a competition to attract talented students before other corporations can snap them up.

This trend parallels an even larger one: increasing student interest in finance and consulting jobs. Indeed, the culture that has incentivized finance and consulting businesses to start recruiting earlier is made possible by more students fighting for jobs in these fields. According to the Office of Career Services’ senior survey data, currently around a quarter of Harvard students choose to work in consulting and finance after graduation, a figure that ignores the percentage of alumni who come to those fields later.

Both of these developments are saddening, as they come at the expense of jobs in other fields such as public service. These careers, while not as financially lucrative, can greatly benefit society, which needs talented individuals who decide to pursue callings that fulfill both themselves and the public, even if these careers come with a smaller paycheck.

Ultimately, the job market is just that—a market. People weigh a variety of factors in their decision, but often choose the jobs that provide the greatest material incentives. We thus urge the University to make jobs that provide a direct service to society more enticing to students. Harvard offers a plethora…