Major Exploration

Now that you have completed your self assessment and have knowledge of your interests skills and values, it is time to explore what major options you have at Rutgers-Camden.  

To start this exploration, follow the icons on the left. These exercises will introduce you to the academic departments and majors at Ruters-Camden along with what career options you might have with the majors you are exploring. We will also try to dispell for you some of the myths associated with choosing a major. Finally, the Major Worksheet will help you narrow down your options to and prepare you to make a decision.  

2.1: Myths About Majors
2.2: What Can I Do With A Major In...?
2.3: RUC Departments

"My friend told me..."
It is amazing how many career counseling sessions start with this phrase and more amazing how often the information about majors given by a friend is incorrect. Choosing a major IS an important decision and should be a well informed decision based on facts rather than myths.

Here we have tried to debunk some of the common myths students have about majors and to help you become a more informed decision maker.  

"Choosing a major is the same as choosing a career and the decision I make now, I will be stuck with for the rest of my life."
False and False!  Choosing a major is not the same as choosing a career. True, there are a few fields that require a specific degree to enter, but the great majority of careers are filled by people with a variety of academic backgrounds. Your major will give you skills you can use in a variety of careers, not just one.

Just for fun, check out this Celebrity majors quiz.

Also, studies show that the average working American will have three to five careers and between 10 to 12 jobs during his or her lifetime. As a result, 10 years after graduation, most people are working in careers that are not directly related to their college major.  
 

"I have a lot of interests, if I choose one major, I have to give up my other interests."
Not true.  There are a variety of ways that students can explore their interest while pursuing their major.  Many students will opt for a minor or double major in an area of interest. Students are also encouraged to develop their interests through student clubs and activities. You do not have to be a marketing major to join the marketing club or an English major to write for the Gleaner.

"Job Market demand is the best way to determine a major."  
Not always. The most important factor in choosing a major is whether or not you will enjoy taking the required course work. If you do not like the classes you are taking, chances are you will not enjoy the work you have to do in the career. Without having enthusiasm for what you have studied, you will have a hard time selling yourself to employers at graduation.  

While it is always wise to look a the outlook of career you are considering, the market can be unpredictable and what is hot today may not be hot tomorrow.  

"There is nothing you can do with a liberal arts major."
Wrong. Liberal arts majors are found in all types of jobs and all types of industries. As a liberal arts major, you are gaining skills that employers are looking for in a job candidate. The skills that top employers' wish lists include communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, analytical skills and leadership. All of these can be developed as a liberal arts major.

In a longitudinal study conducted at AT&T, employees with either a humanities or social sciences background were found to be stronger than engineering majors and similar to business majors in administrative skills and motivation for advancement. Furthermore, graduates from these areas demonstrated the strongest interpersonal skills.

"My major will limit my choice for graduate or professional school."
The majority of graduate programs do not require a specific undergraduate degree for admission. A graduate school will determine the potential of a candidate through GPA, admissions tests, essays, recommendations and career aspirations. While it is true that you will not get into medical school without certain science prerequisites or into a graduate program in engineering without a strong math/science background, business schools and law schools actually prefer to admit students from diverse academic areas.

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Explore what you can do with a major in ... by visiting the following Rutgers websites or research careers using the Career Center Library

Rutgers-Camden Major Brochures

"Careers Opportunites in..."
A series addressing career options for many Rutgers University majors. Each profile summarizes the major and lists related occupations, typical employers, and examples of jobs obtained by recent and experienced Rutgers graduates.

Alumni Career Network
Access this database of alumni from Rutgers-Camden through RaporLink.  Click on the Networking tab, located on the top menu bar.
A web database of Rutgers graduates from the Camden who have volunteered to be mentors and share their career experiences with students and other alumni. These individuals have diverse academic backgrounds and represent many career fields. Although alumni have not volunteered to provide actual job interviews, they are available to discuss their academic and career paths. Networking with alumni can help undergraduates gain an insider's view of the world of work.

Career Center Website
The Researching Careers section of the Career Center website provides links to online resources as well as links targeted to specific academic areas.  

Career Resource Library
Over 500 current career development and graduate school books/resources are available to students and alumni for career and job related research. The Career Center is located in Room 006, Lower Level of the Campus Center.

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2.3: RUC Departments

At this point there are probably hundreds of questions bouncing around your head.  What classes do I have to take to be an English major? What does it take to be a Computer Science major? How do I get into the School of Business? Don't make a decision without talking to the right people. The best way to find out about a specific major is to set up a meeting with the Chairperson of that department or a department faculty member. Below you will find a list of questions you can ask the faculty member at your meeting and links to School of Business and the departments in the College of Arts & Sciences.  

Questions to Ask Faculty

School of Business

College of Arts & Sciences

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Back to Step 1: Self Assessment

Proceed to Step 3: Making a Major Decision