Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blog #14: Book Review #5

Ellis, Blake. "Average Student Loan Debt Tops $25,000." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. <>.

The article "Average Student Loan Debt Tops $25,000" by Blake Ellis, a CNN reporter, describes the increasing debt college students are piling up. While the economy is bad and privatization is on the rise, students are having a harder time than ever to repay their loans.

"Thanks to rising tuition and the weak economy, students were forced to rely more heavily on loans to pay for their college education."

"2010 graduates suffered an unemployment rate of 9.1% when they graduated in 2010 -- up from 8.7% in 2009 and the highest level on record."

"College seniors who took out loans to fund their college education owed an average of $25,250, 5% more than the class of 2009 owed..."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog #15: Abstract & Bibliography

My paper researches the question: "What factors go into the decision that students make to choose their college majors?".  This is a topic which affects most people at one point or another, whether it is during high school or the first to second year of college. Getting this information could help others in their own college careers, as this is something that I had difficulty with during my entire college career thus far. I have found that the basic wonder is whether it is better to major in a subject which would guarantee financial success or if a student is better off simply studying a subject that they enjoy. After researching two sociological theories and conducting an interview with a Rutgers career counselor, I have basically found that the "right" thing to do depends on each student's personality.


"FinAid | Student Loans." FinAid! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans. Web. 28 Apr. 2012. <>.

"I'm The Black Sheep." True Life. MTV. 5 Jan. 2008. Television.

"Super's Theory." Homepage. Web. Apr. 2012. <>.

Adams, Caralee. "Majors Matter In Prospects For College Graduates."Education Week 31.15 (2012): 13. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

Carnevale, Anthony P., Ban Cheah, and Jeff Strohl. "Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal." Center on Education and the Workforce. 4 Jan. 2012. Web. <>.

Cavanaugh, John C., and Robert V. Kail. Human Development: A Life-span View. 6th ed. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2009. Print.

DeMarie, Darlene, and Patricia A. Aloise-Young. "College Students' Interest In Their Major." College Student Journal 37.3 (2003): 462-469.OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

Dietz, Janis. "The Myth That College And Major Choice Decides Johnny's Future." College Student Journal 44.2 (2010): 234-249. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

Ellis, Blake. "Average Student Loan Debt Tops $25,000." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. <>.

Grant, Tracy. "College majors and their income potential".  Washington Post. 25 Jan 2012. <>

Harrington, T., & Harrington, J. (2002). The ability explorer: Translating supers ability-related theory propositions into practice. The Career Development Quarterly, 50(4), 350-358.

Kumar, Arun. "Will Indian-American Sharon Mathai Be 'The Voice' of America?" 30 Mar. 2012. Web. <>.

Leung, S. Alvin. “The Big Five Career Theories.” Web. <>

Ma, Yingyi. "College Major Choice, Occupational Structure And Demographic Patterning By Gender, Race And Nativity." Social Science Journal 48.1 (2011): 112-129. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

NEA Higher Education Research Center.  “Higher Education and Privatization.”  NEA Update.  10.2 (March 2004). 20 Dec. 2011.

McArthur, Chrystal. Personal interview. 12 Apr 2012.

Pike, Gary R. "Students' Personality Types, Intended Majors, And College Expectations: Further Evidence Concerning Psychological And Sociological Interpretations Of Holland's Theory." Research In Higher Education 47.7 (2006): 801-822. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blog #13: Interview

For my interview, I met with Chrystal McArthur, a career counselor who speaks to students and Rutgers alumni about choosing a major and possible careers. She immediately began speaking about how years ago, people didn't really worry about being "successful" - if you went to college, you'd get a job (this made me jealous!). She was referring to when she graduated college, in the late '60s, early '70s.

One point she brought up was especially interesting, something I never thought of: "People are borrowing more, so they're more worried about making money". With college loans and the rise of tuition costs, people do have to be more aware of how they'll pay off student loans and debt. If you can't get a job after graduating, you will remain in debt.

When I asked if more students are concerned with potential success or interest in the subject, McArthur said a lot of students are influenced by their parents and culture. Many parents encourage their children to pursue certain careers because they see them as a higher status than other careers. Students may also be influenced by their culture in the same regard.

I brought up Holland's Theory, and she was well aware of this assessment. She said in general, students do act based on their personality types. For example, a student may be interested in making money because of their entrepreneurial personality type - it's in their personality to want to be financially successful. I plan to go more in depth in my paper on this.

Overall, Chrystal McArthur was extremely knowledgable on my topic and was so helpful to my paper. She even suggested that I take an assessment online to show me what a student would do who seeks her advice. I am meeting with her again next week to discuss my results and hopefully use the general information in my paper.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog #12: Article Review

Grant, Tracy. "College majors and their income potential".  Washington Post. 25 Jan 2012. <>

This article describes peoples' increasing worries about unemployment rates regarding recent grads. The author, Tracy Grant, writes from a parent's perspective. Her sons are currently in high school and are thinking about their future college careers. With more and more statistics available online, many majors do not look very promising money-wise. Also on the page of this article is a poll which asks readers, "How much did you consider future employment when choosing a college major?"
The results read:
A lot - 50%
Some - 24%
A little - 13%Not at all - 13%Grant is a columnist for The Washington Post who writes on parenting issues.

"Computer and math majors face an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, not much better than the national average. Education majors face less trouble finding jobs, with a 5.4 percent unemployment rate. But once they get jobs, as Singletary points out, 'their earnings are also low and only improve marginally with experience and education.'"

"...should I counsel one son, who has an intrinsic ability to figure out how things work, that he should go into “agricultural and natural resources” because it has a much lower unemployment rate? And should I tell a teenager who already writes better than his mom that engineering is the way to go because it guarantees a higher annual gross income?"

"I am now 25 years into my career, working at one of the leading media companies in the country and making more money that I ever would have imagined I would. To what do I attribute that success? I love what I do."
"In these economic times, it’s hard not to obsess about whether our kids are employable. The Georgetown report, and Singletary’s column, raise important economic issues that should be part of any family’s college decision-making process."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog #11: Counter-Argument Book Review #3

Arnold, John. "The Congruence Problem In John Holland's Theory Of Vocational Decisions."Journal Of Occupational & Organizational Psychology 77.1 (2004): 95-113. Business Source Elite. Web. 29 Mar. 2012.

This article questions John Holland's Theory of the link between personality, environment, and college major. It states that although the theory first appears to be fool-proof, it actually turns out to be hard to be hard to prove in everyday situations. Many students were tested using Holland's Theory and their results showed very little correlation to their decisions regarding college. Holland's Theory appears to coincide with general psychological theories of personality; the theory does not show substantial evidence in vocational predictions.

The author, Professor John Arnold, PhD, is currently a visiting professor at Loughborough University in England. He is a professor of work psychology, as well as a registered psychologist, and an editor for the Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology.

"...over the years research has suggested that congruence assessed using Holland constructs and measures has a much weaker association with outcomes than might be expected theoretically and required for effective use in practice" (96).

"...there is considerable direct and indirect evidence that Holland's theory does not adequately assess some elements of personhood that matter in  vocational choice. In an era when people are encouraged to consider issues of work-life balance, quality of life, lifelong learning and navigating personal journeys through the world of work, it may be that the basis on which matching is done shifts from 'what can I do and what would I like doing?' to 'what do I want to achieve and how do I want my life to be?' (99).

"In spite of Holland's clear arguments that people project and express their personality through their response to his measures, it is debatable at best whether his theory pays sufficient attention to people's personal goals, or to some aspects of their values" (99).

Blog #10: My Case

While researching how college majors affect the future of young adults, I ask what factors come into play when choosing which route to go - whether students should go for a major which could be promising financially, or simply what they are interested in/enjoy. Holland's Theory is going to be extremely important in my research paper; this sociological theory is probably the most influential in research on this subject. This theory states that students choose their majors based on their personalities, i.e. what they would probably most enjoy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog #9: Visual

This image shows the average salary of new college graduates by major. This is something that, if shown to a college student, could change their minds about what they study. Depending on what the person is looking for (money or happiness), they could go in a different direction based on these statistics.