Earlier this week, I wrote about changing majors (read that article here). Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about minors. We all know about the importance of declaring a major, but fewer students give serious consideration to minors. While not a requirement, there are numerous benefits to choosing a minor to supplement what you are learning in your major. Let’s take a look at a few of those benefits below:
This is the most obvious benefit of choosing a minor. At some point, you may find that you are really curious about a certain field of study outside your major. You may be an engineering major, yet really love studying psychology as well. Or you may be a journalism major who really enjoyed a marketing elective you took last semester.
Choosing to minor in one of those fields would allow you to build competence in the field you’re curious about while also continuing to pursue your major. You have to take electives anyway, why not use that as an opportunity to explore a minor?
Expand Career Prospects
The second most common reason for choosing a minor is to gain skills that will make you more marketable to employers. Having a solid minor shows employers that you’re not a one-dimensional person. Not only have you been able to master a single field of study, but you’ve learned alot about a second discipline as well.
If you want to use a minor to expand your career prospects, try to consider a minor that will complement your major in a useful way. Those majoring in engineering could benefit from a business minor if they hope to one day be a manager of large projects. Math/Statistics is a good minor for anyone desiring to find a career in any type of analytical field. Languages are a good choice for students who are considering work overseas.
Prepare for Graduate School
Selecting a minor is also a good way to set yourself up for future graduate studies. If you are considering earning a Master’s or PhD one day, you should declare a minor while you are an undergraduate student. During your graduate studies you will be required to take classes outside of your specialization. So, when you apply to graduate school, your application will look stronger if you can show that you are academically well-rounded. You can demonstrate this by selecting a minor, and even getting a recommendation letter from a professor in the department you minor in.
Additionally, you may end up going to graduate school in a field that’s different than your undergraduate major. Perhaps you will discover that you are not interested enough in your major to complete another degree in it. Or maybe you will find another field of study that aligns better with your goals. In these cases, many students end up going to graduate school and specializing in the field they minored in during undergrad. Having completed a minor, you will have already taken most of the prerequisites for acceptance into the graduate program in most cases.
Depending on your goals for the future, selecting a college major can be a great decision. I believe any student can benefit from choosing a minor. So, if this is something you’ve been considering, go ahead and choose the minor that’s right for you and take the plunge! You’ll be glad you did.
As always, thanks for visiting College Kid Now What. Don’t forget to share this article with a friend who could also benefit from the tips shared here. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to email me at Jonathan@CollegeKidNowWhat.com or leave a message at the College Kid Now What Facebook Group.
Until next time
Stay Curious, Stay Motivated!