How to select a minor in college

Selecting a major is difficult enough, and for many students, choosing a minor is just as challenging. A minor is a great way to explore different areas of study. (Element5 Digital via Unsplash)

The question of whether or not to take a minor in college is an essential one. Research illustrates that having a minor in college enhances the holistic nature of the degree program, working to supplement the major you have elected to pursue. You also get to enlarge your knowledge base and education in fields you are passionate about.

Although a minor is a significant part of college education, many students don’t put much thought into choosing them. In fact, more than 40% of the students change their major in the course of pursuing a bachelor’s degree, while the minor is often an addendum. Although the minor may not be a requirement for graduation, it is not a bad idea. Just choose one that can fit perfectly within your normal class load without giving you too much pressure. In this article, we highlight tips on how you would pick an ideal minor for college.

What is a college minor? Why is it important?

Unlike the major, which is your main field of study, a minor implies a subordinate area that may or may not be linked to your major. This is often an amazing way to go after things you find interesting and show future hiring managers that like taking on added responsibilities. For instance, you could take on a minor in Spanish, which is more impressive than just stating that you took on a few courses to learn the language.

You will be required to declare your major, but a minor will often not be a requirement for graduation. If you don’t fully understand the requirements, engage your academic advisor to help with making an informed decision.

Here is what you should know

Although the college minor may seem unimportant, it could be a critical component of your college life. It is possible to choose something that supplements your preferred major, or you could work with a second course that is a personal interest but differs from your main area of studies. If you are not sure how to proceed, here are some important things to consider:

It shouldn’t have to be linked to your major

Most students get stuck when cherry-picking a minor because they assume that they ought to choose an area linked to the major they are taking. In truth, however, you don’t have to choose a mathematics minor if you are majoring in a statistical course. Of course, it makes sense is the two are linked. However, you can also use the minor as a chance to expand your horizon and take on areas that you consider interesting, even if you don’t intend to make a career out of them.

The knowledge and skills you gain in the process may be transferable. You could, for instance, take a minor in music when your major is in biology, and it would be perfectly normal. If you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of academic work because you are taking a minor, you could always ask someone for assistance.

The minor could be a way to build your resume

With competition for jobs becoming ever more cutthroat, you need to be prepared to work on a number of fields. You ought to be tactical when picking your minor as you organize yourself for future employment opportunities. This way, your educational qualifications will be broad, while still acquiring the skills needed to place you on the right path towards your career.

You have to complete your coursework

College can be hectic for most students, and certain majors may demand more classwork and assignments. When choosing a minor, pick something that will not require too much work. For instance, make sure that there won’t be time table conflicts between your elected minor and your major.

You should also consider the following:

  • How much more the minor will cost;
  • Whether course will cut into your extracurricular activities;
  • Whether it will take longer to graduate.

Is it better to take two majors?

The idea of doing multiple subjects may be so appealing that you consider doing a double major instead of taking on a minor. Of course, there are a few benefits of preferring a double major, including the fact that you get to explore the subject in more depth. A double major could also place you higher over the competition when it comes to getting jobs.

However, as most students come to realize, taking on a double major can be a delicate balancing act with counterproductive outcomes. If, for instance, taking an added major leads to a drop in your grades or extends the time it will take to graduate, it may not be worth the effort.

There is also the possibility that double majoring could limit your capacity to take on electives, which are often a perfect way to get a well-rounded education. Of course, the choice of whether to pick a minor or two majors will depend on your preferences and situation. Contemplate the options and seek guidance from your academic advisor or from educational specialists like Authority.

Thinking about a minor? Consider these factors

A great way to select an ideal minor is to consider your career plans for the future. If your objective of taking the degree course is to succeed in business, then you ought to consider a minor in such areas as economics, management, and accounting. Also, consider these questions:

  • What goes well with your major?
  • What improves your marketability?
  • What is currently in high demand?
  • What do you consider interesting?

Typically, deciding a minor is not a requirement in most colleges. However, the option is appealing, even if it is just to get additional skills and knowledge. You could prefer something that you find interesting or which enhances your major. With proper planning and guidance from your academic advisor, you will be able to benefit from a carefully selected minor.

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