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The Benefits of a College Minor

Choosing a college minor can be a major decision, depending on your reasons for looking into a second subject area to focus on in pursuit of your Bachelor's Degree. There are plenty of good reasons to take on a minor in addition to your declared major. Let's take a look at some of the advantages of a college minor.

A Minor May be Required for Your Chosen Degree Program

Depending on your declared major, you may be required to also formally declare a minor. For example, if you are majoring in Studio Art, you may be required to declare a minor in your area of emphasis, such as illustration or sculpture. Not all schools handle these focus areas the same way, however, as some colleges and universities simply classify areas of concentration within a major as a focus area or some other similar terminology. But in cases where declaring a minor is required, specific courses will be needed to fulfill the minor requirements. If you are not required to declare a minor as a focus area within your major, you will be free to choose another minor that may be complementary or completely unrelated to your declared major, and both of these options are excellent ways to fill the electives required for your degree in a concentrated way.

You Can Pursue Other Interests With a Minor

One of the best reasons for choosing a college minor is the ability it gives you to pursue a second area of interest in a somewhat intensive way. If you are majoring in computer science but also have an interest in music, a minor will allow you to fulfill the electives required outside of your major classes with music courses that will build your knowledge and skill level in an area you are interested in. Your undergraduate years are a great time to study subjects that you are passionate about, regardless of whether or not they are directly related to your major. And if you list your minor on your resume, potential employers are likely to view you as a well-rounded candidate with a variety of interests.

A Minor May Make You More Competitive and Complement your Major

Speaking of resumes, a strategically chosen minor can certainly make you more competitive in the job market as well. If you are majoring in business and choose a minor in a foreign language, your speaking and writing proficiency in another language will certainly make you stand out to companies who do business in other countries. If your major is in a communications field, such as media studies, film, or journalism, choosing a minor in a subject area you are interested in writing about, reporting on, or filming can be a strategic addition to your knowledge base for future career plans. A minor that boosts the value of your major can be a distinct asset, especially if it's a subject you are truly enthusiastic about. Other major/minor combinations that may be complementary:

  • An arts major may find value minoring in business, as this second subject area can give you valuable skills necessary to marketing yourself as an artist and understanding the business side of the art world. Likewise, a business major may choose to minor in an artistic discipline if they are interested in the business side of running a gallery or museum, or representing the professional careers of talented artists.
  • A foreign language or foreign culture minor can complement virtually any major field of study, as international relations and international business become more important aspects of the job market.
  • A nursing major may find value in a public health minor, increasing his or her knowledge of the concerns of various populations that are affected and served by the medical field.
  • An anthropology major may be complemented by an archeology minor, and vice versa, given the closely-related aspects of these subject areas.
  • A dance major may find value in minoring in music, broadening his or her knowledge of the art forms that may serve as the background for their future work.
  • A political science major may choose a minor in an area they are very passionate about in terms of public policy and politics, such as environmental policy, gender studies, women's studies, animal biology, or other subject areas closely tied to social causes.

Countless complementary combinations of majors and minors exist. If you are unsure which minor may be the best for you, talk with an advisor within your major department about various options and what they may add to your knowledge base, skill set, and future career competitiveness.

A Minor is Cost Effective and Efficient

Compared to other options for gaining additional knowledge and skills, declaring a college minor can be incredibly cost effective and efficient in terms of your time. Whereas a double major may add to the time required to complete your degree, and thereby increase the tuition and fees required to graduate, a minor can typically be completed without adding time to your college years. Unless you take classes for your minor beyond the number of electives required outside of your major, you are unlikely to need more time to complete the minor requirements.

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