How a College Minor Can Help Your College Major

A college minor is an exciting, and often underrated, opportunity to explore more academic areas and to advance your knowledge. Maybe you are majoring in physical therapy and want to open your own practice some day—a business minor could be the perfect complement to your major. Think of your minor as your major’s partner in crime or its opening act.

Your college minor can help your college major by allowing you to accompany and cultivate skills that enhance what you learn in your major. In addition to this, there are several other reasons declaring a minor can help elevate your degree.

College minors introduce you to additional areas of opportunity

Taking on a minor, at first, can seem like quite an undertaking. You may even feel that it’s unnecessary; after all, you already have a major, why do you need to go any further than that? You may ask yourself, "Should I add a minor in college?" For starters, a minor can be a great way to examine what some of your weaknesses are in your area of study. Say you want to be a lawyer, but aren't the greatest at speaking in front of crowds—a speech or communications minor could be perfect to complement areas of your major that need improvement.

Taking on a minor doesn't mean you aren’t great at your major; it simply helps you recognize areas you could become stronger in and allows you to select classes to improve them. Typically, a minor will require only 18-21 credit hours in that field of study, and you can usually pick most or all of the classes you take that are relevant to what you want to focus on. That means if you want to become more familiar with the topic of health communications, you could take a class on health communications to further strengthen your understanding in that area. A college minor gives you a lot of room to grow in your field.

College minors help you expand your network

Another great thing about selecting a minor is that it opens you up to a whole new group of people you can learn from. As you have probably already noticed, it can be crucial to your post-graduation job prospects to network with peers in your field as much as possible. By declaring a major, you are automatically exposed to a group of professors (and perhaps their contacts) to potentially connect with. By having a minor as well, you are given a whole other batch of people with whom you can do the same. You may not wish to go directly into your minor’s field, but someone in there may know someone who understands exactly how to get you where you see yourself professionally. It is never a guarantee, but the possibility becomes much greater with a wider field of connections.

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A college minor also gives you more skills to place on your resume. Whether your minor is directly related to your major or not, you will be able to gather new skills and maybe even achievements to further boost your resume. At the very least, having a minor on your resume shows you are dedicated to learning and exploring all of the possibilities available to you, in hopes of strengthening your skill set.

College minors help you become well-rounded upon graduation

Come time for graduation, having taken a wider array of classes could help you get a jumpstart on the job market. When looking through potential job opportunities, in addition to having a bigger network of connections, you may see more positions you feel qualified for than you might have otherwise without the skills added from your minor. Skills that you didn't get strengthened by your major may have been fulfilled by your minor, leaving you feeling more confident moving forward.

If graduate school is in your sights, having a minor could help your grad school applications as well. It can show your dedication to the field you are wanting to move forward in, as well as increase your resources and potential references as you fill out applications. Essentially, whichever route you choose, it can show you are bringing more to the table than you would be without a minor.

There are many reasons carefully deciding on a college minor can greatly impact what you are getting out of your education. It can help you see your major in a way you never thought possible and bring out skills you never knew you had. You can even go a step further and join related clubs to further strengthen your major. Interested in more than one area outside your major? Check out your school’s policies on required numbers of credits to complete a minor, and look into the idea of double minoring in order to further expand your knowledge. Once you begin to look, you will see how many possibilities exist to get the most out of your education.


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