Should I Add a Minor in College?

Like all big decisions in college, deciding what to get your degree in is a difficult choice. You may think that once you’ve decided on your major, the big decisions regarding your track of learning are complete. However, this is not necessarily the case!

You still have several options for your education, one of which is whether or not to pick up a minor. This addition is not for everyone, but it can greatly benefit some students. Read on to decide if picking up a minor would be beneficial to you…

Why you should consider a minor

To open your eyes to other fields

Adding a minor allows you to get exposure to a field that you wouldn’t otherwise get. You’re taking classes that are outside your normal track, so you’re learning new information that can benefit you in a variety of ways. Maybe you decide to take a few classes to get a minor in a certain subject and realize that you really enjoy it. If you find yourself in this position, you’re at the point where you can consider double majoring. Even if you take a few classes and decide to stop after your minor requirements are completed, you will at least have another area of expertise to reference, and you will have learned for sure that this isn’t something you want to pursue as a major/career (nothing is worse than just not knowing!).

To stand out from the competition

Having a range of experiences can only help you stand out when it comes to applying for jobs and internships post-graduation. Many employers will be happy to see your range of interests and experiences, which could benefit you in the hiring process. When employers see that you have a minor, they see that you are interested in learning more and working hard, both of which are great qualities to have.

To increase your skill sets

Every subject involves different strategies and different ways of thinking, so taking a few extra classes can give you greater perspective. While adding a minor may mean extra work, it also means you are learning more. Maybe critical thinking skills are a huge part of your major, but public speaking is a large part of your minor. With both of them, you increase your portfolio of skills. Or perhaps your minor classes focus heavily on writing, allowing you to improve in that aspect. Regardless, you won’t lose knowledge by taking additional classes.

[RELATED: What I Wish I Knew About Picking a College Major]

Why a minor may not be right for you

It may take away from your major field of study

Before choosing to add a minor, you should look into your major requirements and see if minoring is a possibility at all; consult with your academic advisor if you’re not sure. If your major is a particularly heavy one requiring a significant amount of time and effort that is already overwhelming you, you may want to consider just sticking to your major. If you’re worried that a minor may take the place of other important activities, such as landing extracurricular leadership roles or an internship, minoring may not be for you at this time.

It may not affect your post-grad plans

While some minors may help you set yourself apart from competition in post-grad job searches or grad school applications, some aren’t necessarily worth the additional work. If you are choosing a minor that is too close to your major of study, consider if it really will help you when it comes time to apply for jobs. On the other side, if you choose a minor that is incredibly different from your major, employers may see that as indecisive and potentially worry that you don’t plan to stay in that field.

[RELATED: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Switching Majors]

Bottom line: If you do decide to pick a minor, ensure you choose one that benefits your major, rather than taking away from it. By carefully evaluating the aforementioned factors, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue a minor in your college career.

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