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Do I need a concentration or minor in college to be competitive for jobs?

Hi! My name is Anina and I'm a high school senior interning at CareerVillage. Now that many of my classmates are planning their futures at their chosen colleges, rumors are abounding about the usefulness of concentrations, minors, and even double majors. Do they really help boost your resume, and is going to that extra effort worth it? For example, if you majored in Computer Science and minored in Economics, would that help you? #college #college-major #college-majors #choosing-a-major


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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Anina,

I think that in work having a lot of knowledge about more than one thing can be helpful. That said, I would ask you one question - what do you want to do as a career that would have these two things both help you? I like computer science and economics. I could visualize a career where you worked in Finance and maybe used your computer science skills for web development. Or maybe you could be in Finance for a technology firm where you would have some insights in both areas.

Most people that I know did a minor or a double major because the two subjects meant a lot to them. They hadn't really decided what they wanted to do so they do both. And sometimes, the two subjects might not have worked together in the same job. It actually sounds quite exhausting to me. I would say start with what you want to do. Does that career require a strict focus? Even becoming a lawyer has some flexibility. Your bachelor's degree could be a lot of things before you head to law school. I am in Learning and Development. My role as Instructional Designer can be filled by people with degrees in English, Computer Science, Education, Graphic Design, Animation, and Liberal Arts to name several.

I think that the answer to your question would depend on what you want to do in your daily work life. Whatever it is, what you want to do should be something that you are passionate about. It is going to be that passion that gets you through college and through doing the job every day. I wish you luck on your journey.

Gloria

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Anina,

If you think that the concentration or minor is applicable to the type of career you're pursuing then I would say go for it. For example, if you wanted to work in biotech and you were studying chemical engineering, it might be helpful to have a concentration in biochemical engineering in order to help land a job in that field. If the minor interests you and is unrelated, you can still pursue the minor degree and it might be able to provide new perspectives and values to the field you're majoring in! In the end, however, a minor or concentration isn't required to help get a job. Best of luck!


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Nancy’s Answer

Anina,

The job market is so hot for Computer Science graduates that you do not need a minor or double major. According to my daughter finishing a CS degree, it is more important to have sound skills in coding. She recommends Gayle Laakmann McDowell’s book “Cracking the Coding Interview.” That said, she minored in math because she likes it! So follow your own passions.


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Kayla’s Answer

No, you don't need it but yes, it is helpful! You have to complete so many credits in college anyway (just like classes in high school) and depending on your major you'll have extra time in your schedule for electives. You could take a variety of different things you're interested in or you can put that focus into another major or a minor. This shows a deeper knowledge in one area rather than a superficial knowledge in many areas. Some majors/minors go well together and others seem haphazardly paired but either way I think it is beneficial to focus your studies and get something else out of it. You never know, in the future you may find your second major to be the focus of your career. Or if you end up working in your primary field, you can use that secondary education to diversify your brand and make you stand out to certain companies over your competitors.


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Kimberly’s Answer

I think a concentration is a great way to investigate your interests, but not required to get a job.


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