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what is the importance of minors in college?

#career-planning #college #development

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Kayla’s Answer

Hi Claire!

Choosing a minor is completely up to you! Having a minor is not necessarily a benefit. You don't typically need to have a double major or a minor of any kind to get into a particular field. Choosing a minor is a good idea if you want to learn about something you are interested in without the time commitment of it being your major. The requirements for a minor are much less than a major, usually consisting of ten or fewer courses. You can pair a minor with a related major, especially if there is a specific field you are looking to get into. For instance, I pursued a psychology major with a sociology minor, as those are both in the human services fields. I also found myself choosing a lot of overlapping courses anyway, so I added it as a minor. Depending on the program, it can be hard to fill the required hours to graduate with only one major. You might end up filling your time with courses you don't necessarily need to graduate or want to take.

Although I added a minor that was similar to my major, a minor doesn't necessarily have to be related to your major. For example, you may be interested in music, but you want to go into psychology for your career. You can major in psychology and minor in music, even though they are not typically related.

Kayla recommends the following next steps:

Review the course requirements for your desired major. See how many hours you need to fill the gap between that, your basic course requirements, and graduation requirements.
Research your desired career field. See if there are any suggested major/minor combinations that would benefit you.
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Simeon’s Answer

You can often get hired into entry level positions in part by showing that you took courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for, so if your major doesn't work out career-wise, your minor can serve as a back-up option. However, minors aren't as important, especially if you're going to be taking the courses for your minor as part of your major degree anyway, like with accounting, finance, and marketing classes all being taken in a general business degree. I got a degree in business management with those classes included in general studies without any minor and it didn't end up making a difference for me. If you were to get a minor, I would recommend getting it in a field that is unrelated to your major so that it can serve its purpose of widening your field of options.
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Callie’s Answer

Hi Claire - A minor can be helpful for your own education and career exploration by providing another area of focus to learn and develop. It can also help if your major is broader, but you want to have an emphasis or to specialize in a more specific area. If you are pursuing a minor purely from personal interest, then take the opportunity to do so and enjoy the journey. If your purpose for pursuing is career related, then I would encourage you to take a look at jobs in the career you are seeking and see what some of the job postings show as "requirements" and "preferred" qualifications. Requirements are what gets you past the first screening. Preferred is what gets you higher on the list of potential candidates. The preferred section may then inform your decision as to whether or not you may want to look into pursuing a minor.

Good luck with your exploration!


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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Claire! You can use a minor to take courses in a subject that you are interested in or something that will help you in your career. I was a Psychology Major with a Economics Minor. This helped when I decided to pursue a career in Human Resources.

You can work with an advisor to maximize your schedule to best fit in the courses you need.
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