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What minors should I consider with a Computer Science Major?

I am majoring in Computer Science. I just finished my 1st year a few weeks ago and I will be assigned a major adviser soon. I was considering getting a minor in Chinese, but I wonder how much that will benefit me. Are there other minors I should considering taking instead of a language that will help me?

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Fred’s Answer

I would say it depends on what direction you want to go in your career. Learning a second language is always beneficial if you want to work in a multi-national corporation.

If you want to start your own company, a business minor may be smart.

If you want to work in medical computing, maybe biology or chemistry.

I think Math is always a good option for folk in CS.

Also, think about what interests you. If you hate studying language, then Chinese may not be a good move. If you love history, that may be a good choice.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! I like languages, I just wasn't sure if it was the best choice. Christine
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Nathan’s Answer

Christine,

It all depends on what you enjoy doing. When I quickly reviewed your question, my first thought was any business minor (marketing, finance, accounting, etc). After I read your question again, having a foreign language on your resume will go far. You'd be able to program for a Chinese company or an American company. It would open the door for you to be a foreign partner for an American company and work in China. In short, having a foreign (non-English) language on your resume will open many doors for you...if that is what you'd enjoy doing. To conclude, you should ask yourself, "what do I enjoy doing besides programming?"

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I think I might consider Chinese then. Christine
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Heaven’s Answer

Hello Christine,

Deciding to pursue a minor is a fantastic choice and it's bound to make your resume shine. I think opting for a second language as a minor is a brilliant idea as it widens your appeal to potential employers. Individuals who are multilingual often enjoy higher salaries and are in high demand. If your career path is leaning towards the STEM field, you might find a second science like Biology, Chemistry, or Physics more suitable. Ultimately, the choice depends on your career aspirations. A degree in Computer Science is incredibly versatile and can open doors to a variety of industries.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/education/computers-tech/minors-for-computer-science-students/
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Jonathan’s Answer

For someone taking a very technical and analytic major like yourself, I would actually generally recommend a minor that develops your soft skills. So, taking a foreign language like you mentioned would be great or even something like doing a communications minor. The reason would be that when you eventually get to the point when you are applying for internships and entry level jobs (if you haven't already) technical skills are of course very important, but it is the soft skills that can often be the difference maker for a candidate in an interview.

Sometimes it isn't always about how good you are at completing task, it's also very important to be able to explain your work to senior team members, collaborate with peers, or explain very technical topics to non-technical colleagues in a company.

A soft-skill minor can just generally make you a much more well-rounded candidate.
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Chinyere’s Answer

Hello Christine,

Pairing a Computer Science (CS) major with a minor can enhance your skills and make you more versatile in the job market. While a minor in Chinese can be beneficial, especially if you're interested in working in international tech companies or pursuing opportunities in China, here are a few other minors that can complement your CS major:

1. Mathematics:
- Deepens your understanding of algorithms and theoretical foundations.
- Useful for fields like data science, cryptography, and machine learning.

2. Business or Entrepreneurship:
- Provides knowledge in business management, finance, and marketing.
- Helpful if you're considering starting your own tech company or aiming for leadership roles.

3. Cybersecurity:
- Equips you with skills to protect data and systems from cyber threats.
- High demand in various industries due to increasing cybersecurity concerns.

4. Data Science or Statistics:
- Enhances your ability to analyze and interpret large data sets.
- Valuable in fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and analytics.

5. Electrical Engineering:
- Offers insight into hardware and embedded systems.
- Beneficial for roles involving computer hardware, robotics, or IoT (Internet of Things).

6. Cognitive Science or Psychology:
- Provides understanding of human-computer interaction and user experience design.
- Useful for developing intuitive and user-friendly software.

7. Economics:
- Helps in understanding market trends and economic principles.
- Useful for roles in fintech or economic modeling.

8. Graphic Design or Digital Media:
- Develops skills in visual design and multimedia.
- Beneficial for front-end development and UI/UX design roles.

9. Biology or Bioinformatics:
- Opens opportunities in computational biology and bioinformatics.
- Aligns with interests in biotech fields.

10. Philosophy or Ethics:
- Provides a foundation in critical thinking and ethical considerations in technology.
- Important for roles involving AI ethics and technology policy.

Consider your career goals and interests when choosing a minor. It might also be helpful to discuss your options with your academic adviser once assigned.

Best wishes.
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