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How to Pick a College Minor and Why it's Important

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How to Pick a College Minor and Why it's Important

Most people never consider a minor until their freshman or sophomore year of college, despite the fact they've often been thinking about a major for years already.

Minors often completely overlooked - and they shouldn't be!

Adding a minor has the potential to be an important part of your college experience, but what exactly is a minor, and do you actually need one?

What's a college minor?

Your major is the primary subject you'll study in college. Your minor is your secondary field of study, meaning you'll take multiple classes in this area but not quite as many as you would for it to be considered a major.

What should I minor in?

There's no minor that will guarantee you a job after graduation, so don't get too nervous about choosing the right one.

There are a few things you can consider when you're picking a minor:

  • What will enhance your major? Sometimes a major won't be enough to make you the expert you want to be in your field. For example, marketing majors might want to minor in math or statistics to make sure they comprehend all the data analysis that comes with a career in this industry.

  • Are there any special skills you want to learn? Give yourself a boost and extra expertise by finding a minor that will add something useful to your major. If you're majoring in business and plan to work for an international corporation, minoring in Mandarin or Spanish could give you a leg up.

  • What are your interests? You may be majoring in one subject, but that doesn't mean you need to abandon your other interests. Choose a minor based on your passions - photography, sculpture, history, or creative writing. You can pick a minor purely for enjoyment.

  • Is there anything you'd like to improve? Maybe your major left you feeling short on skills in a certain area, or there's something you've always wanted to improve. Introverts majoring in fields that require a lot of individual projects may choose a communication or public speaking minor to enhance their people skills for those instances in which they have to give presentations, while environmental studies majors who want to express themselves more clearly may minor in English.

Do I need a minor?

Some institutions require students to choose a minor while others don't. Ask your counselor if you'll need to declare one before you can graduate.

Keep in mind that even if it's not mandated, a minor can play a pretty important role in your post-college experience. Hiring managers may appreciate that you've gone out of your way to advance your skillset with a certain minor, and your expertise in this area may open up additional job opportunities. However, if you're just not interested in adding one and it's not a requirement, don't feel pressured to do so. Your college experience is your own, so create a path you think is best for your academic and career goals.

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