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Minors: A Major Benefit to Your College Degree

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Although the college years are supposed to be a fun time of self-discovery and personal growth, the reality is that most people attend college in hopes of earning a higher income than people without degrees. Considering the current state of the economy and today’s tough job market, declaring a minor may be a wise idea for college students. A minor can give you an advantage as you seek employment after graduation because it will expose you to a range of courses in addition to those required by your major.

What is an Academic Minor?

In layman’s terms, a minor is simply an additional concentrated field of study during a college student’s undergraduate program. Similar to an academic major, a minor also consists of a set of necessary courses, but there are far fewer required courses than those needed to finish a major.

A minor is considered secondary – or less important – than a major, and a minor is not required to graduate from college. As with college majors, the number of courses required for a minor varies from school to school, as well as from one minor to another.

Some students choose to minor in an academic field that is related to their major. An easy example of this would be someone who is majoring in English with a minor in Writing. A student that is majoring in History and minoring in Art History also has a minor related to their major.

Although it seems to be a common trend, you don’t necessarily have to select a minor that is tied to your major. When I was in school, I met plenty of people who had played instruments their entire lives but did not want to make a career out of music. They opted to major in an area related to a possible career but earn a minor in music. This gave them the opportunity to continue with their hobby throughout college and even enhance their studies.

Benefits of an Academic Minor

If you’re debating whether or not you should declare a minor during college, remind yourself that it can’t hurt. If anything, a minor will help you out in the long run: a minor can add value to your overall college experience and act as a boost to your resume.

As I mentioned earlier, minors aren’t required to graduate from college, which means that they can prove to potential employers that you’re not afraid to go above and beyond. In addition to making you “look good,” a minor can also help expand your job search. If your major and minor were completely unrelated, you can job hunt in both of those fields. That’s probably the main reason that most college students decide to have a minor.

Drawbacks of an Academic Minor

Despite all of the added benefits that a minor can give you, it’s important to look at both sides of the coin when you’re making any sort of decision related to your college career.

Are there any potential negative side effects of declaring a minor during college? Well, maybe, although they’re probably the same “problems” that can occur during school whether you have a minor or not: you might begin to feel overwhelmed by all of your classes, and the added stress can possibly lead to lower grades … but any classes can overwhelm you, and any type of stress can affect your grades.

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Many colleges strongly encourage their students to have both a major and a minor, but the choice is ultimately up to you. If you’re trying to choose a major and minor that is right for you, be sure to use all of the degree program search tools that are available right here on StateUniversity.com!


Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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