how important is it to have a minor?

Discussion in 'The College Board' started by aphasia83, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. aphasia83

    aphasia83 Earning My Ears

    Mar 19, 2005
    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering how important it is, in your experience, to have a minor as part of your degree. I've asked my counsellors at university what they think, and inevitably the answer is "well, it depends" and they won't tell me anything more.

    I guess it depends on your degree and your aspirations, but I am an English major and I don't want to be a teacher or anything (not entirely sure what I'm up for, but something to do with international development or travel!) and the answer I've come up with for myself is... you came here to enjoy yourself, to learn things you wanted to learn. Just have fun! Don't limit yourself!

    Maybe I should also mention that I'm going to get a college degree after my B.A. so I guess that's partially why I'm not so worried about a minor :flower:

    Anyway, what do you think? Did you guys find it useful to have a minor? Maybe the school system is different in the U.S. (I'm from Canada) but there's not a huge emphasis here on double majors, etc. I think the general opinion is that a B.A. is a B.A., and it doesn't really matter whether you study politics, history, english, etc. because you'll end up in the same spot!
  2. Sehsun

    Sehsun DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2003
    I don't think I could offer too much advice because I'm not minoring in anything (just majoring in Psychology, which I'm very happy with). Some people I've talked to have picked up a minor because they were finished with their major or had some extra time. I'm not sure how a minor will help later on (grad school, jobs, etc.)

    Yes, college only happens once and you should definitely study the things that interest you! :)

    I think you could major in anything and get a good job anywhere.

    Good luck making a decision. :)
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  4. DisneyObsessive

    DisneyObsessive DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2004
    My school its mandatory to have a minor unless you have a music performance or theatre major.

    I havnt picked mine yet (nor officially declared my major, im lazy lol) but i might just wind up picking a subject that i have enough classes in to fulfill minor requirement. its not important to me, personally, but i HAVE to do it by rules of my school.
  5. Disney Daniel

    Disney Daniel <font color= blue>Aw.....FIDDLESTICKS!!!!!

    Aug 18, 1999
    Another Canadian checking in. :)

    It seems that most of my friends are taking minors where possible. One of my friends is currently taking a B.A. and is majoring in history and is planning on minoring in communications, while another is taking a BSc and is majoring in math and minoring in chemistry. I am taking a BBA and I am concentrating in legal studies and finance. A professor once told me that the more letters you have behind your name, the better off you will be, and it seems many have the same idea with a major and a minor. However, as you said, I am sure it would depend on your aspirations.

    Good Luck!
  6. daughter_of_amid_chaos

    daughter_of_amid_chaos <font color=green>very very very careful about wha

    Jan 9, 2001
    I am a history major, biology minor. Most people at my university (a very academically demanding school called the "Harvard of the Midwest) either double major, have one major and one minor, or have one major and 2+ minors.
    I declared a history major because I absolutely adore history. I declared a biology minor because biology has always sparked my interest.
    What am I going to do with this wacky combination?
    Get my PhD in the History of Science.
    So in my case having a minor in biology is going to look damn good on my application to grad school.
    It will also look good on my application to law school because it will show i have a diverse education.
  7. SoonerKate

    SoonerKate <font color=FF66FF>I'm so good, I was tagged!<br><

    Sep 24, 2002
    My minors are from majors that I declared, then changed my mind. (a GREAT way to be stuck in college forever, by the way. ;) )

    I think if you have a liberal arts major, a professional or more "practical" minor can be a great idea. I know lots of English or Letters majors with business and education or public administration minors. It's just kind of that assertion that not only have you developed the broad-based thinking and analysis skills necessary for a liberal arts degree, but you've also paid some mind to the professional world and prepared yourself for it.

    (I'll graduate with degrees in Film Studies and French, with minors in both Poli Sci and Public Administration; I plan on eventually getting an MPA and a graduate certificate in arts managment with an eye on working in the public or non-profit sector in arts education and promotion. Unless Disney will hire me in College Recruiting. :teeth: )
  8. phisigprincess

    phisigprincess <font color=red>Finally a vet!<br><font color=gree

    Nov 3, 2003
    I chose my dance minor because it was something I loved. I didn't know if it would help me, but I love to dance so I went with it. I teased my mom because right out of college I got a job with a professional dance team before I got my real every day job. She told me I'd never use my minor and there I was making money with my minor before my major!! :) I've always seen minors to be for subjects you really enjoy but dont' have the time to take a double major. (though I changed my Speech Comm minor into another major, so I might not be one to talk ;))
  9. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    As a 45yo+ college graduate(calss of '77) I can tell you my music minor has never meant a hill of beans to anyone but me--as a nurse they don't care whether I can sing and play three instruments as long as I give good care.. However, my DH has a double major in sociology & business, with a minor in psychology and it has been tremendously helpful in his career. so I think it depends on what your major is. If I were majoring in English or History, I would probably pick a minor which would enhance my chances of getting a job in the field that interests me, like journalism.
  10. aphasia83

    aphasia83 Earning My Ears

    Mar 19, 2005
    My way of thinking though, is that if a minor is for personal development (for instance, knowing psychological principles to help in your business career) why not just take a few courses? Or buy a few books? I could just as easily buy the used textbooks for these courses and read them myself (which I completely intend to do. I love learning, for my own development).

    But my question was more directed at whether having a minor is important in the "real world" - to get people to hire you. In that case, I'm thinking that nothing I pair up with english (my school only offers the basics: anthropology, politics, history, etc.) will do much for me.

    And as I said, I intend to get a college degree after I complete my B.A. so I guess having a specialized degree would be much more important than having a minor.
  11. Briarprincess

    Briarprincess Disney Movie Buff and Future Special Education Tea

    Aug 11, 2004
    I can't say if you should take a minor or not since I was forced to take one and a double major for what I wanted. But I can say that depending on how closely it relates to your major, you can make a lot more money.
    I want to be a Special Education teacher, and my college only offers it as a minor. So you HAVE to take Education and Psychology as a double major to add the minor. As much as I hate any thing to do with Science, going into my sophomore year, I will only have 6 classes left for the Psych major. The minor though, we're not even allowed to touch until the start of sophomore year. Dumb I know.
    What I can tell you is this- I'm considering adding in a second minor- social work- simply because looking at my next three years, I'm going to have major time gaps open that need to be filled somehow and I'm halfway to the minor anyway. Look at something you're close to filling, and take it, because if you like it or not, it can open another door later down the road for you that could be important (plus, at least around here, the more things you have a "speciality" in, the more money you can make)...

    Hope this helped a bit... :confused3
  12. BluesTravlr00

    BluesTravlr00 Mouseketeer

    Sep 25, 2002
    IMO, as a graduate, a minor is not really important at all. None of the law schools or jobs I have applied to cared. Moreover, any grad schools you plan to apply to will get a copy of your transcript, so they'll see what classes you took (so you don't have to say "look, I took lots of ____ classes in addition to my major).

    I think of it as just something else to add to a resume, and in this case not something that is worth the extra time and stress unless it's something you're reeeeally interested in.
  13. teh fish

    teh fish DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2002
    I'm a Tourism Major with a Business Minor. I was going to double major, but my time at school would increase and I don't need that right now. I'd use a minor that would help with my major.
  14. SurfedUpDane

    SurfedUpDane Shareholder

    May 7, 2005
    A major and a minor is the easy way out, double up and do a double major.
  15. imagineerhopefull

    imagineerhopefull <font color=purple>I'm a <font color=darkcoral>Cle

    Mar 31, 2005
    what about for science majors? is it still good to have a minor as well? Im majorin in civil engineering and from what Ive heard that the engineerin programm alone takes up a lot of time and becomes very difficult. I was thinking about perhaps minoring in architecture if it is offered, but then i heard that even a major in architecture from my school is more or less a degree in "arts and crafts" as so my uncle puts it who went back from his second degree because of it. Perhaps construction management? I do plan on going for my graduate degree after receiving my bs as well in structual engineering.
  16. iggbees

    iggbees DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2005
    as a biochem major, which is 52 credits compared to the 32 credits that every other major minus studio art and neuroscience has, it was optional for me to have a minor, because my major is considered interdisciplinary. i decided to make art history my minor because i'm interested in art conservation, which requires a formal art history background to get accepted to grad school. it really depends on what you want to do, there are a lot of other people at my school who have minors and are going into the field that their minor is in, not their major, or they are using their minor somehow though.
  17. Davids-Coco

    Davids-Coco <font color=green>Sometimes my inner monologue isn

    Apr 4, 2004
    I am someone who got a BA in English (and Arts & Letters) but also have a minor in Technical Writing. My minor was a huge part of the reason I got into my graduate program in technical writing. It definately helps in certain perfessions. If you are going to be a writer (fiction), then I am not sure if you need it. But it again just depends on the profession.
  18. gjw007

    gjw007 DVC, Diamond Resorts, Wyndham Resorts

    Jul 19, 2004
    As unresponsive as your counsellor's response, it is probably correct. I didn't have a minor (I have to admit that I had two majors that are closely related: finance and accounting). An advantage of a dual major or a minor is the broadening of your knowledge base. It may not specifically help you, but it may broaden the opportunities that you become aware of. An interesting tidbit is that once you get a job, your major doesn't really matter but your ability to do the job.
  19. vascubaguy

    vascubaguy <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

    Apr 25, 2005
    I'm an Asst Registrar and students ask me about minors all the time. At ODU undergraduates have an upper-division general education requirement that is satisfied by a minor, double-major, or a "cluster" of specific courses. I typically always recommend the minor or double-major (mainly because it will appear on your transcript and the cluster doesn't). However, whether you choose to do a minor is pretty much up to you and your future plans. I would recommend that the minor selected somehow relates or contributes to the minor. For instance, if you major in Sports Management, a minor in a business field (accounting, marketing, international business, etc).

    If you are interested in the international aspect, check into an international business minor.

    Oh, and I didn't do a minor. I was a Business Admin major but did a double-concentration in Marketing and Management Science. One thing that I discovered after I graduated, if I would have done a minor in IT or Computer Science, when I entered the graduate program in computer science, I wouldn't have had to go back and take a bunch of the undergrad prerequisit courses.

    If you have a career center at your institution you might want to speak with one of the career counselors. Or, since you are planning to attend grad school, talk with the graduate program director to see what would better prep you for the grad program.

    Good luck!

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