One of the first questions you may be asked when entering an undergraduate degree program is, “What’s your major?” For many—regardless of whether they enrolled in a traditional institution or an online university—that’s an easy question to answer. Here’s a harder one:
“What is your college minor going to be?”
While most bachelor’s degree programs don’t require you to declare a minor, there are reasons you may want to do so—and strategies you can use when deciding which minor is right for you.
How a College Minor Can Help
Your major can give you the knowledge you need for a successful career in your chosen field. The benefits of a college minor can be just as direct:
Gain Valuable Knowledge
Whether you’re a working adult earning an online BS (or other bachelor’s degree) or a traditional student enrolled in a campus-based program, your goal is to learn and gain new skills. And that’s exactly what a college minor can help you achieve. In addition to choosing from available concentrations, add a minor to focus on a specific area of study and acquire supplemental knowledge.
Upgrade Your Résumé
Just like your major or degree focus, you can list your college minor on your résumé. Doing so can alert potential employers that you have additional valuable skills. Earning a minor can also show an employer that you are a well-rounded person, capable of learning skills outside of your specific field.
Earn Credits That Might Apply to a Graduate Degree
Some online universities award credits toward advanced degrees for courses taken as part of your undergraduate degree program. Earning a college minor will require you to take a number of core courses that may eventually help you work more quickly toward a master’s or a PhD in a related field of study.
How to Choose a College Minor
If you’re an adult learner who wants to further your current career, it makes sense to choose an online degree program that will provide you with the skills you need to advance. However, choosing a college minor can be more challenging than selecting your bachelor’s degree program. Here are some tips for deciding which college minor is right for you.
Choose a Minor to Complement Your Major
The most straightforward way to choose a college minor is to select from degree programs that are related to your degree program’s focus. If you’re earning an online BS in Business Administration with a healthcare management concentration, you could choose to minor in health studies to increase your overall expertise. If you’re earning an online BS in Information Technology with a concentration in cyber security and forensics, you might consider a minor in criminal justice to give yourself specialized knowledge in the legal, systemic, and behavioral components of the field. Fundamentally, choosing a minor is a great way to enhance any bachelor’s degree.
Choose a Minor to Balance Your Education
Choosing a college minor in an unrelated field of study can help you expand your general knowledge and understanding of the world. While employers appreciate expertise, they also appreciate job applicants who’ve demonstrated a willingness to reach beyond their comfort zone. If you’re earning an online BS in Accounting, you might want to minor in political science and public administration. The two may not seem related, but together they could make you a better-rounded employee—and an ideal candidate for job opportunities requiring specific skill sets.
Choose a Minor That Lets You Follow a Passion
Have you always had an interest in criminal justice but are committed to a career in healthcare? Consider pursuing a minor criminal justice in addition to your BS in Health Studies degree. It’s perfectly reasonable to choose a minor that lets you explore a personal fascination. Being an undergraduate student is your opportunity to explore a myriad of topics and enhance your knowledge. Selecting a minor you will enjoy is a great way to make your time in college fulfilling.
Choosing a minor is indeed a major decision, but if you select the right college minor for the right reasons, there can be real benefits.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s degree programs along with a variety of undergraduate minors. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.