5 Tips for Picking a Minor That Will Help You Get a Job

So many choices...a kitten is mesmerized by a flitting object.

As sophomore year winds down, you’re probably getting the lay of the land and feeling comfortable in your courses and your workload. If you’re settling into your major, it may be time to think about taking on a minor to spice up the academics portion of your resume.

Minors are a great way to demonstrate the diversity of your knowledge to potential employers. When you’re trying to stand out for your first job or internship, a minor can help differentiate you.

But some minors are going to help your job hunt more than others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Start thinking about it early

The simplest way to figure out a solid minor is think about it when you’re deciding on your major. Often, it’s easy to get a minor based on your school’s requirements just by taking many of the classes required for your major.

The earlier you land on a minor, the less likely you are to waste time on courses that won’t ultimately count toward anything.

2. Find relevant applications within your major and future career interests

If you’re majoring in risk management and insurance, it might not help your job prospects much to minor in comparative literature.

Instead, consider subjects like political science or statistics. These courses will give you knowledge and skills to help you succeed beyond college. Anything you can do to round out your major will give you a competitive edge in the job market.

3. Don’t overload your schedule to fit in extra classes

Stretching yourself too thin is never a good idea when adding other programs to your curriculum. Letting your grades in major courses suffer because you are dedicating too much time to other things can cancel out all the benefits of working toward a minor in the first place.

Speaking with your adviser and looking ahead at what classes you are still required to take for graduation is a great way to figure out what can reasonably be added to your course load.

4. Make sure you’ll still graduate on time

College is only getting more expensive. Don’t let a minor be the thing that keeps you on campus for another semester.

Making sure that the classes fit neatly into your existing plan eliminates the monetary and emotional stress that can come along with putting too much on your plate. These courses should help propel you into your future, not hold you back.

5. Be passionate about the topic

A minor allows you to get a little more expertise in a specific area. Ask yourself whether you’d want to focus specifically on that area in your career.

Here’s an example: If you have a business degree and a risk management and insurance minor, that prepares you to focus on risk management in a business-related function. But if you have a minor in a field you don’t want to work in, it might steer your job search in the wrong direction.

No matter what your major, there is always a benefit to considering other programs and classes to round out your education. Picking the right path isn’t always easy, but these five tips will help make the decision seem minor!