College students are regularly asked, “what’s your major?” But how about, “what’s your minor?”
In college, I minored in French. While I was excited to be a communications major, my French minor provided an additional benefit. A minor can be truly valuable for your college career and beyond. If you aren’t convinced, here are three reasons why declaring a minor can be beneficial.
1. Live like you’re in the real world.
In your career, you’re never going to do just one thing. So why study just one thing? Having a minor that’s unique from your major replicates what you’ll experience post-graduation. When I had to switch from French poetry to a visual communications course, my mind was definitely stretched. While my day job doesn’t require me to make such harsh transitions, I do have to pivot from hardcore research mode to interviewing awesome students. The practice of switching tasks has proved to be very helpful.
2. Stand out in the job search.
Having a minor can set you apart from other graduates when applying to jobs. During my job hunt, I never hesitated to bring up my French minor in interviews. It was on every résumé I submitted. Employers took note and it gave me a bit of an edge. Just like having an about.me page, a minor gives your future employer more context about you and your interests, hopefully making them more interested in you as a candidate.
3. Explore your passions.
If you have a passion beyond your major, a minor can be a great outlet. It allows you pursue other interests. As a French minor, I was able to take classes like French Cultural Studies, where we looked at French hip hop and fashion as it related to the importance of culture in a country. Having these additional courses expanded my knowledge base. Further, I was able to connect ideas to the bigger picture of things.
A minor can breathe fresh air into your college experience. Don’t discount the potential that it can provide you. Devoting time and energy to something other than your major shows dedication, commitment and a willingness to learn.