- Career and Majors
- College Application and Admission
- College or University Reviews
- Course Reviews
- Jobs and Internships
- Scholarships and Student Loans
- Homework Questions
- Student Life
- Textbook Reviews
- Used Textbooks Exchange
- Free Tools
- Log In/Sign Up
The Minor Leagues
Oh, the minor leagues. There is nothing minor about them. Choosing a minor and earning that extra piece of paper at graduation is not simply taking a few classes here and there. From my personal experience, my minor has changed my college career for the better, in a major way.
Getting the exposure to many different ideas and students from different academic backgrounds is a good change from learning the ropes and the specifics of one’s major. In fact, being surrounded by all different majors is more representative of the college or university. My academic experience was molded by my general education requirements. Most of my nontechnical classes were random, and I did not spend enough time on those courses, or hanging out with students from those classes. I cannot say that I had the most open mind after having to channel all of my efforts towards chemistry and calculus. The classes for my minor allowed me to free my mind. Not to mention that delving into a minor allowed me to learn different perspectives, and appreciate the diversity that comes with a large school.
I also have to say that I have gotten more out of pursuing a minor than just placing a few lines on a resume. Concentrating on an additional discipline allows a student to refine more skills that are valuable in a variety of situations. The minor can round out a student who is very focused on the major. In my minor, I learned how to set up meetings, negotiate with stakeholders, and solve serious issues through multi-disciplinary teams. I could not have asked for a better way to round out my academic skills and make a few good friends along the way.
The good news for someone who is considering a minor is that it does not have to be a tough decision or lead to a tough academic plan. My university happens to follow the setup that majors and minors that go hand in hand are easy to complete in four years, while majors and minors from different colleges and fields are like oil and water. As it turns out, many students within my major either pick a minor that uses some of the general education requirements, or something technical. This is the easiest ways to go if someone is not sure of how to fit a new commitment into an academic plan. It may also be a more comfortable leap to pursue something that still aligns with the main area of study. Then, there are those students, who pursue a second major, or a minor, outside of the college or similar field. I have tried this, but could not see it being realistically completed in two years. It was not possible, and I ended up learning the skills that I was interested in without dealing with the extra hassle. It takes a big person to realize where his or her limit is, and there is nothing wrong with being extra practical. There is no rule that says you cannot choose a minor simply because it is a passion. Also, there is nothing wrong with turning a minor into a major, or dropping the minor and simply taking a few electives here and there. There are a multitude of options because schools are institutions for teaching those who are eager to learn.
The few things that I have learned so far have been that there is no substitute for practice. Sure, taking that one introductory elective was great, but focusing on an entire field is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, it is impossible to predict how some of the more specialized courses will turn out. Another sad fact of life that I have learned is that not every class for a minor is enjoyable, some are dry, and others can be just as stressful as the hardest classes in a major.
Thu, 2011-09-29 09:17#2
I love my minor
I've been interested in archaeology since I was small, so when a class I needed got canceled several hours before our first meeting I quickly picked up an archeology class so that I'd still be considered a full time student. That was probably one of the best uninformed decisions of my life. Archaeology is now my minor and I couldn't be happier. Who knew that a childhood dream would become something that is actually real? A minor can open a lot of doors that having just a major can't. Even though I was a major in art history no one would ever have considered hiring me for anything related to archaeology. But now that I picked up that minor I have a whole new field of jobs that I can look into after graduation.
Mon, 2011-10-03 20:06#3
I agree, Minors are great!
I was unfortunately too late to acquire a minor of my own. That would have resulted in more classes that I would have missed graduating for yet another year. I do regret not looking into it though. I have so many friends who have loved their minor and major equally. If I had the chance to do it again, I would have taken a minor in Journalism. I used to really hate that style of writing, but my English major required me to take a few classes in the field and these classes were some of the best I ever had. I would have loved the chance to take a few more and expand my experience with the different styles of writing.
Tue, 2011-10-18 03:20#4
Minor = Focus Study?
At the University of Phoenix, the university I'm attending they don't call it a minor, they call it a focus study. I'm not entirely sure if that means the same thing or not but I chose Communications as the focus study with my English major. I found that in a sense they'd go hand in hand and as well will open more doors for me in the future, especially when I go to try and find employment. Sometimes employers look at minors as well as the majors when hiring people on, that little bit of experience can go a long way. Plus it kinda shakes up the program a bit too. I only take one class at a time and after awhile trying to mix things up a bit between a literature class and one that talks about the media it cuts out the monotony that the major can cause. This is probably why a lot of students decide to change their major (I assume) they build their schedule in to the point where they take all the classes for their major first, and they neglect their minor classes until the end or they simply haven't decided on a minor yet. Changing up the classes would be an excellent way of getting through the degree program without it having to be horribly boring.