- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 29 January 2014
For many students, a college degree implies that a person graduated with a major and plans to pursue a career in that respective field. On the other hand, The Outlook believes that a minor is a very valuable asset for a college student and encourages students to pursue one.
While the pursuit of a degree can be a difficult path, the University also leaves extra credits avaliable for students to elective courses. If you have the extra credits to be spent, why not focus it on a minor and put those credits to good use? Even if you have five open electives, that is enough to fulfill some minors offered by the University.
The Outlook thinks a minor can improve skill sets so greatly that a college student or recent graduate may be a step ahead of their competition, especially if it is complementary to their major. An example of this would be pairing a degree such as journalism/public relations with a creative writing minor. Since both concentrations require a substantial amount of writing, having a creative writing minor furthers the skills that this particular student has already been acquiring. Some editors believe that this tactic can be used in many different schools of study.
Another example would be pairing a criminal justive major with a political science minor. As a criminal justice major, a student is required to know an extensive amount about the judicial branch of government. A political science minor would increase the student's knowledge about the three branches of government by now becoming involved in the legislative branch.
By pursuing a minor, students learn a different set of skills than your major provides while not having to weigh themselves down with too much work. This is especially true if you wish to declare another major but do not have enough general education spots; instead of taking that double major, minor in it. "I think they are useful to learn more about either something else you are interested in, or something you want to learn more about," one editor said. "Taking a minor may open opportunities that you did not realize where there before."
A minor is also great to acquire if you have an interest that you are passionate about and wish to learn more about the topic.
The Outlook staff understands that some students are not willing to take on a minor mainly because it requires more work, but we believe the benefits make it worthwhile. Even though the University's website makes it rather simple to find the undergraduate and graduate curriculum charts, it is not easy to find the curriculum requirements for the minors. Places on campus such as the Center for Student Success would definitely have the curriculum charts, but not every student would initially think to use that resource.
Our solution to this lack of clarity would be to create a separate advisor for each specific minor. Students each have a respective advisor who is an expert in their chosen field, but their minor may not be in that same field and yet the student is still expected to get advice from their already prescribed advisor. How can somehow help a student if they do not know what the topic entails? If possible perhaps some minor curriculum training for the advisors should be offered.
In general, The Outlook staff hopes that the student body will consider the benefits of a minor and the University will do a better job educating their students on what options they have. In turn, the University will take one more step to bettering their student's futures. With a minor, you can show a potential employer that you are versatile and become more desirable. It makes you stand out a bit more than those who pursue only a major.