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Should students add a minor to their degrees?

Minors matter

by Amanda Blackman

While at college, more students should pursue minors in addition to their major. Minors, while costing marginally more, allow for students to increase their chances for employment after graduation, as well as an opportunity to study a passion.

Having any sort of college education makes an applicant more appealing to a potential employer. If the applicant has more accolades than another, their interest will likely gravitate toward the one that seems more skilled. Before scheduling an interview or interacting with one another, the employer’s view of the applicant with a minor will be more promising. The more education acquired, the better equipped an applicant will look.

It takes work to get a minor in addition to a major. This extra bit of motivation is noteworthy to potential employers. A minor tells them that an applicant is driven and motivated to learn as much as possible.

Even if employers didn’t pay attention to minors, minors still prove to be beneficial. Minors allow for students to specialize in a specific area, whether it be related to their major or not. Deciding to minor in a subject allows students to explore their passions in a motivating environment. If a student finds a subject intriguing after declaring their major or deciding which path to go down, adding a minor gives students an opportunity to learn more about topics they wouldn’t otherwise have had an opportunity to.

While spending time in college and pursuing a job qualification, also working toward a minor over the years cannot hurt. There is no damage that can be done by minoring in a subject. If a student gets a minor in a subject that is not beneficial to a job application, it does not need to be put in the spotlight, since minors don’t appear on the printed degree itself. Regardless of where they physically appear, minors will appear when students are putting these valuable skills they learned through minoring in a subject to work.

Minors are minor

by Taylor Kirby

The days of declaring a generalized major are fading into the past. Students who might have once majored in communications must now choose between speciality programs including digital communication, intercultural communication, community communication, and so on. Universities are adapting to suit the needs of the contemporary job market, and employers are asking for a complicated package—niche versatility. A finance major with an accounting minor now risks coming off as singularly skilled rather than exceptionally knowledgeable. However, the solution isn’t swapping out that stale minor for astrobiology or poetics.

“When employers recently named the most important elements in hiring a recent graduate, college reputation, GPA, and courses finished at the bottom of the list,” The Atlantic reports. Employers are almost never going to look at a college transcript, and research shows that an applicant’s GPA hasn’t been a deciding factor for employment in many years. But courses?

At CU Denver, minors aren’t even printed on the degrees students receive upon graduating. Transcripts might be seen by graduate school admissions offices, but employers are only skimming through a resume, and there shouldn’t be enough room on that one page to list specialty courses a student enrolled in three years earlier.

If the decision to declare a minor is made to be more competitive in the job market, students are wasting their time. The Atlantic goes on to report that employers crave job experience and logged internship hours above all else, and applicants are better off talking about their multicultural internship than they are listing a minor in Spanish that might have only equipped them with a vocabulary for foods, colors, and household pets.

If students can build a minor into their degree without paying for additional classes or delaying their graduation—and if those minors are being declared from a place of passion, not pragmatism—there’s certainly no harm to be done. But students who are exclusively seeking employable skills might be better off making an appointment at the Experiential Learning Center.

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