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What Are College Minors Good For?

02/25/2011 01:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nowadays, many students enter college with external credits that fast-track them to higher levels of their academic career. These credits not only allow them to avoid several core and requirement courses, but also give them the opportunity to explore different and interesting subject areas that may help their future or increase their general knowledge. Taking on a college minor can be an extremely productive way to fill up those open spaces in your schedule.

In an article for Her Campus, Meagan Templeton-Lynch lists the potential benefits of declaring a minor to supplement your major and future goals!

"So, what's your minor?"

This line doesn't crop up too often and in fact sounds -- if possible -- cheesier than being asked what your major is. You know that your major is important: it gives you the skills for your future career, and it's what employers look at. But what is the real value in having a minor? Can it hurt you if you don't have one? We found out.

What can declaring a minor do for you?

Depending on your college and chosen major, you may be required to choose a minor. If your school doesn't explicitly call for you to have a minor (some programs may want you to just have a certain number of credits outside your major, or choose some other alternative), it may still be right for you. Luckily, if you choose wisely you can make your minor work for you!

1) Explore something new!

"My minor in school was photography, and I chose to do it simply because I always loved taking pictures and wanted to learn more," said HC Style Editor Elyssa Goodman, Carnegie Mellon '10. "I discovered while I was taking classes that I really loved it!"

If you have a subject you'd LOVE to explore, college is the perfect time to take a few music or literature classes, learn about pop culture or fashion, or anything else! A minor can be a great way to do this. Rather than just having a few classes under your belt, you can officially "declare" and have your minor added onto your degree when you graduate. Gary Miller, from university career services at UNC - Chapel Hill, said he believes that enjoyment of the subject is the #1 reason to choose a specific minor.

2) Get a leg up

A minor can look great on your resume and can put you ahead of competitors in some instances. If this is your goal in choosing a minor, choose carefully.

Miller said when choosing a minor, make sure it's something that means something to you or will be practical for your future career path. "If an employer or grad school sees that there was clear purpose and intent in the selection, and that it wasn't simply 'credential grabbing,' then it will be valuable," he said. "Employers and grad schools would always rather speak to someone who can speak enthusiastically about why they chose a course of study, rather than a story that sounds like 'I thought it would help me get a job.'"

Read the rest of this article from HerCampus.com!