Should I Double Major or Take a Minor?

By: Abby Lee

Pursuing a double major could be a great decision in college. After all, two degrees could be better than one. However, it could be a waste of time and money.

My junior year I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated. I considered pursuing a double major in communication journalism and sociology. These are some of the things I considered when making that decision.

What do you want to do post-graduation?

Two degrees open up more opportunities when searching for a job after college. Having more knowledge definitely sets you ahead of other job candidates. If you were anything like me and were confused on what you wanted to do after college, a double major could be a good idea. Ask yourself if it will help your academic or professional goals. 

How will they complement each other?

Let’s say you know what you want to do after graduation. Think about whether the majors you are considering would each other well. If you want to do communications for a nonprofit, try a social work major or minor. Maybe you want to work for a medical company, pick up a biology minor. 

How much time do you have?

If you are a junior or senior planning to graduate on time, then it’s probably not a good idea to pick up another major. Taking more classes each semester than you’re used to is a challenge. Taking winter and summer classes is a good idea. However, it may not be covered by financial aid. Also after each semester you would not get a well-deserved break. Freshmen and sophomores have many electives they can put toward another major, and can maximize the amount of classes that would count towards both majors. If the program you are considering is just an interest, don’t waste your time and money on another major. 

The benefits of a minor 

 A minor is can be more doable, requires less classes, helps you to gain extra knowledge and specialization and still looks great on a resume. Employers would love to see knowledge in other topics. Another benefit would be more free time to be involved on campus. There are a lot of opportunities when you have the extra time. 

What about the long run?

In the long run people do not really care what you got your degree in and where you went to school. Once you have some good experience under your belt all employers really care about is your experience. Employers want to see real life examples of what you could offer to them. A double major seems a lot less important than real work experience.  

It can be a hard decision that should be taken into careful consideration. However, you do not have to make this decision right away. After a lot of thought I decided to choose a minor. I think that a minor for me was a great decision so I could still have a job and be involved in many groups on campus throughout college and still graduate on time. Remember to keep in mind your academic and professional goals, your timeline, and how they will complement each other. Make sure you discuss all possible situations with your advisor so you can schedule the right classes. 


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