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What Minor Will Help Me Get a Job?

None of them. Any of them.

It doesn’t work like that.*

Here are some things a minor can do for you:

  • convey the breadth of your strengths and interests (particularly if the minor is unrelated to your major)
  • demonstrate your interest in and commitment to a particular field of study
  • allow you to dive more deeply into a discipline’s way of asking questions, working with complex information, and framing answers
  • give you a deeper understanding of a field’s vocabulary and methods
  • help you emphasize a particular skill set you have

Employers hire people, not transcripts. Figuring out your minor (if you’re going to have one) should start with you: why do you want to study a subject other than your major in greater depth?

If the only answer is “to get a better job,” then a minor may not be an effective route to that goal, particularly if you don’t know yet what the job is that you have in mind. Relevant work experience (a part-time campus job, internship, RSO leadership, or volunteering) and informational interviewing will help you more.

On the other hand, if the answer is, “I really enjoyed the class I took in X, and I want to delve into the subject more deeply” or “I like the way X makes me think” or “I like my major, but I miss doing X,” then a minor might be a good idea.

A minor alone won’t convince an employer to hire you. It can only convey strengths, commitments, interests, or skills that may be relevant to an employer. The better you know what your goal is, the more readily you can land in a minor that will help to advance it. But your goal has to come first — the choice of minor can’t determine that for you.

*A rare exception to this rule is the secondary education minor that, when coupled with certain majors, like English or History, can help you get Illinois teaching certification, which is required for public school teaching jobs.