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Undergrad - worth getting a minor?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Is it worth getting a minor?

My plan is to graduate with my undergrad asap. I took 6 years off from school working but since I got laid off, I went back to school. I completed 15 units this summer, am taking 18 now, and will have 21 units left. I plan on taking 18 next semester and 3 in the summer to graduate with a degree in finance. Since the spring and summer class schedules came out and I register in a week, I've been deciding what classes I need and will be taking. For the hell of it, I looked at minors. I was hoping they'd have something for marketing, but they don't. I did notice that they offer a minor for economics. Considering the econ classes I've taken and the one I need to take, I'd need to take an additional 9 units (3 classes) for the minor in economics. While looking at the list of classes, I've figured out that it is possible to take 18 units in the spring and 12 in the summer to graduate with a BA in finance and a minor in Economics. On a side note, I do enjoy economics, so it does intrigue me. I'm going to meet with an adviser tomorrow to go over everything, get their take, and make sure everything I've computed is correct. But, it can't hurt to get outside opinions. Do you think taking the additional classes to get a minor in econ is worth it, or just a waste of time?

FWIW, during those years off from school, I spent 5 years in traffic engineering at basically the highest level (doing the same work as a PE, but I'd need a year more experience to take the test to become a PE, but I don't think I'll be looking to enter the same field).
post #2 of 16
General consensus always seems to be minors are worthless and waste of time. However, I am a strong believer in making your education worth your while. If you know the minor to enrich your education, do it; but seriously, it is a waste of time. You'd probably be better off doing an internship or volunteer work or some such than devoting time to a minor.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale View Post

General consensus always seems to be minors are worthless and waste of time. However, I am a strong believer in making your education worth your while. If you know the minor to enrich your education, do it; but seriously, it is a waste of time. You'd probably be better off doing an internship or volunteer work or some such than devoting time to a minor.

Thanks for the reply. I'm considering it because like you said, I think it may enrich my education, but it could also be a waste of time. However, it's be 3 classes and would just increase my summer load so I'd have to take an extra class for a month and 2 extra classes during the month I complete my last Finance class. So it's not that big of a deal.

As part of seeing an adviser tomorrow, I'm also going to inquire and get into contact with the career center. I may as well use that resource since it's available. The problem is that I'm not the typical college student as I'm a bit older (28) and am moving now towards a second career in which I made a six figure income in my previous one. So I'm in that gray area where I'm overqualified for a lot of positions and that may hurt me, but trying to start a new career in the process.

The one thing I have noticed and is a shame is how damn useless most college students are. 90% of the ones in my classes I wouldn't hire and they have no grasp of how the real world works. It's pretty pathetic.
post #4 of 16
Minor in what? In Econ? No

Minor in something that would be a great way to hold or start conversations. Philosophy, history, psychology etc.

IMO, having done a minor then switching it to a 2nd major, a minor is not worth it in the sense that you may think it will (application/building your resume).

Minor in something you find interesting and you can share with others. It will shine more than trying to look 'smart'

And goodale is correct. If you have not hold any past, current, or future internships, forget that minor and look for one first. An internship in a field you want to eventually work in will be worth so much more.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah it would be Econ, for the sole reason that it'd take just 3 more classes. I agree with your sentiment and was looking a completely unrelated minors like Anthro, History, etc...but I'd have to take an extra semester to fulfill those requirements. Not interested in that. If I went that route, I'd probably do what you did and double major in something like marketing.

As for the internship, I'll be looking into that once I get more info from the career center. I've been interested in PIMCO, so I'll see what they have to offer. Thanks for the advice. Doesn't appear that the minor is worth it so far.
post #6 of 16
You know what? I made the same decision you did 1 year ago.

Just forget the minor all together and concentrate on getting back into the work force, a career, something that will make you income.

Forget the minor really. Not worth it at all, both the time and money.

[If you had more time, I would just double major. Sounds like you do not though]
post #7 of 16
A minor means that you took a couple classes in a certain subject. No one really cares, nor is impressed. "I minored in 'X'" rings of a throw-away line in a movie which sets the character up for humiliation. If you actually like the subject (be it econ, art history, anthropology, etc.), then take the classes that interest you. It's ridiculous to take Class A because it fulfills the minor, rather than Class B (which you're actually interested in). Finish off your major and requirements, then take the classes you're interested in.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by arced View Post

A minor means that you took a couple classes in a certain subject. No one really cares, nor is impressed. "I minored in 'X'" rings of a throw-away line in a movie which sets the character up for humiliation. If you actually like the subject (be it econ, art history, anthropology, etc.), then take the classes that interest you. It's ridiculous to take Class A because it fulfills the minor, rather than Class B (which you're actually interested in). Finish off your major and requirements, then take the classes you're interested in.

i disagree with your first statement. a minor means usually that you took enough of that class for a major, but did not fulfill the other requirements. i majored in a social science, and minored in biology, which required only one fewer bio course than a major if i remember correctly. if i had taken two more chemistry classes, i would have had a bio major as well.

i think in the united states the minor track lets you get relatively in-depth into a subject not related to your primary course of study, which is an opportunity you should not pass up. it gives you a bit of recognition, as well, for your secondary interests.
post #9 of 16
^ no it does not, your 2nd part.

minor doesn't mean much except for 'talking point' in say an interview or among colleagues trying to get to know the "new guy".
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettoasty View Post

^ no it does not, your 2nd part.
minor doesn't mean much except for 'talking point' in say an interview or among colleagues trying to get to know the "new guy".

i think it depends on the situation and the subjects. in interviews, i am generally impressed by someone who has had enough interest in a subject other than their major to fulfill the minor requirements in it. i think if your field does not require any flexibility in intellectual ventures this is probably less important.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fries View Post

i disagree with your first statement. a minor means usually that you took enough of that class for a major, but did not fulfill the other requirements. i majored in a social science, and minored in biology, which required only one fewer bio course than a major if i remember correctly. if i had taken two more chemistry classes, i would have had a bio major as well.
i think in the united states the minor track lets you get relatively in-depth into a subject not related to your primary course of study, which is an opportunity you should not pass up. it gives you a bit of recognition, as well, for your secondary interests.

That would be rather unusual for most US schools. At my undergrad, a chemistry minor was 21 credits. A major was 38. That's five extra classes and a seminar. Big difference.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

That would be rather unusual for most US schools. At my undergrad, a chemistry minor was 21 credits. A major was 38. That's five extra classes and a seminar. Big difference.

38? O_o

Anyway, I agree with all the above except freedom_fries. Rarely is a minor just one or two classes short of a major, and depending on your institution there could be 20-30 credits separating them. Minor in something if it interests you, but since you're a nontrad just looking to do something to get employable, forget it.
post #13 of 16
Nobody cares what your minor is/was once you're out of school but if you have the opportunity to get one in something you find interesting and it won't set you back go for it.
post #14 of 16
Regarding minors being useless, does that change if the school only offers a minor program in the minor's subject area?

In that case, will potential employers consider the minor to be more useful?
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylemeup View Post

Regarding minors being useless, does that change if the school only offers a minor program in the minor's subject area?
In that case, will potential employers consider the minor to be more useful?

But would the employer know that about the school? I don't see how that makes it anymore useful either way. It is what it is.

I needed some more classes to minor in chemistry. I think that would've been useful to me today as a biologist.
If the area interests you why not. You say it's not that big of a deal to take the course load.
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