college minors

worth? how about in relation to a major? Do you put these on resumes?

The school where I got my undergrad didn’t even officially recognize a minor, so if I want to list my teacher ed coursework on a resume, I have to find some other way to describe it. It’s pretty rare any more that I’m applying for jobs where that’s at all relevant, though, so I don’t often have to bother.

I’d put it on there if it had some relevance - for example, when applying for library jobs I always used to put my minor (music) on there because breadth of knowledge is applicable in that setting.

There are three reasons to get a minor:
[li]You’re planning to go to grad school in a field other than what you majored in.[/li][li]The minor develops specific skills that employers are looking for.[/li][li]You find the field interesting enough to take all the classes required for the minor.[/li][/ol]
If you have one, there’s no really good reason not to put it on your resume.

You didn’t have to have a minor at my undergrad school. I had a self-designed major with more courses than a typical major so I don’t have a minor in anything. Minors aren’t worth much in general although they can be useful shorthand for certain things. A minor in a foreign language is pretty good evidence that you really are fluent in that language for example. Include it on your resume if it seems relevant to the job you are applying to.

It can be helpful on a resume for a variety of reasons - particularly if it

  1. is relevant to the job for which you are applying;
  2. is signifigantly different from your major; or
  3. happens to catch the eye of the screener / interviewer / etc.


  1. You have a Computer Science Degree and you are applying for a job in the IT department at a museum - a minor in Anthro or History or whatever might help

  2. You have a degree in English Literature, but a minor in Biology. People will probably notice that and think that you are balanced, willing to move outside of your comfort zone, creative, whatever else.

  3. You and the interviewer both happened to have minored in African Studies - good talking point, ice-breaker, etc.

A minor isn’t going to land you the job, but it might help here and there, and it can’t hurt (unless someone really hates Geography or whatever, seems unlikely).

I can think of a couple of reasons:

  1. You are really interested in a particular field outside of your major, so you take a bunch of electives in that major enough to earn a minor. You might as well take it.

  2. Some schools (like mine) limit electives. So, declaring a minor allows you to take classes in a field you want.

  3. You switch majors. No sense letting all those other classes go to waste.

  4. Your school (like mine) doesn’t offer a degree in the major you want. For example, let’s say I wanted to go into school administration but my school doesn’t have it. Rather than switch schools, I could major in education with a minor in management.

I mention one of them occasionally because it is in a foreign language, like Shagnasty mentioned. It is proof that yes, I did enough coursework in the language that I should be relatively fluent. I dislike it when people think I learned it “by ear” or really didn’t learn it and just speak a mixture of my native and the foreign languages.

I got the other one because almost all the coursework for the minor was similar to my major, and it gave me a couple of extra electives related to what I studied in grad/professional school.

This is probably an opinion question.

Anyway, it is definitely worth it if you are going into teaching. You can usually use your minor to get another certification, which expands your teaching options.

May or may not be worth anything, but if you have one there’s no reason not to put it on a resume.

In my case, my undergraduate minor (music) got me my current position even though my PhD is in history. I taught music exclusively for a year before my program chairman remembered, ‘Oh yeah, you have a history degree, too, don’t you?’ and now I teach more history than music. (My major and minor do not complement each other in any way; my focus in each field are wildly different from the other.)

It was also a point of interest when I was looking into an ancient history job at another school, because even though they were keen to have me teach history, they thought it would be neat to add a version of my music class to their curriculum, too.

So, agreeing with everyone else, adding your minor certainly can’t hurt.

I completely agree with this.

My undergraduate school did not offer minors. The place I got my PhD did, though - it may even have been a requirement. (I think this is kind of unusual, but have not really looked into it, and stand ready to be corrected.) So in addition to my primary field, I have a subject minor - it’s even mentioned on my diploma ("… and additional studies in Planetary Science.")

It’s on my resume.

Another ‘it can’t hurt’ vote here, and a seconding of the ‘makes you look well rounded’.

I majored in economics and philosophy and minored in environmental science. This has opened an absurd number of doors for me.

PhD minors are a pretty different beast, though.

Right. My so-called “minor” is in group theory, although I was tested on it in my oral prelims. (I’ve heard that’s not always the case)

WRT undergraduate minors, the situation at the school I am currently at nearly requires it, at least for straight math majors. A non-education/non-actuarial student could potentially take every (non-ed,non-actuarial) course offered in our department in addition to the required gen ed courses and still potentially not have enough credits to graduate. For this reason, I always tell my advisees to find a minor or a second major. Most students are about 15 credits shy of a physics minor at the end of their program, so that’s a fairly popular choice.

If I could semi-hijack the thread, my major was Computer Science and my minor was Economics. It’s not likely to be an issue for me in the foreseeable future, but do people have opinions whether I should list the Econ minor on my resume? The reason why I hesitate to do so is that I worry that a potential employer might see that and think that my heart is really set on doing financial modeling or something and I’m just applying to his(non-financial related programming job) because I couldn’t get into my preferred field right now, but I’d jump if I got the chance after being hired.