In the hit TV show, “The Big Bang Theory,” any viewer can see that scientist Amy Fowler is undoubtedly smart. But did you know the actress who plays Amy actually has a PhD in neuroscience? Mayim Bialik acquired this impressive degree from UCLA while acting. Equally as impressive is the fact that she also has minored in Hebrew and Jewish studies (UCLA Alumni). While the reasoning behind her decision of these particular minors is unknown, it can be assumed that Bialik has a wide range of knowledge under her belt. Why would anyone choose these two very different areas of study? Not everyone may understand her unique choices, but there are plenty of reasons to acquire a diverse education.
In general, minors have many benefits to those pursuing a college education. Often, students find difficulty in choosing a single major that encompasses all of their interests. If you are one of those students that is having trouble deciding or is coming in with many college credits from high school and have room in your schedule, you may want to consider adding a minor to your education and “not putting all of your eggs in one basket.” Minors allow students to break away from a specialized form of education and broaden their perspectives.
Here are three reasons that a minor should be on your radar:
1. Stay in touch with your interests.
One of the most important decisions a college student will make is determining a major. However, with so many different fields of study, many find it difficult to answer the question, “How do I pick just one area to focus on?” Sophomore Emily Reinneck found the best of both worlds with her major and minor. Reinneck is a part of the Digital Media program with a minor in Art. “I have been taking art classes since grade school and have always enjoyed drawing and painting. I am a digital media major because I am looking in to graphic design, so having the art classes just adds to my creativeness,” said Reinneck. “Being in the art program allows for variety of classes in my schedule as well. I’ve learned a lot from Jake Amundson who is a professor in the art program.” With this academic plan, Reinneck will be able to pursue both of her interests in a four-year period.
2. Exposure to new information.
Although colleges and universities have required classes to diversify student curriculum, students can still find it hard to find worthwhile classes outside of their major. A minor will add variation to a school schedule packed with many straight-forward major requirements. GU senior Ryan Taylor strengthens his knowledge of Sports Management with a minor in Business Management. Taylor said, “Even though they are pretty closely related, I knew that a business minor would only build on what I already understand. Sports Management is geared more towards marketing while Business Management focuses on the financial side of things.” While Taylor’s major and minor are intertwined, students could get a minor in anything, not necessarily something that is related to their major.
3. Expand networks and increase marketability.
When it comes to having skills and connections, the saying goes, “The more the merrier!” Being in classes that build skills can expand students’ networks and make them more marketable in the work force. Professors, classmates, people met through field experience, and simple conversations are just a few ways to build a positive network. Additionally, although some might say that employers do not necessarily care about what minors show up on resumés, they do care about having well-rounded employees. Being knowledgeable about another subject will never be a disadvantage.
To avoid missing out on learning new skills or information that could be beneifical, students consider adding a minor to their college education. Like Mayim Bialik, students can expand their studies in infinite ways. A minor is just a place to start.