Declaration of minors and second majors has pros and cons, SRU staff says
March 5, 2015
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For most incoming freshmen, college is a time to find out who you really are and what you want to do with your life. Although most freshmen come into college with a declared major, finding the perfect area of study could mean adding a second major or a minor.
Dr. John Rindy, director of career education and development, said adding a second major or minor exposes the student to new opportunities and allows the student to pick up additional skills.
“By adding a second major or minor, it exposes you to new things and new opportunities, [such as] joining an organization to volunteer, doing group projects in those courses to see if you’ll take the lead on those group projects. It’s just an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective, especially if you have very diverse interests,” Rindy said.
According to Rindy, adding a second major or minor to your studies can also open the door to experiences within and outside the classroom as well.
“For example, in psychology you’re going to be exposed to the psychology club and Psi Chi Honorary, but if you had a second major in business, you’re going to be exposed to the Society of Advancement for Management, the Student Marketing Association and the Alpha Kappa Psi Honorary,” Rindy said. So, I think by adding a second major you see more opportunities to build the co-curricular experiences as well as your general knowledge that’s going to be marketable someday.”
Adding a major or minor to a student’s area of study has its advantages, but it also has some slight disadvantages as well. If a student adds a second major later in their college years, it may extend the student’s time here by a semester or two, Rindy said. Rindy also said if a student is in a major that’s really full, such as education, the program does not give the student a lot of wiggle room for another major or minor.
“Some majors have a lot of credits in them and you may have less flexibility of adding a minor or second major unless you are willing to stay an extra semester or two,” Rindy said.
The first answers that people give you when adding a second major or minor is, “Oh wow, that’s going to automatically expand your job market,” Rindy said. Although this may be true, Rindy said most people today do not work in the areas that they studied. He also said seven out of ten Americans today don’t work in their undergraduate area of study once they are out in the market for about ten years because they are exposed to so many new things.
“I’m a perfect example. I have a business degree, a public health degree and an environmental degree and I don’t do any of them, I’m the director of career education and development,” Rindy said. “There is one professor that I know really well. He studied architecture and he’s one of our criminology professors.”
Daschinique Johnson, sophomore public health major, 18, said that adding a second major is a great advantage because jobs see that the student focuses their time and are broadening their studies. She also said that declaring a second major or minor can have some difficulties associated with it as well.
“It really depends on the person and what you’re major or minor is,” Johnson said. “It also depends on how many credits the second major or minor is. Don’t just add a second major or minor for nothing. Nine out of ten times you’re going to change your major anyway.”
Vonita Hall, sophomore economics major, 20, also said that students shouldn’t just choose anything to add to their studies.
“I would say wait,” Hall said. “Don’t go straight into adding a second major or minor when you’re a freshman. Just wait until you’re a first or second semester sophomore to decide.”
Rindy encourages students to come to Slippery Rock University with the mindset of focusing on being a good student first before declaring a second major or minor.
“I say come here, study one thing that you love and choose a major,” Rindy said.
If a student is thinking about declaring a second major or minor, Rindy said the student should sit down and talk with their academic advisor about the thing they would like to accomplish. Rindy also suggests students come and talk to a professional career consultant in the office or career education and development.