When first enrolling at UMass Boston, students—unless they are undecided on their career choice—declare their major prior to picking their classes. Of course, anyone is allowed to change their major throughout their time at UMass Boston, but there is another route that students can take as well. That option is to add a secondary field of study to your degree, in the form of a minor concentration.

There are many advantages that come with adding a minor to your degree. In the short term, adding a minor that coincides with your major would allow you to take just a few more interesting classes—since a three-credit course can fulfill a core requirement for each subject. For example, a communication major with a minor in English can take a single English class that would go toward fulfilling requirements for both degrees, reducing the amount of work they need to complete for an academic minor while still giving them the ability to take a few more interesting courses. In other words, more electives mean more interesting and diverse courses that still add credits toward graduating. Plus, if a student feels they have the time, they can double up on the number of minors they receive if they choose to enroll early enough in their college education.

Studying both a major and minor can reap benefits in the long run too. After graduating from school, students may have better luck on the job front. If one is to take a minor concentration in another field of study, they may be open to more job opportunities and seem more appealing to employers. In addition to a broad range of job opportunities, taking a minor can be worthwhile because it may line up with a person’s interests the same way an elective or major degree can. For some, studying a minor can be somewhat of a hassle. Students may just be taking it to become more qualified for their future in the working class; however, students can find a field of study that interests them or brings about their passion. For example, a communication major can minor in philosophy if they find passion in talking about life’s biggest questions and mysteries.

Adding an academic minor to your studies does have some downsides to consider, though I don’t believe they are as bad as people make them out to be. The biggest con of studying a minor is the extra number of intensive courses a student must take to fulfill the requirements of having a minor in that subject. However, even though taking a 300-level course is challenging, taking them brings you one step closer to your degree while also helping you gain more knowledge and insight in the career you are pursuing. It would also help students develop as they grow accustomed to more difficult classes during their college years, in turn, helping them become harder workers, better writers and more productive learners.

Although, taking an abundance of 300 plus level courses can surely take a toll on the mental and physical health of a student, given the stress of having to balance a life of school, work and home. For this reason, it’s smarter to choose a minor earlier because it can help ease the burden of taking more higher-level courses as you near graduation. A student’s mind is subject to change regarding the field of study they would like to work in, but it is still well worth the effort in the long run with more job opportunities and experience in the field.

Every student has their own unique passion, whether it’s in the field of business, marketing, music, sports or any other subject. With that passion can come the motivation to pursue it as a career. In most cases, people will have to enroll in university and pursue a degree in order to turn their passion into a career. If students are passionate about more than one subject at UMass Boston, then studying a minor is a very smart idea when it comes to prioritizing your future and igniting the goals you have for your career, regardless of whether or not it directly correlates with your major.

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