Minor vs. Major Degree: Which One Will Push You Further?

Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Should You Pursue a Minor or Major Degree?

If you are comparing Minor vs Major degrees and are unsure which degree you should pursue, this is what you should consider:

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When it comes to pursuing a degree, there are two major paths one can choose: a minor or a major degree.

Both options offer their own unique benefits and challenges, making the decision of which path to pursue more difficult. Here at Gradehacker, the non-traditional students’ #1 resource, we are dedicated to giving students the best information to succeed.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between each type of degree and how they can help or hinder your career goals.

What is a Minor Degree?

A minor degree is a specialized degree that focuses on a specific area of study. It’s usually less comprehensive than a major degree and may require fewer courses to complete.

Minor degrees generally involve the completion of fewer classes and can range from just one year to three years, depending on the school and program.

Some minors focus on particular skills, such as computer programming or web design, while others may offer more general studies.

Although pursuing a college minor is an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge in either your chosen field or an unrelated area of study, it’s critical to mention that it does not carry the same weight as obtaining a degree.

Rather, a minor represents the exploration and study of a complementary or secondary discipline.

What is a Major Degree?

A major college degree is a more comprehensive program of study that typically covers a variety of subjects in greater depth.

A major degree usually involves the completion of at least four years of coursework and includes classes from various departments, such as history, math, psychology, and English.

In the case of pursuing a double major, you’ll have to take on the challenge of studying and completing the requirements for two different fields of study simultaneously.

A major degree generally has specific requirements for completion, such as a thesis or comprehensive exam.

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Costs Comparison

The cost of minor and major programs can vary greatly depending on the institution and program.

Generally, a major degree program will be more expensive than a minor degree due to the additional courses and specialized knowledge that is required for completion.

Some universities offer discounted tuition rates for those who choose to pursue two degrees simultaneously.

It’s important to research your school’s policies and fees before making a decision so that you can budget accordingly.

Minor vs Major Degree: Completion Time

Generally, a minor degree will take two years or less to complete, while a major degree will typically take four years or more.

Keep in mind that taking classes outside of your major or minor can also extend the amount of time it takes to finish your degree.

Best Paid Jobs With Majors and Minors Degrees

Based on the Best Colleges report, the top highest-paid majors in 2023 are:

And the most common Minors degrees are:

The Benefits of Getting a Minor Degree

Getting a minor degree can be beneficial if you’re looking to expand your knowledge in a particular area or explore an unrelated field of study.

Not only can this help enhance your resume, but it may also give you the edge when trying to land that job or internship you’ve been eyeing.

A minor degree can also be used to supplement your major, allowing you the opportunity to take on a more specialized approach.

You may even find that combining two seemingly unrelated minors can open up interesting new job opportunities.

The Drawbacks of a Minor Degree

The drawbacks of a minor degree are that it may not be seen as valuable as a major degree by potential employers.

While having a minor can be beneficial for students looking to broaden their skills or pursue additional interests, there is no guarantee that the courses taken will directly transfer into tangible job opportunities.

It’s good to have in mind that many minors require fewer classes which may lead to less of an understanding of the topics studied.

The Benefits of Getting a Major Degree

A major degree is much more comprehensive and will require a larger number of courses to complete.

The main benefit of getting a major degree is that it will give you a more in-depth and comprehensive understanding of your chosen field of study.

This can be extremely beneficial when looking for employment, as employers are often looking for individuals who can demonstrate an extensive knowledge base.

A major degree also carries much more weight than a minor one, making it easier to stand out among the competition. Obtaining a major degree may also open up new opportunities in terms of higher-level positions with better salaries or specialized certifications.

The Drawbacks of a Major Degree

The main drawback to getting a major degree is the time and money it takes to complete.

It often takes four years or more to complete, and students may have to take on additional loans in order to cover the costs.

Some majors may require special exams or additional coursework that can be difficult for some students to complete.

It can also be difficult to switch majors midway through your undergraduate degree, as it may require additional classes and credits in order to meet the requirements for the new major.

Succeeding in a major’s primary field and completing the challenging coursework can significantly benefit students in their future careers.

Best Master's Degrees

Can You Pursue a Minor Degree Independently?

In most cases, you cannot pursue a minor degree independently.

A minor degree is an excellent way to enhance the learning experience; typically, a program of study offered by colleges and universities that complements a major degree.

It involves taking a specific set of courses in a particular subject area, usually following some specific education requirement with fewer credits than a major.

To pursue a minor, you typically need to be a student at the institution offering the minor program.

How to Decide between a Minor and Major Degree

When it comes to deciding on which type of degree path is right for you, it’s important to evaluate your goals and needs.

A minor degree may benefit those looking for a shorter program that will give them specialized knowledge in an area. Especially if you want to become a specialist in that particular field quickly.

However, if you are looking to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a subject and have greater career possibilities, then a major degree may be the better option.

No matter which degree path you choose, there are many ways you can ensure that you’re developing your skills and knowledge.

It’s essential to take advantage of networking opportunities, as it’s good to cultivate valuable connections throughout your college career. Also, participating in internships related to your field of study can help give you the experience needed to stand out in the job market.

Additionally, taking classes outside of your major or minor can provide a more well-rounded education and open up more career opportunities.

Ultimately, the choice between a minor and a major degree is up to you. Consider your goals and needs to make an informed decision that will best suit you.

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Minor vs Majors: Choose the Right Degree

Deciding between a minor and a major degree will depend on your goals and needs.

A minor degree can provide specialized knowledge in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost, while a major degree provides comprehensive knowledge for greater career possibilities.

There are also ways to ensure you’re developing your skills and knowledge, such as internships and classes.

But if you are still not sure what’s the right for you to follow and want the best guidance towards your first academic steps, you can book a meeting with our team and let Gradehacker help you.

However, if you need more info you can check these blogs:  

Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso is a content creator passioned for writing, music, films, and the arts. At Gradehacker, she helps to improve non-traditional students life’s by finding and providing the most useful information, so they can always progress. You can find her on LinkedIn.