While you likely spend some time thinking about your major, you probably don’t spend nearly as much time thinking about declaring a college minor. A major refers to the major course of study or program that you follow in college. After completing general education classes, you’ll take 30 to 40 credits or more of courses within your major. Many of the minor classes you take can help you fulfill your required electives, but there are some other basic advantages to selecting a minor.

Study Something Your College Doesn’t Offer as a Major

Colleges often offer minors in subject areas that they do not offer as a major. This is because the college only has a certain amount of space, money and even professors to allocate to those subjects. If you want to study psychology because you plan to get a social work license and your college doesn’t offer a major in social work, declare a minor in social work. You’ll learn more about working with the elderly, spotting the signs of abuse in children and all the other tasks that social workers do in the field.

Learn About a Career Area

Declaring a minor can also help you learn more about a specific field within your own career area. Business majors will find a number of minors that can help them when they go to work such as a minor in management or human resources. Human resource specialists are the ones responsible for hiring new workers and ensuring that existing workers are happy. That minor can also set you apart from other applicants when you actually apply for jobs. It shows employers that you have knowledge and experience in that area.

Fulfill Your Personal Interests

One of the best reasons to select a minor is because it lets you fulfill your personal interests. Many college students declare a minor in a subject they find interesting or one that relates to a favorite hobby. If you love painting, sculpting or even acting but want to focus on studying a different subject, you can declare a minor in an art field and take classes to improve your talents. Choosing a minor in film studies is great for film buffs, even those who do not want to work in the entertainment industry. You can watch and study films, learn about the production of those films and view your favorites in a whole new way.

Show Your Strengths

Declaring a college minor also lets you demonstrate some of your strengths. A report in The New York Times found that many college students select a minor because they want to show employers that they have strengths beyond their majors. A business degree will qualify you for entry into the business field but you’ll start out on the bottom rung of that ladder. If you have a minor in human resources, operations management or even communications, you show employers that you bring more skills to the table. A minor can be just as effective as a double major.

When you declare a minor in college, you’ll usually take at least four classes in that subject. Those classes let you study a similar topic or one completely different from your major. Some advantages to declaring a college minor including helping you fulfill your personal interests and letting you show your strengths.