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Does an unrelated minor look bad to employers/grad schools?

  1. Dec 27, 2009 #1
    I'm currently getting my bachelors degree in physics. I have the option of doing a minor at either my own faculty or any of the other faculties of the university. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but I think doing something completely unrelated might be fun. Will it look bad to future employers/grad schools if I don't fill it in with physics/math courses though or do they not look at it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2009 #2
    Your minor can never hurt, so long as you don't get miserable grades because of it. Some interviewers may love your minor being something in the liberal arts 'cause it may show good communications skills and personality, but the guys in HR vetting the resume are basically just looking at your major. Grad schools are much the same; generally you don't get penalized for not taking stuff above and beyond your course requirements, but get bonus points for taking stuff that'll enhance your major/research 'cause it shows you're really serious and passionate about it. There's also the whole complementary opposing major to think about; if you're doing a lot of optics research, an art major with a photography focus may be cool-just sell it on the personal statement/cover letter.
  4. Dec 27, 2009 #3
    Employers don't care. Grad schools don't care directly about it, but it can mildly hurt you if being really interested in something other than physics/math takes away time from physics/math. However, you might want to do it anyway. The fact that my undergraduate program had large amounts of CS and social science in it *did* mildly hurt me when I applied to grad school, but it was *incredibly* useful once I got out.

    Remember that your education is for you, and not for your future employers and future grad school committees. Trying to set things up so to please employers and grad school committees so that this is the most important thing in your education is a seriously, seriously bad idea.
  5. Dec 27, 2009 #4
    Thanks for your replies, I've decided that I'll just pick whatever seems most interesting :)
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