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Minor in Physics vs Management

  1. Nov 12, 2007 #1
    I'm planning on going into Electrical Engineering at McGill next year, and I am debating between taking a minor in management or in physics. The only reason that I would want to take one in physics is because the subject really interests me, but I don't see myself working as a physicist. On the other hand, having a minor in management could probably help a lot on the salary side of things.

    If you are taking a regular course load as well as a minor, is there usually room to take some extra courses if you want to finish in the standard allotment of time? I'm mostly interested in courses on subjects like quantum physics, relativity and particle physics.

    Or will a minor in management even make a difference? That's what my friends have told me, but I don't have any idea what the job market is actually like.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2007 #2
    Wait, companies actually respect a minor in management?

    If you want to do something to make prospective employers regard you a bit better than anyone else with the ink still wet on their degree, try getting into an internship or project that will get you experience beyond the classroom. This will serve you far better than a minor in anything. If you want to do the minor in physics for fun, that sounds like a pretty solid motive - and the extra material may leave your EE education a little more rounded. But no minor is likely to be a huge factor in employment decisions.
  4. Nov 12, 2007 #3
    Is that really true? I've never really been explained what the use of a minor is, just heard the word thrown around a lot. I assumed it carried some weight. Is it true that they're hardly ever a factor in employment decisions?
  5. Nov 12, 2007 #4
    Yeah, a minor in management or business is a good choice. I would personally go that route. As engineers, they not only want you to be able to design something, but want you to understand the business side of it and why it should be cheaper,etc.

    Also the management side, so that you can oversee people.....and help with things suchs as product lines,etc.
  6. Nov 12, 2007 #5
    I think if you minor in a businesses discipline it may factor in (IN THE LONG RUN).
    But if you say were a Computer Science major who minored in Math, its a joke.

    The minor in business might get over looked though also, if your not applying for a management position or your not in the management track, it won't help you initially.

    But if you wanted to say go back and get your MBA and want to get your company to pay for that, you will have an advantage over someone who hasn't had any business courses.

    Many people apply for the business management track who are engineers and they look at your back ground as one of the factors on who they are going to pay for to go back to school to get their MBA. Also I don't believe a minor in business is going to give you a higher pay compared to any other entry level engineer.

    But I agree, if you have no internship/co-op inexperience, no minor is going to help you. An employer will always choose someone with real world experience.

    So if it comes down to someone who has the exact same qualifications, except the one kid has an internship and you have a minor you may be out of luck.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  7. Nov 12, 2007 #6
    Look at the classes the minor involves, and the material those classes cover. If you feel exposure to those topics is relevant to your goals, great, go for it. The piece of paper saying you completed the minor isn't very valuable of itself. This really even goes for second majors. If the expanded program gets you more experience in areas relevant to the work you want to do after college, then great - but the paper saying you have three majors and two minors is worth almost exactly as much as one with a single major and no minors. Employers only care about the experience you have and what that means you can do for them as an employee; a degree is just a rather unreliable way of documenting your experience. A minor in management involves little or no management experience, so it's not a free ticket to a higher starting salary...but look at the courses and topics involved, they could still be valuable.
  8. Nov 13, 2007 #7
    Unless you manage to take some statistical mechanics (not thermodynamics!) and solid state classes, you'll get nothing of value from the physics minor.
  9. Nov 13, 2007 #8
    Yeah, these would be good classes to take if you are interested in solid state electronics and whatnot. Some more intensive QM background doesn't hurt either.
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