The ability to adapt to new careers and situations is one of the advantages of a business degree. From a career in sales or management to launching a startup, a minor in business can equip you with the skills to become successful.
But it's not for everyone. You know a foundational understanding of business would be valuable to you, but is a business minor worth it? There's a lot to explore here. In this article, I'll discuss the following topics:
- What is a Minor in Business
- What Can You Do With a Minor in Business?
- Skills a Business Minor Will Help You Develop
- How Is a Business Minor Helpful For Entrepreneurs?
- Will a Business Minor Make it Easier to Get Hired?
- Do Employers Care About Minors?
- Is It Helpful For Getting Job Promotions?
- Is a Business Minor Easy?
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Business Minor?
- What are the Best Majors For a Minor In Business?
- Pros and Cons
- Business Minor vs. Business Major
What is a Minor in Business?
A business minor is designed for students who major in a discipline other than business. It provides a strong foundation for introductory business skills and complements their major or skill sets.
A business minor is generally 15-18 semester credit hours and includes foundational courses such as accounting, business management, finance, and marketing. In addition, universities and colleges offer several options to align with your academic and personal interests.
Is a Business Minor Useful?
The short answer is yes. Adding a minor in business is beneficial for a variety of individuals and circumstances. For example, you may have business experience but no credentials to back it up?
Or, maybe you're in college and want to balance your lack of work experience.
Most likely, you're attending school to land a good job or possibly start a business. The primary purpose of your education is to improve your ability to make money. And, where there is money, there is usually a business.
Therefore, there are few jobs or careers that wouldn't benefit from adding a business minor. All things being equal, it gives you a competitive edge against other applicants?
Additional business skills are also helpful in a situation when jobs are scarce. They can provide insight and knowledge to help you create new opportunities where few opportunities exist.
In addition, the recent pandemic has highlighted an outdated traditional work model. It has made remote and entrepreneurial work more desirable. A better understanding of business is valuable if you want to be your own boss and work with more freedom and flexibility.
What Can You Do With a Minor in Business?
Job options and possibilities open up with a minor in business. While a minor in business is not necessary, graduates often find them helpful for positions such as:
- Starting your own business
- Budget analysts
- Junior accountant
- Retail or hospitality manager
- Customer service positions
- Event managers
Skills a Business Minor Will Help You Develop
The majority of people today will hold multiple positions in their lifetime or change fields completely. As a result, the world of work in the 21st century demands that employees are skill diverse.
Adding a minor in business will help you with communication skills, leadership and teamwork ability, and organizational capability. It makes you more adaptable and improves your capacity for collaboration.
In addition, degree credentials demonstrate your ability to think critically, which is helpful when transitioning from one position to another.
How Is a Business Minor Helpful For Entrepreneurs?
Let's face it. A lot of people would rather work for themselves than report to someone else. The problem lies with not knowing what to do or where to start.
A business minor is a great starting point to propel someone into the world of becoming an entrepreneur. It provides several essential skills, such as accounting and marketing, which apply to all industries. You may even find majoring in business is a viable option if you want to become an entrepreneur.
Business Minor vs. Entrepreneurship Minor
Although they are similar conceptually, an entrepreneurship minor and a business minor differ.
A business minor is more generalized to learn the multiple functions of a business. It provides flexibility if you are unsure what career path is best for you.
On the other hand, a minor in entrepreneurship equips you with more skills to start your own business and generate unique business ideas. It focuses on things like resource management, mindset, and creative problem-solving.
A minor in entrepreneurship may be a better option if you're planning on launching a business.
Will a Business Minor Make it Easier to Get Hired?
Business degrees offer a great deal of flexibility compared to degrees in subjects such as philosophy or art history, for example. Practically every career involves business.
It also allows more plug-and-play options for employers to hire potential candidates. So, whether you're new to the job market or shifting careers, a business minor can help you get your foot in the door.
It's not a silver bullet, of course. Your marketability in the job market is relative to other candidates who are applying for the same roles. The purpose of a business minor, in this instance, is to position you better among your competitors.
A minor in business demonstrates value to prospective employers at a specific job level and at the business level overall.
Do Employers Care About Minors?
It's hard to determine what matters to employers. It's certainly possible a minor could be a dealbreaker between you and another candidate. Again, your marketability is relative to your job hunting competitors.
All things being equal, it can certainly give you an advantage.
Either way, it's good to be in a position with as much leverage as you can get when you're looking for a job. A business minor can indicate you are well-rounded and passionate about learning. That you're interested not only in the job but in the company and how it runs as well.
Because business skills apply to business, keen employers and recruiters will recognize that less time and money are needed to train relevant skills.
Is It Helpful For Getting Job Promotions?
A minor can only improve your chances of getting a promotion.
Of course, you're also dealing with things like office politics, seniority, and nepotism with any job promotion. A minor in business is no guarantee that you'll be first in line for advancement.
However, an advanced position will be easier to obtain with your advanced skills and business understanding.
Here's the thing…
The goal of any employer when hiring or promoting is to reduce stress, improve performance, and deliver results. The easiest way to achieve those goals is to hire someone who is competent and can deliver.
A business minor on its own might not be helpful. For example, your immediate supervisor may not even be aware you have a minor in business. Or, if they were aware when they hired you, they may have forgotten.
However, applying your business-related skills to your existing position in practical ways will inspire confidence in your ability to handle more responsibility.
As a result, you become your employer's line of least resistance, their obvious choice, when a promotion is available. You are the person they trust most to help them achieve their goals; reduced stress, improved performance, and better results.
A minor in a subject unrelated to business might not have the same effect.
In addition, a business minor can help you hit the ground running when you first start and perform beyond their expectation. As a result, you'll be on management's radar. You'll also make the person who hired you look like a star, which puts you in their favor. Therefore, a business minor can definitely help you get a job promotion.
Is a Business Minor Easy?
Students will have different opinions on this. For some, it'll be easy, and for others, it'll be hard.
First, a business minor will have entry-level accounting and statistics courses that present a unique challenge for some people. If math is not your thing, you should expect to devote more time to these types of classes.
Second, you might work or have other responsibilities while attending school, which adds stress and fatigue.
You've probably stared blankly at a book or computer screen before, too tired to comprehend what you're reading. Even the easiest of tasks can be hard under certain conditions.
Create a schedule to determine how many extra hours per week you'll need to devote to study time. Meet up with other students or friends from the same classes and create study groups.
Whatever your minor, business or otherwise, it's going to present unique challenges.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Business Minor?
A typical business minor is five to eight courses, with the average course running 12-16 weeks.
Although it's possible to to complete a business minor in one or two academic years, depending on your school's calendar, a total of three years is the usual requirement for an academic minor. Ensure that your course load is realistic and gives you the best opportunity to succeed.
What are the Best Majors For a Minor In Business?
Business operations go hand in hand with many career fields. A business minor can enhance a lot of majors, but some are better than others. They include:
- Accounting. Combining an accounting major and a business minor can give you a full scope of how a business operates. You'll learn tax laws, budgeting, and auditing abilities which pair well with a business minor.
- Marketing. E-Commerce and technology have expanded career opportunities drastically. A solid business foundation can give you the skills to compete in a global economy.
- Social Work. Every organization is a business at the end of the day. A business minor can give you the behind-the-scenes knowledge to help run non-profit organizations and crisis centers.
- Health Care. Strong business skills are needed to run health facilities effectively and efficiently. You'll learn how to make critical decisions under pressure.
Business Minor Pros and Cons
There are several advantages to adding a business minor, but there are some drawbacks as well.
- Minors complement your major. The minor could be the missing piece to land your ideal position.
- A minor allows for learning advanced skills and exploring new areas. You may find your niche while taking business classes.
- It demonstrates versatility. Whatever your career aspirations are, the business minor reflects your willingness to think outside the box.
- Business skills are relevant to just about anything you do that involves money.
- It may add to your tuition and lost-opportunity costs. Adding more coursework will take more time and money to complete.
- If you genuinely dislike business or struggle excessively with your courses, it could be an unnecessary distraction from your major classes.
- Could lower your GPA. Make sure you have a sincere interest in the business minor courses. Limited attention and focus could reduce your performance and bring down your overall GPA.
Business Minor vs. Business Major
Deciding to major in business or add a business minor to a different degree is a challenging decision. A business major ensures the bulk of your coursework is centered on those concepts. In contrast, a business minor gives you exposure to business-related topics and should complement your major.
Meet with academic advisors or other students in the field to get ideas about what path is best for you. Choosing a major because you love the subject is often recommended. After all, it might be what you spend the next 40 or 50 years doing.
Add a business minor if you're only exploring the business field, adding more skills, and looking for an advantage in the job market.
Business Minor Requirements
All colleges and universities will have specific course and grade requirements for completing a business minor. Typical examples would be anywhere from 18 – 28 additional credit hours of courses (this may vary from school to school).
You will be given a list of courses to choose from depending on your interests, including accounting for non-business majors, finance, marketing, management, etc.
Make sure to understand the rules for graduation, as degrees typically have a credit limit.
Prerequisites will vary as well. In some cases you may need up to 32 credits of college-level courses and meet minimum GPA requirements. In some cases, you may need as many as 60 credits. A strong background in math is also recommended.