When researching minors with computer science degrees, you should think about the career path you plan to follow after graduation. A minor may not affect your hiring prospects, but the college coursework can certainly prepare you for a position in a variety of related fields.
What Do Employers Look for in Computer Science Graduates?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for many computer science careers are expected to grow more quickly than average over the next 10 years. Computer science degrees have experienced ups and downs in popularity over the last decade, but lately this major is one of the most popular in the country.
Depending on the type of job you want, you may be required to show your understanding of the subjects you studied in college. Many employers who hire software developers say that the candidates they interview perform poorly on tests designed to assess their programming knowledge. If you plan to become a programmer, your choice of minor should complement your programming skills. A minor in mathematics can help you solve quantitative problems more quickly and provide a deep understanding of programming theory.
A computer science degree includes the essential discrete math courses required for programming as well as basic calculus, physics and statistics material, which often comes up when programming. A science- or math-related minor builds on the continuous math taught in calculus, physics and statistics so that you get a better perspective of science in general. These concepts can often be applied when solving discrete optimization problems such as the ones found on pre-interview screening tests.
Best Minors for Research or Analyst Positions
If you plan to continue your education after earning a bachelor’s degree, you open yourself up to many opportunities in research and consultation. Usually, this path requires the science track, which includes advanced natural science, physics and calculus courses.
Your computer science major gives you room to choose electives, so minoring in math or science isn’t necessary. If you do choose a minor, it should be in a subject that interests you as it probably won’t affect your college or career goals.
If you plan to apply for an analyst position after college, a post-graduate degree isn’t necessary. A minor in a subject related to your occupation can give you specialized insight into the position. Alternatively, a business minor can provide expertise in areas valued by employers, such as management, economics and accounting.
While a minor isn’t necessary to make your résumé stand out, it can enhance your education and provide you with the qualities employers look for in job candidates. The best minors with computer science degrees target your career goals or perhaps a specific company you want to join.