Research has shown that majoring in psychology can be good preparation for many different careers. Because psychology gives you so many job options to choose from, your minor can help direct your education toward a specific path.
Many psychology majors go on to graduate school, and several minors will prepare you for this. Others are better suited for careers in the business world. Although the best minor depends on your plans, the following subjects are good ones to consider.
Sociology and psychology often ask similar questions. A sociology minor could leave you less “well-rounded” than some other possibilities, but it could also deepen your understanding of human behavior beyond what a psychology major alone would permit. Therefore, it’s a good option to consider if you want to go down a more research-oriented path. Being conversant in sociological theory may inform your later research in ways you can’t even imagine yet.
An English minor will hone your writing and critical reading skills. Graduate students must write extensively, and they will continue to do so after they have earned their degrees. English courses will give you practice at putting your thoughts onto paper and turn you into a clear, confident writer. That way, you won’t have to worry about your writing later, and you can instead focus more on your actual research. Even if you don’t plan on going to grad school, having strong written communication skills can only help you.
Math is another good choice for those who want to pursue an advanced degree. You don’t need to be a brilliant mathematician to succeed as a psychologist, but a solid grounding in math is essential to many kinds of psychological research. If you go this route, consider focusing on statistics in particular. You will be using statistics in graduate school, and your older self may thank you for getting a head start in understanding important statistical concepts.
Avoid these minors if you want to go graduate school, but if you aim to join the business world after college, they could give you a major leg up. Your psychology classes will provide a good understanding of human behavior—a tremendous asset for employers—and a good minor can supplement this with other skills. A minor in business or marketing is great preparation if you’re thinking about a career in advertising. A business-related minor will also make you an excellent candidate to work in human resources or sales.
Not sure what you want to do after graduation? Knowing another language is valuable for almost anyone. Although taking a minor in a language may seem less directly beneficial than other options, it has the advantage of offering more flexibility. As a researcher, being able to read a foreign language means you have access to information that hasn’t yet been published in English. A therapist who speaks multiple languages can serve more people. A multilingual psychology major who enters the business world will be prepared for the demands of the global economy. Mastering a second language is never a waste of time.
Remember, these are “good” options, not necessarily the “best,” but the list above can get you thinking about what factors to consider when choosing a minor for your many options in psychology majors.
Finally, don’t think that picking a minor forces you into an unalterable path. Although some minors are a bit better suited than others to particular careers, success in your major is ultimately far more important than your choice of a minor.