What’s a Good Minor to Complement My Health Science Degree?

Deciding on your college major can be a big undertaking. If you have an interest in the growing health care field, you may have chosen health science as your major, knowing it’s a broad based program that prepares you for a variety of health related jobs. Now you may be pondering what minor would work best to complement your health science degree.

Let Your Goals and Experience Shape Your Decisions

The minor you choose be related specifically to your health field, but it could just as easily be a second language, business, computers or psychology. You career goals and passions will help shape what you choose.

Your choice of a minor may first depend on what type of health science degree you’re undertaking. If you already hold an associate’s degree and some experience, you may be working to complete a bachelor’s degree in a clinical management track. Or you may be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a pre-professional track as a stepping stone to advance degree work at the master’s level.

In the first case, your educational goals may be shaped by the work you are already doing as a healthcare professional. If you are already working as a healthcare administrator, a dental hygienist or EMT, you may have some specific skill areas you want to advance in to help you do a better job in your existing field. For instance, you may be a medical secretary who has realized that she could benefit from more advanced office skills. In that case, you might want to consider a minor in business management or computers.

In the pre-professional track, you may already be planning to go on for further education. If you plan to get a master’s degree in physical therapy or health informatics, for instance, you know you will be doing advanced coursework in those areas. You may want to choose a minor based on a side interest that could help you in your career on down the road. For example, if you think you might be working in an urban environment or with an under-served population, an appropriate second language or sociology might be good choices.

Do Potential Employers Even Look at Minors?

It’s a good question. Though one answer won’t fit all employers and situations, it’s probably safe to give at least a qualified yes. A minor can show a potential employer more about your interests, commitments and willingness to work hard. It may also show a potential employer that you’ve done your homework. If you know there’s a certain part of the healthcare industry you want to work for, or even a specific company or healthcare system, it could be a good idea to research what kinds of skills and experience they most value. Then you can tailor your educational program to help prepare you.

A minor is probably not the first thing that a potential employer is going to look at, but all other things being equal among job candidates, they certainly may take it into consideration. So do yourself a favor and talk with people already working in your chosen field to see what particular knowledge and skills may best help you as you continue on your career path.