Certificates vs. Minors – What’s the Better Choice?

As you’re getting into your 2nd or 3rd year of post-secondary, you may be wondering what to add to your major. In most universities and colleges you have the choice between a minor, or a certificate. In some cases, if you plan your credits wisely, you’ll be able to earn both or even two certificates instead. Both the certificate and minor come are advantageous, and those advantages will be highlighted below.


Adding a minor to your major can be a great choice for two major reasons: it allows you to explore something new or a subject further, and it’s a great addition to your resume. Plus, they don’t take too long as they’re usually about 25-35 credits. To begin, minors can be a great way to explore something entirely new and different from your major. Perhaps, you’re taking environmental science, but another interest of yours happens to be health; you could do a minor in health, which would give you the chance to explore this area and perhaps ignite connections between health and the environment. This relates well to the second reason: adding a particular minor might allow you to further explore an aspect of your major, improving your resume. For example, the intersection between health and environment is becoming an area of value and interest, so having knowledge of both could give you a leg up in the job market.


Certificates can also be added to your major. One important thing to note is certificates are a recognized, additional credential. Certificates are usually somewhere between 15 and 25 credits, and with good planning, you may be able to add a couple of them to your major, or 1 with a minor. Also, certificates are generally smaller than a minor, but they’re a great addition to resumes. For example, if you’re someone studying geography and you wish to prove your knowledge of geographic information science or mapping, adding a certificate in that could be hugely beneficial. Certificates that prove technical, career-relevant skills are a good addition to any major. Plus, they could be more advantageous than a minor when it comes to career planning.

Choosing your major was hard enough, right? Well as it turns out there are even more decisions to make. Before adding anything extra to your major, be sure you get the facts straight and do your research. Going through those motions should help you decide what’s better suited to you, a minor, a certificate, or both!

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