What is the Difference Between Major and Minor Degrees?

Since education is essential for every career, people should consider the best educational training that will prepare them for life. Not all careers require college degrees, but professions such as law, medicine and accounting require a major in those disciplines. However, many entry-level positions do not require extensive training, and many people choose to begin their careers with the minimum educational requirements. In addition, many people select minor degrees that will complement their major degrees. Students should carefully plan their educational paths to their life careers.

Determining the Curriculum

Each institution of higher learning determines the requirements for its degree programs. However, many professions, such as nursing and other medical professionals require that practitioners be certified. In addition, various accrediting agencies and the United States Department of Education determine some of the requirements. In order to be accredited, the institution must offer certain courses with a minimum number of class hours. In addition, some disciplines require hands-on experience at local hospitals, clinics and other facilities.

Major degree programs are designed to give students the maximum training in a particular discipline, and corresponding minor degree programs complement related major degree programs. Associate degrees are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions, but they are completely separate from minor degree programs. Regardless of the major or minor program selected, each student must complete required prerequisites before enrolling in any major classes.

The Major Degree Programs

When students know their career paths, they may select a major degree program. The major program will require courses that are discipline intensive. An example of courses required for accounting majors may be found at at Rutgers University Accounting Major Curriculum.

The major degree program is designed for people who wish to be accountants or Certified Public Accountants. The CPA must have a Bachelor of Science degree and pass the CPA examination. The accounting major curriculum prepares the student for the examination.

Minor Degree Programs

Students with a minor in accounting are prepared for entry-level positions, but their major degree may be marketing or finance. Minor degrees are selected from fields that increase knowledge or skills in the major discipline.

Minor degrees are actually basic courses required for major degrees. Every accounting major has completed courses for the minor degree before taking the required e major classes. However, the student cannot minor in the same discipline as his or her major.

Notice the requirements for the accounting minor at Rutgers University Accounting Minor Curriculum. Note that the elective courses for the minor degree are courses that are required for the major degree. Keep in mind that this minor is not for accounting majors. It is, however, ideal for all related business majors.

Selecting a Major and Minor

Students who have chosen a career can easily determine a major degree program. Selecting a minor may be difficult if music is the major discipline. Other major degrees have several excellent options to complement the major. School counselors and the Internet can suggest good matches for each discipline.

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