Can't decide between Majors/Minors

<p>Hey guys! Thought that some of you could help me out here..</p>

<p>I'm trying to decide among which minor to go best with International Relations (my chosen major). I want to make a platform that will help me out on my resume after college years are done, so that I can find a valuable career. From my choices, I want to work for either the CIA, NSA, United Nations, U.S. State Dept, or other governmental agency. I want to specifically specialize in foreign intelligence as an Intelligence Analyst or Field Agent (undecided), and through many reports I've read from a plethora of sources, ex-recruiters from many of these top agencies recruit people who are good in not only linguistics, but also in journalism, psychology, political science and even criminal justice. I cannot decide from these minors which to choose to best benefit my major. I was being decisive from journalism to political science because I remember reading that the CIA recruited many investigative journalists from the NY Times, Washington Post, etc., but then again students can utilize psychology as a means of better understanding how policymakers think and criminal justice is a study of those criminals whom these agencies hunt down, so which Minor would best suit me?</p>

<p>-- As aforementioned, I want to primarily focus on foreign intelligence studies, alongside other topics such as comparative governments, national security, foreign policy, and what not. Thanks for reading.</p>

<p>A foreign language(s)</p>

<p>There is a very common misconception that you “need” a minor, and that a minor will “beef up” your resume. It won’t. A minor is not, IN OF ITSELF useful.</p>

<p>You are much better off majoring in intl relations and then taking a variety of classes that interest you in other fields. The only reason to get a minor would be if you, after taking many classes that interest you, realize that you have fulfilled the requirements for a minor (without consciously intending to do so).</p>

<p>A language would obviously be useful, but you can learn a language without a minor.</p>

<p>^ You realize some schools require at minimum one major and one minor right?</p>

<p>OP, the suggestion regarding foreign languages is pretty solid. One reason to go that route is that it can only increase your likelihood of job offers. Two reasons not to go that route is that (1) as mentioned above, you can always take a language outside of academics, and (2) if you don’t already have a country/region in mind in which you’d like to specialize, taking a language now might end up pigeonholing you (awkward, if you take Spanish for three years only to realize after that you’d like to work in China.)</p>

<p>I’m sceptical as to how useful academic psychology is going to be in your field. I won’t claim I know either psychology nor foreign intelligence that well, but my intuition tells me that you’ll find poli sci, history, or sociology more worthwhile.</p>

<p>^Such instances are the exception, not the norm. (I can only think of one off the top of my head: Carnegie Mellon University). It is clear from the OP’s post that he/she wants a minor partly because of its perceived benefit to recruiting.</p>

<p>Consider minoring in one of the working languages of the united nations if you intend to work there.</p>

<p>Though I can’t at all grasp why you would want to do that/:</p>

<p>What I’m seeing here is that mostly linguistics will prove beneficial for any specified country I decide to work in. Also, I am seeing some differing opinions going on. I’m noticing the argument among having a minor or not; if I really don’t require a minor then having one major is fine too, but won’t it reduce my chances in the future for a job? And what would you guys say if I had to pick two majors instead of just one minor and one major?</p>

<p>I’m positive that there are hundreds of other candidates going into my field that may want to include other parts on their resume in terms of major/minor supplements. Anything to ‘beef’ up their points and rack up reputation is a goal of most students.</p>

<p>@ vienneselights, I’m sure that the UN takes a good amount of employees in who have solid background in int’l relations, that’s why I’m considering it as a prospective student. It wouldn’t hurt after all since I will be using IR as a platform for my career.</p>

<p>Do an internship first, I implore you. The UN has a very particular atmosphere.</p>

<p>There’s no argument. Above poster made an assumption, then chose to lecture you based on said assumption.</p>

<p>I’m not convinced that having a CV that says “Major - X” rather than “Major - X, Minor - Y” is going to hurt one’s job prospects. A degree is a degree is a degree. Besides, you could always list other fields in which you’ve taken courses but did not pursue a minor as a “concentration” (i.e., “BA with Major in IR; concentrations in political science and sociology”) should you really feel the urge to do so. Other things you can drop under “skills” (i.e., “Fluency in oral and written Arabic.”)</p>

<p>Just don’t get burned. When you’re burned you’ve got nothing: no cash, no credit, no job history; you’re stuck in whatever city they decide to dump you in.</p>

<p>There is a difference between a minor, and the skills you learn through a minor.
Just having a minor on your resume will not help you get a job.</p>

<p>However, having a particular skill set that you might be able to acquire through a minor is valuable.
However, you can acquire that skill set by just taking classes you are interested in rather than getting a minor.</p>

<p>Thank you Hier, your words seem true. Terenc, I’m confident that those outside “skills” learned or acquired such as languages will prove useful. Thanks for your help guys!</p>

<p>And vien, that sounds reasonable. Will definitely consider that as well.</p>