D2 just completed her freshman year in engineering and is off to a good start. She has declared a Material Science and Engineering major.
Because of the incredible breadth of the Material Science major, the school recommends adding a minor with it. Options include Polymer Science and engineering, Nanotechnology, and Chemical engineering.
She is leaning toward the polymers minor. I am wondering whether anyone has any insights about whether any one of these might create more/better opportunities for her than the others?
It’s more important she pick what interests her as opposed to trying to figure out where the best opportunities will be in the future. That’s never been a really successful game. Of those, polymers and nanotechnology are two of the common concentrations in materials.
She is not sure at this point what she will like more. She likes the math and science aspects of mat science so far, which I think is great. I am encouraging her to follow her interest, but also want her to be aware if the decision has a significant impact on employability. Based on your comment it sounds like perhaps the choice of minor does not matter too much. Honestly, if she wants to, she may even be able to add both minors. We will see how it evolves as she gets through fall semester.
Her curriculum path will likely have space to take a class in each and then she can decide. There’s no reason to take a bunch of extra classes in something she dislikes no matter how strong the employment outlook is. Life is too short to hate your job.
“want her to be aware if the decision has a significant impact on employability” - It’s a reasonable concern. But the most relevant info will come from campus resources, like the career placement center who understands the hiring patterns at that school.
I would advise against doing a minor solely for the sake of doing a minor. A minor is likely going to show up nowhere other than a single-line notation on the transcript, in the end. It does not even show up on the diploma. At the end of the day, nobody really pays much attention to a minor.
If the courses required for the minor are all really interesting, then pick whichever minor is of most interest. Otherwise, just take courses that are interesting, without worrying about the need to get an official minor.
@umcoe16 That is good advice. She picked the Polymer Science and Engineering minor because it is the smallest minor, with only four courses, and two of them are in Chemistry, which is her fav subject. Other than that, she is fitting in a few computer science courses when she can.
@pkgny2022 “Does her school have Industrial Design?”
They have Industrial and Systems engineering. Is that what you mean?