Five Majors & Minors that will Give You a Leg Up in the Business World When You Graduate

A degree in business opens the door to a wide range of lucrative career options, but it’s important to understand how competitive the business world is. Careers in business are growing increasingly more competitive each year, and employers are looking for qualifications that set candidates apart. It is no longer enough to get a business degree, graduate with honors, or participate in an impressive internship. Changes are, when you submit your resume to a company, they will have several resumes of recently graduated students with the exact same qualifications and extra-curricular activities.
So how do you stand out and get a leg up on the competition? One thing that will help you differentiate yourself from others is your education—if you double major or minor in something that is perhaps unique but is valuable in the business world, employers will want you. If you’re currently a business student looking for ways to get ahead of your competition, read on for a few suggestions of majors and minors that will put you ahead in the eyes of your potential employers.

Human Resources

Coursework in human resource subjects is often added to the core classes of a business degree. However, taking additional courses towards a second major or minor shows a potential employer that you understand aspects of business ranging from training and employee retention to interviewing and hiring. These are all skills employers look for when filling leadership positions, so a major or minor in this area could help get you on the fast track to a management position with benefits and better pay. Employers want people who understand how a business organization works, and who know how to work well with people. A double major or minor in HR is impressive to a potential employer because it shows them that you know the ins and outs of how a business organization should run.


As technology increases and businesses grow more internationally, fluency in another language really sets you apart from your peers. A second language is also important as nations become more diverse, working with customers and clients of different origins and nationalities. Some languages are more helpful than others, such as Chinese and Spanish, depending on the business and location. If you are interested in international business, or have some companies in mind that you would like to work for who deal overseas, a language could help you to get hired. Double majoring with a language will require a lot of credit hours, but even minoring in a language will set you apart from other candidates who only speak one language.


Psychology is a versatile degree that can be used for much more than just counseling or research. Coursework in psychology helps you understand the underlying processes of why people make decisions and act the way that they do. These skills easily translate to business both from a marketing and a human resources perspective. Employers want someone who can help direct business goals based on consumer behaviors and emotions, and as a psychology major or minor, you’ll have a good idea of how to evaluate these behaviors and target consumers. If you choose to double major and add psychology, or just add it as your minor, you can emphasize in consumer psychology or organizational psychology so that your psychology studies are business-focused. If you are close to graduating, there are also applied psychology programs online that will allow you to gain the knowledge about psychology in the business world that you will need before entering the work force.


Even if you’re looking at positions that are not directly involved with marketing, having a basic understanding of how to advertise and market a product is beneficial from the initial planning and design process all the way through accounting. Like psychology, marketing degrees help you better understand a target audience, and shows a potential employer that you have more than just basic business skills. If an employer can hire individuals who have marketing knowledge and skills, they will save money by not having to spend as much money on outsourcing their marketing. Even if you aren’t looking for a marketing position, marketing and business go hand-in-hand, so the ability to give sound advice on a company’s marketing tactics will go a long way with employers.

Information Technology

All businesses rely on computers and networks to operate their day-to-day business. It’s nearly impossible to work in the business field anymore without at least a basic knowledge of computers and information technology. A second major or minor in a computer science subject shows an employer that you can handle not only the business side of the workplace, but also the technology side. Some people know a lot about business, however they might not be technologically-savvy, which could hurt the business in a technology-centered world. If you’re interested in working for a technology-based company, this type of degree or minor will automatically place you above others hoping for the job.

Regardless of which major or minor you choose to add, every bit of extra knowledge helps set you apart from other candidates. If you already have specific companies that you would like to work for, think of a special skill or niche that would set you apart from other candidates who also want the job. These days, so many students have a lengthy, impressive resume. However, potential employers will be more impressed by skills and qualifications you have received than they will be by your extra-curricular activities or personal interests.

– Dixie Somers is a freelance writer

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