What Are the Best Minors for a Major in Computer Science?

This is about the best minors for a computer science major.

You’ll learn:

  • How to choose a minor for a computer science major
  • Examples of great minors for a computer science major
  • Lots more

So if you need some help picking the right minor for your computer science major, then you are in the right place.

So without further ado, let’s do this!

Table of Contents

How to Choose the Right Minor For Your Computer Science Major

After choosing to pursue a computer science degree, the next step is to choose a minor.

The best minor for computer science is one that makes you more attractive to potential employers.

While a minor might not seem like a big deal, it can be.

Earning a minor involves taking several courses in a set program, so you get to dig deep and learn skills and content. 

How do you choose the best minor for computer science?

The answer involves analyzing your plans for using your degree.

Finding what degree complements computer science is as easy as looking at what you enjoy studying and what you would like to do in your professional life. 

Know Your Interests

Picking a good minor for computer science involves following your interests.

Most college students have already taken several courses before they officially declare a major.

So, you should look at what you already have before you decide on a complementary computer engineering minor. 

In the first two years of college, you’ve probably taken general ed courses.

Fortunately, most colleges offer students several choices for those gen-ed courses, so the odds are good you’ve taken some classes in subjects you enjoy.

Some of those courses probably could count toward a minor. 

If you enjoy computer courses, look at the complementary courses you’ve taken. They might be in subjects like math, economics, or software engineering.

Maybe you took several foreign language courses or courses in networking, logistics, or analytics. All of these topics pair well with computer science. 

Major and Minor Credits

Picking a college major and minor is important, as they are the formal declaration of a desired career path.

Usually, students take at least 30 credit hours to earn their majors and a minimum of 18 to earn a minor.

Most courses are three or four credits, so minors usually include five or six additional courses. 

Because of the sheer number of courses that students have to take, choosing a minor matters.

Some students prefer to avoid choosing a minor, instead choosing a second degree with 30 more credits.

Students working on two degrees usually need more than four years to complete their programs. 

Open Up Your Options

A computer science degree already opens up several career opportunities, and adding an unexpected minor can open up more.

Choosing a minor in another computer-related path is a bit redundant. With a minor not connected to computers, you open up other career options if you decide that working with computers is not for you. 

For some students, the best minor for computer science is something unexpected, like psychology, economics, business, or creative writing. These minors offer students the opportunity to learn new skills. 

How to Make the Choice

You shouldn’t choose a minor on a whim. Instead, it is best to do some research.

One place to look is the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This website uses statistics to make predictions about the future of the labor market.

You can look at what careers are expected to be in high demand with good pay and what careers are on their way out of the labor market. 

It is also a good idea to evaluate how long it will take you to earn your minor.

Since most students do not declare a minor until they are in their second or third years of college, choosing a minor can tack on another year to a bachelor’s degree.

Conduct your research early and begin taking courses in a program that you enjoy so you aren’t paying for more years of college. 

Some minor programs require students to take prerequisites, which might be the same as those for the computer science major.

However, if you study something completely unrelated, you might have to take additional courses that will add more time to finishing your degree. 

Value of a Computer Science Minor

Before you commit to your computer science major, you might want to look at a computer science minor.

The BLS could answer the question of “should I minor in computer science,” and reiterates the expectation that graduates with a computer science minor can earn a hefty salary.

The experts at the BLS predict that the field will grow in the next decade. 

Whatever you choose for your major and minor should expand your view of the world and industry.

Your choices should help you expand your thinking and teach you how to navigate your career. 

What About a Double Major

Some students choose a double major rather than differentiating between a major and minor.

A double major can be financially rewarding, especially when choosing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree and one that enhances it.

However, choosing a double major can take a long time to complete; therefore, it can be expensive, too. 

When you choose a double major, you will most likely need to take 30 credits in each field. That’s at least 60 credits, not to mention the prerequisites required for each degree.

Double majors have a lot of course work. A major and a minor combination has at least 25% less work since you only take half of the course work for the minor that you do for the major.

College is expensive. The work should directly influence the career you choose.

For some students, having a double major makes sense. Students who have earned credits through AP credits can use their AP credits towards a double major.

Weigh the pros and cons before you commit to that additional coursework. 

STEM Courses

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses have been popular majors for recent graduates.

Computer science is a major component of any STEM education.

Unfortunately, students who choose STEM majors tend to steer clear of the arts. This is why computer science majors can benefit from choosing an arts subject as a minor. 

STEM leaders need to be literate. They need to know how to work with people from different cultures and politics.

They also need to communicate their ideas effectively, and art minors in a subject like communications, psychology, or English can be helpful. 

Students choosing to major in computer science tend to choose minors that complement the courses they take for their degrees.

These are some of the more common minors that match with a computer science major. 

Biology

Recently, biology and computer science paired nicely for degree-seeking students.

The more that biology and medicine rely on science, the more computers are needed.

Students who choose to earn a minor in biology usually cannot use their computer or math coursework to add up their credits. They will need all of the courses to be in biology-related classes. 

The coursework will include classes in biological processes.

By the time you earn the degree, you will have a good understanding of DNA, RNA, molecules, cell division, and possibly in biology-based manufacturing. 

Students who earn a major in computer science usually take some science courses, but they aren’t usually biology courses.

If you choose a minor in biology or another unrelated science, you can expect to spend more than four years on your degree. 

If you decide to minor in biology, you can work in other industries besides computers.

A biology minor does not open up many career opportunities.

If you are set on biology, you might consider getting a minor in computer science and moving to a biology major.

You can work in nutrition, medicine, science writing, education, and biotech fields with a biology degree. 

Business

Computers and business go hand-in-hand, so pairing a computer science major with a business minor makes perfect sense.

Companies rely on information technology for marketing, sales, management, and more. All aspects of business rely on computers to get work done. 

Like biology and other minors unrelated to computers, earning a business minor would increase the time it takes to earn a four-year degree.

But that extra time can be worthwhile. Since many computer science graduates end up working in business, having a minor in it gives them an advantage in the workplace. 

Having a minor in business helps computer science majors better understand how business organizations work, both in the public and private sector.

They recognize the hierarchy within the business world, and they are better prepared to navigate the bureaucracy that tends to develop in large corporations. 

Communication

No matter what career you choose, you will have to communicate. Therefore, a communication degree is a good accompaniment to a major in computer science.

A communication minor will teach you how to communicate effectively in all forms. You will learn to communicate one-on-one, in teams, small groups, and large organizations. 

For a computer science major, learning about communications can help in several ways.

Communication minors learn how to work with marketers and management, which can help them share their technology. 

Computer science majors can turn to artificial intelligence with a communication minor and explore the field of AI’s reliance on human language.

Having a solid understanding of human linguistics through a communications minor can help advance high-tech language-based computer applications. 

Economics

If you are interested in business, you might want to look more closely at computer science with an economics minor.

With a major in computer science and minor in economics, you build the knowledge you need to work in business, government, law, foreign service, and more. 

With a minor in economics, you show your future employers that you have a deep understanding of microeconomics, macroeconomics, labor, public policy, and industrial organizations.

Computers are often used to make economic predictions so pairing the two studies makes even more sense. 

English

If you are looking for a minor that is the polar opposite of program computer science, then choose English.

In this minor program, you study literary texts and write critically about them. You also learn about the history of the language and the literature that has changed it. 

You might take a course in the classics like Shakespeare and Greek mythology.

You might also take courses in modern literature from around the world. English minors have a range of choices that help them learn to communicate through the written and spoken word. 

Keep in mind that an English minor might have prerequisites that a computer science major will not have.

So, you might extend your degree program slightly if you choose this route. But if you have a passion for both fields (and talent in them), this option could be worthwhile.

Foreign Language

One of the most useful minors in any field is a foreign language. Being able to communicate in a second language makes you an attractive candidate for any job.

While earning a minor in a foreign language, you study the language and culture. 

Some college foreign language programs focus only on the culture and its literature, but you should be able to speak the language so you can read the literature.

The world has become a diverse place, so learning a foreign language and understanding its culture makes you better prepared to work in today’s world. 

In the United States alone, over 37 million people speak Spanish. Studying Spanish as a minor can help you better communicate in the United States and around the world.

Computer scientists need to be able to communicate, not just in computer languages, so that customers and colleagues understand what they are doing with their technology. 

Keep in mind other languages from around the world, like Arabic, German, Japanese, and Mandarin.

If you are working in a high-tech field, you will certainly encounter people from countries where these languages are spoken. 

History

Another non-STEM minor is history. While this minor has little to do with computer science, it can be attractive to employers.

Students who minor in history prove they can read complex texts, conduct research, and use the past to better understand the present.

They prove they have reasoning skills, as they use historical events to learn about the human condition. 

If you choose a minor in history, you will have prerequisites that help you conduct historical research and read complicated texts. 

Law

As the world of computer science continues to grow, decision-makers struggle with public policy.

When you minor in law, you develop a better understanding of how public policy is created through various legal avenues.

Computer science can be stifled with too many policies, but without any, computers can create problems when in the wrong hands. 

Mathematics

A major in computer science math minor matches well. When students work on their computer science degree, they usually have to take several advanced math classes to complete their programs.

To earn the math minor, they only have to take a few more. Earning a math minor allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree in four years. 

Having a strong background in mathematics does open up opportunities outside of computers.

Students who excel at math learn to think critically and analytically. They can solve problems, not just those with numbers. They can also use quantitative reasoning.

Add to this the fact that college graduates learn how to work in teams, communicate, and manage their time, too.

With a mathematics minor, students can work in computers and several other industries. They include 

  • Accounting
  • Aerospace
  • Analytics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Investing
  • Research
  • Statistics

Physics

Students who choose a physics minor will benefit from the math that computer science majors take.

Learning more about physics can help computer science students better understand how computers can help with physical science, architecture, and engineering.

Pairing computer science and physics helps students better understand robotics and artificial intelligence. 

Students who minor in physics prove to their future employers that they can think critically, conduct research, and understand complex situations.

The minor helps students find jobs in science, technology, business, government, health care, and other industries that require complex thinking. 

Psychology or Sociology

Psychology is another useful degree. Like communications, understanding psychology can help you better understand the people you work with each day.

Pairing psychology with computer science is valuable regarding artificial intelligence and robotics. 

Students who get a minor in psychology take courses in various topics about the stages of life, communication, conducting research, and education.

A psychology minor does not necessarily help with any specific field like physics or biology, but it can help recognize and understand human behavior.

With a sociology minor, you learn about how people are connected in society. If you earn a sociology minor, you prove to employers that you understand the principles of the subject and how to conduct research.

Sociology courses will teach you about diversity, how to recognize it and appreciate it, as well as how it is affecting society, today. 

Statistics

A computer science major statistics minor makes sense, as the two programs rely heavily on numbers, research, and predictions.

In fact, those who minor in statistics learn to analyze data, make models, and derive inferences about numbers. 

Computers are often used when making those models and inferences. You might find that you start to question should I minor in computer science after digging into statistics.