Common Questions Asked about Major Minor Selection
1. Is there any “invincible” major minor combination?
There is no so-called “invincible” combination. You can guide your advisees to review their interests, strengths, study and/or career goals, curriculum and schedule, and required academic skills by the subject(s). Every student is unique and the combination should be considered based on individual factors.
2. What are the academic requirements for declaring a specific major/minor?
It depends on Faculties’ requirements, for example, attainment of a certain level in certain HKDSE subjects or a pre-requisite introductory course for specific majors/ minors. You can suggest your advisees to check the relevant websites (may start from the list of major / minor in AAO website), or confirm with the offering department of the major / minor concerned before declaration.
3. Can I change major/ minor later? How many times can I change it?
This varies from programme to programme. Under normal circumstances and for most Faculties, if your advisees are in non-professional programmes, after declaring major/minor, they can still revise/change the choices in the subsequent course selection/ add drop periods (no regulations on the number of times making changes) until the first semester of final year. No changes are allowed to be made in the second semester of the final year. You can refer your advisees to consult home Faculties for further assistance.
4. Would employers consider job applicants with double majors (or triple majors) as more competent?
Students with a double major may give employers an impression that they have stronger academic or intellectual abilities, but that will not make them more qualified than other candidates with a major and a minor, or with one major only. Employers will look for answers from students during the screening and interview process to questions like — “Do candidates possess the relevant knowledge and skills for the job? “— The key is whether the major/minor studies provide a positive and persuasive reflection on candidates’ qualities, including interest and passion, knowledge, and hard and soft skills.
Nowadays, companies need employees who are able to bring in different perspectives by thinking out of the box. Indeed, some major corporations and professional firms are keen to recruit students/graduates from a variety of disciplines so as to diversify their talent pool and create more dynamics. More jobs are now open to students from all disciplines of study. (Advice from CEDARS’ Careers & Placement Section)
5. If I have a major and a minor in two very different fields, would employer question my clarity of goals?
Students with two very different major and minor may either have a broad interest or uncertainty in their true interests or goals. In either case, if employers raise question on students’ clarity of goals, students should take the opportunity to clarify and elaborate on such choice to change employers’ views and leave a positive impression.
The key is how they present themselves to employers throughout the application and interview process. They should clarify their career goals and demonstrate confidence in possessing such a diverse and unique combination of knowledge and skills from two different fields of studies, as well as to help employers see how they differentiate themselves from other candidates with the ability to contribute to their company.
Hence, before taking up any major or minor, students could ask themselves if they are clear about their career goal – this may also help when applying for internships or graduate jobs. (Advice from CEDARS’ Careers & Placement Section)