Published July 2018
Written By Laura Henschel
In this unprecedented job market, everyone is finding ways to get ahead, setting themselves apart from the growing sea of applicants that all want the same position. In college, students are already shadowing professionals in their field of study, landing internships with big-name companies, and racking up the volunteer hours, all while balancing a full-time class schedule—and it doesn’t stop at just one degree. Some students are even pursuing two undergraduate degrees at once in hopes to impress future employers. And while a double-major is certainly impressive, proven to teach students a diverse skillset in collaboration, communication, and innovation, it’s taxing on the student. Say “goodbye” to electives. Exploratory courses may be out of the picture. Stress could become your middle name.
What if there were a better way? What if you could get all the experience of an interdisciplinary academic experience, focused on design thinking, persuasive communication skills, and diversity - without the academic stress of multiple majors? The freedom to explore different degrees and become an innovative thinker at the same time is possible— with a minor in Innovation.
University of Florida’s Innovation Academy (IA) has created a unique minor program dedicated to the development and implementation of students’ creative mindset, co-curricular experiences, experimentation, and innovation— all while giving them the freedom to explore over 25 majors supported by the program. Students gain the experience employers want—the kind of experience students with two majors work relentlessly to acquire – by being an IA student.
In a recent survey, employers shared that good grades or multiple degrees do not catch their attention on job applications. More importantly, they are looking for problem-solvers, team players, communicators, and leaders—in other words, everything that IA succeeds in bringing to their students’ curriculum.
The IA minor is a 15-credit program designed to create life-long innovators. While many majors hyper-focus the attention on their specific field of study, the IA minor uses a holistic approach to give students the exposure to diverse subjects, peers, and ideas. This emphasis on multi-disciplinary coursework sets our students up for success through collaboration with peers across colleges, finding solutions to global issues-- like sustainability or food production-- and even through the use of brand-new learning resources like our McGrogan Active Learning Center and our partnership with the UF Fab Lab.
So, before you figure out your four-year plan to double-major, it’s time to rethink your academic timeline. If you are looking for a competitive edge against your peers, a broadened scope of study, and experience that employers are actually looking for, consider becoming an innovator through IA. A more flexible schedule as an Innovation minor may just lead you to get involved with organizations on campus as a leader, collect memories during an internship or study abroad program, or even realize your next big idea.