Did you know that about four million people graduate college each year? If you want to compete with that job market, you need a good major, but you might also want to consider double majoring.
Then, you can choose two degrees that will set you up for professional success. Whether you choose two practical majors or one practical and one less practical, a double major can be useful.
Read on to learn more about double majoring and if it’s worth it for you.
What Is a Double Major?
A double major refers to a degree plan where you pursue two fields of study instead of just one. You can also get one degree with two majors where the majors both lead to the same degree, such as a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS).
A dual degree is similar to a double major, but you will receive two degrees. This is usually the case when your majors lead to different degrees, such as one BA and one BS.
You can double major in almost any two fields of your choice. Then, you can pursue multiple interests, or you can pursue your passion while also studying something that may help you get a job.
For example, you might choose to major in music performance and in business. That way, you can learn about music, but you’ll have the skills to land a career in business if music doesn’t work out.
Benefits of a Double Major
Before deciding on double majoring, you may be wondering, is a double major worth it? Pursuing a double major can be an excellent decision for a lot of students.
Once you graduate, you’ll be able to enjoy a few advantages of having two majors on your resume. But even the best double majors require a lot of work.
Consider the following pros of double majoring to help determine if it’s the right path for you.
More Job Opportunities
After you finish school, you may have access to more job opportunities if you have a double major. For example, maybe you majored in accounting and marketing.
Not only will you be able to find accounting jobs, but you will also be able to apply to marketing roles. The same is true for a lot of different pairs of double majors.
So if one field you majored in doesn’t have many openings after you graduate, you can still find some sort of job. As that industry recovers, you may be able to switch jobs if you prefer.
If you earn two degrees in similar fields, you might be able to command a higher salary after you graduate. For example, maybe you major in marketing and psychology.
You can use both degrees to get a job in marketing or sales. Since you understand a bit of psychology, you can leverage that experience to convince a company to hire you to help craft marketing campaigns.
Having that major in psychology means you can create better marketing campaigns. So you might have more negotiating power when getting a marketing job than someone who only studied marketing.
Set Yourself Apart
Even if you can’t get a higher salary or find more jobs, put your double major on a resume. Your resume is the perfect place to set yourself apart from other job applicants.
You can use your second major to show potential employers why you’re the best candidate for the job. Maybe you studied business and Spanish in college.
As international trade increases, knowing another language can help you get a good job. If a company doesn’t have a lot of bilingual employees, they may need you.
Have a Backup Plan
A lot of college students ask themselves, “what major is right for me?” It can be a tough question, especially if what you love is a field that doesn’t pay well or that doesn’t have many jobs.
Double majoring can be an excellent compromise. Then, you can study a field you love, such as music or art. But you’ll have a more practical degree you can use as a backup, such as business.
Of course, you can still pursue your dream career after graduation. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll have something that can help you get a good job in a different field until your dream career takes off.
Meet More People
Another benefit of double majoring is that you can meet more people. You’ll have more professors, and you can meet different groups of students in your two majors.
That can help you build your network while you’re still in school. And having a good network can help you get a job later, whether you get a job that uses either major or not.
Plus, if your professors know of your double major, they may recommend you for jobs that suit you based on your majors. Make sure you build good relationships with your professors and classmates to help you in the future.
Drawbacks of a Double Major
Double majoring can be an excellent option for some students, but it’s not for everyone. Before you sign up for two majors, you should consider the downsides.
Then, you’ll be able to decide if double majoring is right for you. If not, you can choose one major, or you can choose a major and a minor to get some of the benefits of a double major without all of the drawbacks.
Here are some essential things to consider before you choose a double major.
Hard to Balance
Double majoring can make it hard to balance all of your school and personal obligations. You may need to take more classes than your friends in a given semester.
That means you won’t have as much free time to participate in clubs or other activities. And if you have to work while you’re in school, you might not have much free time at all.
If you need a lot of time to spread out your activities, double majoring probably isn’t the best option. But if you thrive on being busy, you may love having two majors.
Risk of Lower Grades
Because a double major can be hard to balance, you may not be able to spend as much time studying for individual classes. That could make it harder to maintain a high grade point average (GPA).
While you don’t need to get perfect grades, some scholarships may require you to maintain a minimum GPA. If you have too many classes to manage, you might not be able to keep up.
Some students can manage a lot of classes, and they can thrive in all of them. However, other students may want to stick to one major and a smaller course load.
Not every student will graduate in four years, but the chances of staying in college longer can increase with a double major. Having more majors means you have more classes to take.
And unless you can cram them all into four years, you’ll need to stay in school for an extra semester or two. Of course, you can take classes in the summer, but that may not always be an option depending on your program.
Think about your two majors and if they overlap. For example, majoring in business and marketing might not require much extra time, but majoring in business and art will take time.
Financial Aid Issues
Depending on how long it takes for you to graduate, you may experience some financial aid issues. Certain scholarships and other aid programs may only last for four years.
If you don’t have enough money to continue your schooling without that aid, you might have to drop out. You could take out more loans, but you’ll have to decide if that’s worth it for you.
Be sure you know how long you’ll qualify for a certain type of aid. Then, you can make sure it will last for as long as you need to be in school, or you can choose not to pursue a double major.
Another potential problem with double majoring is that you might not have room for electives. Taking electives can be an excellent way to expand your knowledge and figure out what interests you.
When you start with a double major at the beginning of college, you can limit the courses you’ll have time to take. Because you have to fulfill requirements for two degrees, that will be your focus.
Not only that, but you might have fewer choices over when you take classes. One of the classes you have to take might only occur at one time or in one semester each year, so you can’t take other classes during that time.
Is Double Majoring Right for You?
Double majoring can be an excellent way to learn new things and stand out when applying for jobs. But it also takes a lot of work, time, and money.
Be sure the investment is worth it for you and your life. Then, you can choose the best double majors for you, and you’ll be able to enjoy your time in school.
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