Going to college and succeeding takes a lot of hard work and determination. Some motivated students even declare a minor in addition to their major. Others take things a notch further by having two majors! As more and more Americans change career fields in our changing economy, a double major may help current college students be better prepared for the workforce.
Opponents of double majors claim that many employers are willing to hire people with any degree, regardless of major. Others claim that today’s students are taking too long to graduate anyway and adding additional requirements to the mix equals more time spent in school.
But a 2013 study performed at Vanderbilt University has found that declaring a double major comes with multiple benefits, reports US News. Seven perks are listed below:
1. The Vanderbilt researchers claim that students with double majors during college generally have more original ideas than their peers. Surveyed students with two closely-related majors as well as students whose majors were at different ends of the spectrum both tended to have better critical thinking skills and more original ideas than students who concentrated on one subject area.
2. Having a good foundation of knowledge in two subject areas can help you stay competitive in the workforce. A bachelor’s degree is no longer the golden ticket to success that it was in decades past. A degree is almost a necessity when looking for an entry-level job, but most graduates only had one major. Serious concentration in a secondary area will make you more appealing to prospective employers.
3. Closely related majors may include many overlapping classes. Majors that are related to one another, such as business and marketing, may require some of the same classes—and you won’t have to take them twice.
4. Two majors is often not much more work than a major and a minor. It may be tempting to declare a major as well as a minor, but in many cases a double major is not much more effort. Elective credits, which are required for graduation, can be earned in the second major.
5. A double major allows you to concentrate on a subject that you are passionate about along with a subject area that is more “practical.” Love art, music or history? Great…but there aren’t nearly as many job openings in those fields as there are in engineering, marketing or management. Declaring a double major during college can allow you some wiggle room when the time arrives to job hunt.
6. It may be easier to earn a graduate degree once you have a double major. If you decide to go to graduate school—either down the road or immediately after college—you have more opportunities ahead of you than someone who only concentrated on one subject.
7. Completing two majors helps students improve their time management and multitasking skills. There’s no denying that earning a degree takes dedication, an attribute that requires both time management and learning how to multitask effectively—skills that you will use to your benefit throughout the rest of your life.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.