Finally, students can pursue courses that interest them. Many college students choose their major based on their personal interests. Others decide on majors that will move them towards a specific career. However, many students want more.
Here at Keene State College, students who want to pursue multiple avenues for their education have more options than they might think. Adding a minor or a double or dual major can enhance a student’s academic experience and give them an advantage in the job market.
The exact definitions of a dual major and a double major vary from school to school. Generally, a dual major consists of two related majors that compliment each other well. Classes may also overlap within the two majors, making for easier scheduling. A double major means taking on two separate major and receiving two different degrees. This option is often a lot more rigorous, with more classes being required because none of them overlap. It can be an extremely demanding option. Sometimes, if you don’t choose to take on a double major right away, you may even end up needing to take an extra semester or two just to fulfill all your requirements.
It may seem like a lot of work, but many students seem to be taking on the challenge. According to the Chronicle of Education, the number of college students who are taking on a double major is on the rise. The number of undergraduates pursuing a double major is estimated to be between 30 to 40 percent. Whether it is for a future job prospect or simply to further their education, students are becoming more and more ambitious in their education.
“Serious concentration in a secondary area can be extremely marketable and employers are looking for that,” said Kathy Sims, director of the University of California Los Angeles career center. “It really does seem to be a great value.”
To employers, a double major demonstrates a willingness to work hard and take on difficult tasks. They can also indicate that you are flexible and adapt to change well. “With double majors, students are saying, ‘I am interested in viewing the world through more than one discipline’s set of lenses,’” said Marlene McCauley, Associate Academic Dean at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
However, double majors are not something that should be taken lightly. While they can help you in the job market, double majors are a big commitment. In some circumstances, a double major can mean giving up free elective credits or needing to take an extra semester. Although no one should be too intimidated to take on a second major, it is a big decision to make. If you’re considering becoming a double or dual major, talk to the academic and career advising office, located in Elliot Hall, to see if it’s the right path for you.
Lindsay Gibbons can be contacted