Scratching your head over whether to take a double degree or double major? Fear no more. Check out this quick guide to differentiate between the two and pick the one that’s best for you.
If you’re thinking of completing a double degree programme, one of the first pitfalls you should think of is the longer duration compared to a double major programme. You should therefore be prepared to develop persistence and stamina to maintain at your peak performance for a longer period of time if you choose a double degree programme.
2. Number of credits required on top of primary degree
Always hand-in-hand with the longer duration is the larger amount of minimum credits required for you to complete a double degree programme. Pursuing a double degree is equivalent to doubling your workload. Thus, think carefully about the implications on university life you’d like to have and whether you’d want to spend your post-studying hours doing something else instead.
3. Implication on qualifications
This is probably one of the differences most frequently confused by students considering taking either double degree or double major programmes. With a double degree programme, you are certified with two separate degrees. For instance if you graduate with a double degree in Mathematics and Economics, you can apply for a research post as a Mathematics grad as well as a banking consultant job as an Economics grad.
However, if you graduate with a major in Mathematics with a second major in Economics, you can still apply for both a mathematical research and a banking consultant post, but as a Maths grad for both.
For more information on starting your career planning, take a look at our two-part article dedicated to career planning for undergraduates and pre-university students!
4. Implication on career pathway
This is closely related to the previous point about implication on qualifications. If you graduate with a double degree in Mathematics and Economics, you’ll have obtained working knowledge of both Mathematics and Economics as an academic discipline. You’ll be considered to have diverse interests which can be translated into skills in the workplace.
A double degree is therefore most suitable for students who have diverse interests and are determined to obtain recognize qualifications for their respective fields of interests. Most likely, these students also intend to seek employment in an area related to both of their degrees, or plan to switch careers later on in their career path.
If you graduate with a degree in Mathematics with a second major in Economics, chances are you are primarily interested in pursuing Mathematics as an academia upon graduation, but nevertheless intrigued by the role of Maths in modern Economics.
You also probably have thought of carrying out research on the importance of Maths in Economics with the knowledge you have acquired by doing the second major. Double major tracks are, therefore, usually suitable for students with a primary interest in one field and would like to explore their career options further with a secondary interest.
Bottom line: Pursuing a double degree is not for the faint hearted, many students have dropped out along the way because the workload is very heavy. If one of the degree you’re thinking of pursuing is more of an interest, we highly recommend going for a double major instead. 🙂 Also, you don’t necessarily need a degree to be good at something, you can learn the skills online or through an internship.
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