There are lots of exciting opportunities when it comes to deciding on a degree. One really big opportunity that has become popular over the years is a double degree. But is doing a double degree worth it?
A dual degree allows a student to develop a more competitive edge in a saturated job market. It provides more opportunities for employment after graduation, covering a wider range of units and skills. Double degrees allow people to work in multiple industries and can be completed in a shorter time.
Choosing your degree is an important milestone, as it greatly influences your career. This guide gives you the information you need to make an informed decision. So, let’s look at what you need to know about double degrees.
What is a double degree?
A double degree is an opportunity that allows you to study two majors at university at the same time. Often universities offer these combined options where units of each degree can cross over. This means you don’t need to complete one full degree, then spend another potentially 5 years at university to complete a second major degree. You can combine diplomas and associate degrees with bachelors or combine two bachelors. There is a wide variety of options that we will cover later.
A double degree is a great choice for any person who potentially has two huge passions and interests in two different industries. One example is the opportunity offered by RMIT to study an Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing, that can be combined with a Bachelor of Arts. While the most common choice of major for the Bachelor of Arts when combining these two degrees is the creative writing major. You can have the option of choosing a different Bachelor of Arts major. This broadens your skillset and knowledge that will allow you to apply for work in a range of industries.
Universities are very competitive, which is why they are constantly looking for ways to combine degrees and offer students more opportunities. A double degree is a great tertiary study option to consider. So, what do you need to know before making your decision?
The pros and cons of studying a double degree
It is essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a double degree program. As everyone is different, you will have your own goals for your career path. This is where you need to sit down and consider the direction you would like to go in and how your tertiary studies will help. A double degree could be very beneficial to you, or you might find it a bit much to handle. We’re going to look at the pros and cons of undertaking a double degree to help you decide if it is worth it.
Advantages of studying a double degree
Double degrees can make you more employable
By studying a double degree, you can become a more valuable prospective employee compared to others who only completed one qualification. A double degree will teach you more skills and information about different industries that will appeal to employers. You will be able to fit a wider range of roles. Pair a double degree with a good work ethic and personality and you could be one of the most competitive job applicants on the market. It can also help you to get a great first job after graduating.
You don’t need to select just one of your interests
We often have more than one interest that we are passionate about. Doing a double degree can be worth it because you get to study two areas of interest at once. You could learn ways that these interests can connect and potentially discover your dream job from a double degree. Or the double degree might help you realise that you are more interested in one area over the other. Then you can focus on building a career in that specific industry. Or, if you’d like, you could link up with a recruitment agency and find multiple job opportunities in a variety of workplaces. This is a great way to build your experience in different industries and learn how different workplaces function. For example, general and skilled labourers often connect with labour hire agencies to be contracted out to all kinds of work sites. Employers contact the recruitment agency to hire labour workers and these workers get to experience all kinds of projects. The same can be done in most industries.
Build a bigger industry network through a dual degree
Pursuing a double degree allows you to create a network with a wider community that can span internationally. You can connect with students, academics, and professionals across the globe within two programs. This can enhance your job opportunities even more, while also building your networking skills.
Complete double degrees sooner than two separate degrees
If you choose to study two degrees separately, you could find yourself at university for a much longer time than necessary. It’s always a great idea, if you have two areas of interest, to discuss with universities about your study options. Many double degrees allow you to pursue two areas of study and complete the degrees in a shorter time than studying them separately. This allows you to get into the professional work field sooner and start building your career.
Disadvantages of studying a double degree
Double degrees are longer than single degrees
While a double degree saves time in the way of studying two degrees, it will still add time to your original study plan. A single degree typically lasts between 1 and 4 years. A double degree will add at least six more months to your university period. But it is much less time than undertaking two degrees at separate times.
Double degrees cost more
Double degrees come with a higher cost because you are combining two degrees and will have more units to study. But you won’t be paying for two degrees in their entirety. The ability to combine units will lower the cost of the degrees. The only thing to consider is that you will need to budget for a higher cost than if you were only studying for one degree.
Heavier workloads come with dual degrees
Studying a double degree can increase your workload, depending on how the university delivers the degree. It could mean that you study an extra unit each semester which increases a regular tertiary workload. Or you could find yourself completing these extra units together in the extended study time that comes with a double degree. You will need to consider how you will balance the workload of a double degree and the rest of your life. This is one of the biggest influences when deciding if a double degree is worth it.
There is lots of competition to study double degrees
Because there is a lot of value seen in a double degree, the admissions are competitive. You might need to undertake tests or provide portfolios and resumes. This means you are competing against other prospective students and the expectations of the university to be accepted into a double degree. But these are all things you can prepare for.
Deciding if a double degree is right for you
You need to consider the advantages and disadvantages that we have covered when deciding if a double degree will be worth your time. Remember that it’s important to have a keen interest in more than one program. If you aren’t completely passionate and committed to studying both degrees, a double degree could be a waste of time. But if you do have that passion, you can develop a broader range of skills. This will give you access to a wider variety of career options and experiences. Let’s look at the main questions to consider before deciding if a double degree is worth it.
Some questions to consider before doing a double degree
You need to be considering how a double degree could benefit you before you commit to studying. Otherwise, you could find yourself becoming very overwhelmed and unhappy with your degree. Here are two main things to consider:
Do you have a clear plan for your future?
Thinking about the future can be overwhelming at times, but it’s important to do so when planning your tertiary studies. Consider where you would like to be at the end of your degree, and what opportunities you want available to you. Often you will have to interview with a university when applying for a double degree. The admissions team will ask what your plan is. Consider if a double degree is worth it to benefit you and set you up for your ideal career. Remember, too, that a degree doesn’t always define your career.
Will funding be an issue?
The other big thing to consider about studying a double degree is how you will manage the financial side. Your university fees will be higher, and you will likely have more study materials to invest in. You could qualify for government assistance with tertiary fees. But there will always be a sum for you to pay during your study period. Therefore you need to consider the cost of a double degree and if it is something you can cover.
Common double degree options
As we mentioned, there is a huge variety of double degree options that universities offer. Here are most of the double degrees at Australian Universities for you to consider:
- Two Bachelor’s degrees.
- A Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree.
- Combined postgraduate programs.
Universities have predesigned double degree options. But some universities will work with a student to create a special combination of two degrees to suit their interests. Below is a table of the most common available combined university degrees:
|Undergraduate Programs||Postgraduate Programs||Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s|
|Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Information Technology||Master of Professional Accounting and Master of Business Law||Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Supply Chain Management|
|Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)||Master of Creative Industries and Master of Management||Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and Master of Pharmacy|
|Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business||Master of International Relations and Master of Journalism||Bachelor of Business and Master of Business Analytics|
|Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Business||Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine||Master of Cyber Security Analysis and Master of International Relations|
|Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts||Master of International Relations and Master of International Business||Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering|
|Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Media Communication||Master of Planning and Master of Architecture||Bachelor of Business and Master of International Business|
Dual degrees have many advantages, and with these benefits come considerations such as time, purpose, and cost. Regardless of your specific goals, Australian universities have lots of options to benefit you. Deciding if a double degree is worth it will be different for every individual. You can always consult with a career guidance counsellor and other professionals to see if you will get a lot out of a double degree.
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