2 answers

Is it worth it to get a double or even a triple major?

Asked Chicago, Illinois

It is theoretically good to have more than one major because it translates into more job opportunities. However, the tuition and time needed increases significantly and for the most part, a job would only require one major.

#college-major , #double-major , #college-advice

2 answers

Jacob’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi, Jason,

The short answer to your question is yes, it does make sense if you want to do it. If you find there are two majors that you are really interested in then it is worthwhile to explore the possibility of double majoring or adding a minor. Some double majors are not as laborious as it might seem. I double majored in Accounting and Finance. My school allowed students to "double dip" - some accounting courses counted as finance electives and vice versa, which made completing the course load much more manageable. I also had some AP credits going into college and those helped build flexibility into managing the curriculum.

I'm not sure it is worthwhile to try for an extra major if it is going to prevent you from graduating on time. I think you would need a very compelling reason to do so. I'm not arguing that there is no set of circumstances under which that scenario makes sense, but you definitely need to be very thoughtful when weighing the costs and benefits of adding another major or minor.

You should select your majors based on what you ultimately want to do for your career. That is probably easier said than done, but I think the most pragmatic way to think about your career aspirations is to backwards plan. Identify careers you think you would be interested in and work back to find a program that allows you to pursue multiple career interests. For example, if I think I might want to work at a think tank doing research but also am considering consulting for a professional services firm, I might pursue something like economics or math. Both of those majors would provide tremendous technical skills that are extremely attractive to employers and are well-suited for a wide range of career options.

I linked a career guide below and HIGHLY recommend you read the entire thing. I know it is long, but I can't overstate how beneficial I think it is. Read a section a day and you will finish in no time. The research is very interesting and it's very well written. I also added a Wall Street Journal Article about the pros and cons of double majoring that might help you consider the situation from a different perspective.

Good luck - I hope this helps. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need to.

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

  • https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/
  • https://www.wsj.com/articles/does-it-pay-to-double-major-1486955101

Kamilah’s Answer

Updated Huntsville, Alabama

You're not allowed to do a triple major, you are able to do a double major and a minor.

Don't take any major or minor that you know you aren't going to want to do long term in life. Both of the degrees you receive will give you the opportunity to get a job in either field.

Kamilah recommends the following next steps:

  • What majors are you considering?
  • What are you passionate about to do long term in life?
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