4 answers

Are joint majors beneficial or is it better to have a singular major and a minor?

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To people who have/had joint majors: Did you fell less competitive when applying for jobs or internships against people who have a single major? What is your joint major and how has it helped you career wise?

For employers/recruiters (if applicable): Do you prefer people with joint majors or singular majors with a possible a minor? In a field such as computer science or engineering, would a CS or engineering major jointed with a math major normally make someone more or less appealing for the position? How do you often view joint majors in this case?

In general, would it be recommended to joint major or will this put students at a disadvantage compared to people who are in a single major and are able to go deeper into a single subject?

I am choosing between a math-applied science joint major (with the applied sciences being geared towards mechanical engineering) or a math-CS joint and minoring in engineering. I am also considering pure math or applied math with a minor in engineering, but I would prefer more computer and technical courses because they interest me most.

#college-major #major #career #engineering #math #joint-major #internship #research #minor

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4 answers

John’s Answer

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Amy makes some valid points. I would not go as far as to say what you major will not have anything to do with your career. I am an IT in the Navy but plan on opening up a retail business once I retire. I have received a BS/BA-IT degree and will be pursuing a MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship. Study what makes you happy and makes you want to learn more, but also focus that degree towards the field that plan on joining. I was seeking a degree in psychology but redirected towards something that I knew was going to be more beneficial to me in a business world surrounded by advances in technology.

If you wanted to work for me as an IT and didn't have any certs/experience/IT degrees/ qualifications within the industry, I wouldn't hire you. A degree in the field shows me that you are intelligent, capable, and somewhat knowledgeable within the field in which you seek.
Oh, thanks for the clarification. And good luck with your business! Ashley T.
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Amy’s Answer

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Hi Ashley,

I hope you are doing well!

First, while attending college is important, your major won’t have anything to do with your career. Study things that interest you! Many people are in jobs that are different from what they studied in school. Always remember that school is different than working in the real world. Experience and the desire to work is all that matters at the end.

When I was attending school, I majored in Psychology with two minors in Human Development and Public Leadership. I currently have a technical job because I had taken classes in computer science.

Landing a job can be tough at times. It is very important to have skills outside of your field and be open to learning new skills.

When it comes to hiring people, the following factors come into play:
- Experience
- Overall GPA
- Extracurriculars
- Quality of Classes (not how many majors or minors you have)
- Quality of interview skills
-Etc

I hope this helps! :)
That's very reassuring. I was just wondering because I would have to petition to get the engineering classes I am interested in and it would be much easier to get it approved via the methods I listed above. I also plan to possibly go to grad school for engineering. If it is not too much trouble, https://www.math.ucsd.edu/~handbook/undergraduate/major-information/ has descriptions of each major. Would you mind advising me a little more? The engineering minor would add 7 more courses to my plans. Ashley T.
I would say follow your guts! If you are passionate about engineering, go for it, and maybe pursue a minor in any mathematics that you like or, if you can get a computer science degree and a minor in engineering or a minor in mathematics. Math is everywhere no matter what field you pursue. As long as you have the right pre-requisites for grad school in engineering, you should be fine and good to go. I would suggest looking into what grad school you would like to pursue, and check out which required classes you need to apply. Best regards! Amy A.
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Andrew’s Answer

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There are trade-offs between the choice for double major, major-minor combination, and just single major. There are two factors for consideration.

Firstly, it is hard to argue against the value of a double major provided that these two majors are mutually supportive. Secondly, we should be cognizant of the time it takes to earn the bachelor’s degree. Most probably, a double-major will take the longest time to complete. A major-minor combination will come next. And a single major should normally take the shortest time.

There are trade-offs between these two scenarios. Typically, if a student wants to start his/her career right after the bachelor’s degree, it should be appreciated that an early start on a career path is preferable because work experience can be a winning ticket in job promotion. On the other hand, a complementary double major can be an important factor in landing on a good job. This will be a serious judgement call for any undergraduate. There is no perfect answer to this question.

One should be thoughtful in choosing a major in pure math or applied math. A pure math curriculum is designed to prepare students all the way up to a Ph.D. degree. A bachelor’s degree in pure math may not get a graduate too far in the career path. Meanwhile, applied math is a water-down version of pure math, and its value is rather questionable.

On the assumption that you will start pursuing your career in applied science right after the bachelor’s degree, I would recommend a major in computer science/mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. The math minor will add value to their computer science/engineering degree.
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Jennifer’s Answer

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In my experience in today's market, recruiters are using online tools that search for a host of industry-specific buzz terms. My recommendation is to skim through LinkedIn and other similar professional tools to search for jobs that you might find interesting once you're out of school. Pick 5-10 roles that really interest you, or find individuals that are working in roles you aspire to. Once you have those roles in mind, you can think through whether the subject matter you pick as your major/minor will propel you towards that goal. You can align your career goals with the buzz words that you learn in the major/minor curriculum. Same concept applies if you're planning on graduate school. This way, when you graduate, you have already met the prerequisites for the job and/or grad school. Don't forget to have fun!
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