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How feasible is double majoring in CS and Cog Sci? What types of careers can you get from that double major?

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Cindy’s Answer

Honestly, it depends on what school you go to and what options they have for cogsci. Some schools (like UC Davis) have the option to choose an emphasis within cogsci, like a computer science ("computational") emphasis, so you get the best of both worlds without double majoring. The workload for both CS and cogsci programs are quite heavy, and honestly I wouldn't advise double majoring.

"Why? Isn't it best to 'learn as much as I can, whenever I can?'" Well, if you double major, you won't have enough space to pursue extracurriculars (ex. clubs -- academic or social) or work/internship programs. Those two are extremely important to becoming a well-rounded student, and shows people who might hire you that you're more than your GPA or major. Instead of double majoring, you could major in one and pursue projects in the other. For example, I am majoring in cogsci and I have held design internships, allowing me to study cogsci, computer science, and design at the same time (and being paid for the latter!). If you're serious about something and you enjoy doing it, you will find more ways than just majoring in the subject to show it. You will also be able to find other networking opportunities beyond school if you're looking for them (ex. conferences, career fairs, clubs!!!).

As for your second question regarding careers, the double major opens up just as many careers as one of the two. It really just depends on what you want to emphasize on. If you love programming, major in computer science and show your passion for cogsci in another way (reading studies, participating in a relevant lab). If you like programming but you don't want to do it every quarter/semester for four years, major in cogsci and pursue personal programming projects in your free time or at coding clubs. People *love* seeing how you can apply what you learned in school (or at free online lessons) into projects! Cogsci is extremely broad, so you can pursue a career in just about anything with it: psychology research, linguistics research, software engineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning work, or even design work (UI/UX). The list goes on forever, but that's what I can think of right now.

Good luck!

Cindy recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what you want to spend four years doing -- CS, cogsci, or a mix of both?
Look at what colleges have programs that fit what you're looking for
Pursue personal projects in your free time that show your passion in the field you want to work in

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Anna’s Answer

Hi Janet,

CS and Cog Sci are hot skills. They are the building blocks for Data Science. This skills will be in demand for many years to come. Cog Sci is applicable to a wide array of industry from Consumer, to Industry Design, Medical and so on. Best of luck to you and your education.

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Prashanth’s Answer

Hi Jane,

Hope you are well.

Students who choose to double major while in college have the opportunity to explore two subjects without having to limit themselves. For students who are deeply interested in more than one area of study, this is a good opportunity to go in two directions while earning one degree.
A double major sounds great, but it requires a lot of extra work and sacrifice.

Many students believe, with good reason, that majoring in two different subjects will make them more well-rounded academically and more employable. Showing that you have mastered two areas of study illustrates to a future employer that your areas of expertise are varied and that you had enough focus in college to take on additional coursework. It can also boost your credentials if companies can use you in more than one area. For example, a business graduate who double majored in Spanish could work with international and non-English speaking clients.

Let me also list some of the advantages & disadvantages of the completing a double major.
Advantages of a Double Major

Learning as much as possible
If you’re interested in psychology but also fascinated by English literature, it may feel impossible to just pick one. If you want to make the most of your undergraduate career, studying two subjects at once is a great way to take full advantage of your time at school.

Getting an edge on the competition
Studying two subjects can not only help you see each one from a new perspective, it can also transform you into a more desirable candidate down the road, giving you an edge on the competition by providing you with more insight and experience than other candidates. When employers review your background, they are likely to be impressed by your strong work ethic.

Exposure to new things
Tackling more than one subject at once will give you exposure to different industries and opportunities, making it easier to decide what you want to do down the line. This is valuable both in terms of gaining hands-on experience in your chosen field, but also in terms of narrowing down your choices by eliminating industries that aren’t a good fit.

Studying two different subjects also means having additional networking opportunities. You are likely to develop more personal relationships with your professors (since students normally get close to those who teach classes for their major) and will be able to connect with students from both subjects. This means that your social and professional networks will be larger than those of your peers and your chances of finding an entry-level job after graduation will also be higher.

Disadvantages of a Double Major

Additional time spent studying
If you are considering a double major, prepare to factor in the additional time that will take to complete. Not only will you have to complete all your general education requirements, you will also need to take all the classes required for each of your majors. If you want to graduate on time, that may mean taking on an intense course load (with more tests and papers) and if not, you will potentially need an additional semester or two to fulfill all your requirements.

Missing out on extracurriculars
With all the extra time you spend studying, you might have less time to pursue other interests. When deciding whether to take on a double major, don’t forget to consider other aspects of your college life, like extracurriculars and internships, which can sometimes be negatively impacted by the demands of your rigorous program.

Increased cost of tuition
Depending on the school you attend and the situation you’re in, adding a second major can potentially also increase the cost of your tuition. If you stay on for another semester or more, you will need to pay additional tuition and other fees during that time. While graduating with a double major can look impressive on your resume and potentially score you a better paying gig, it can also be a financial burden.

If you love the idea of studying two subjects but find the prospect of a double major overwhelming, consider doing a minor instead. This is a great way to get in-depth knowledge of a second subject without taking a full course load of classes. In fact, the number of required classes for a minor is often half the number required for a major.

Choosing a major is one of the most significant decisions you will ever make during your college career. While it can feel overwhelming at times, just remember: there is no set right or wrong answer. Make sure to weigh the benefits against the time and money involved and ask yourself why you want to do it. If the answer is that you want to take on a second major for career advantages, or you are just really passionate about that area of study, then go for it! Consider your own unique reasons for pursuing a double major and make the choice that suits you best.

Hope I could answer some part if not all for your query

Take care, Good Luck 😊
TM Prashanth

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Natasha’s Answer

Consider a career in Artificial Intelligence (private industry or public sector), software development for telemedicine or research for NASA.

Happy 4th and stay well,