Financial Considerations of Choosing a Double Major

If you’re interested in multiple areas of study and you’re finding it hard to choose one major, then you might want to consider pursuing a double major. Depending on your school and the two majors you’re considering, this could mean having two separate degrees, or having two majors listed on a single degree. Let’s say, for example, you’re torn between majoring in journalism and business. Unlike a minor, which only allows you to explore another area of interest, you would essentially receive a degree in both journalism and business by double majoring. A double major can be an impressive credential, but before taking the plunge, it’s critical to consider some of the following financial considerations.

Increased tuition costs

A double major will almost always mean taking more classes, which means paying more in tuition expenses. The number of classes you’ll need to take is highly dependent on the individual programs of each major and your school’s requirements. For example, it’s likely you won’t need to double up on your core studies that every major requires. But it’s also likely there will be a minimum amount of credits you’ll need to complete in order to graduate with a second major.

Depending on how long it takes to finish a double major, it could also mean factoring in any tuition increases. This also brings up another important question to consider: If you’re going to spend the time and money on a double major, is it better to graduate with a single major and then pursue a professional degree, such as a master’s degree?

In the end, it’s essential to sit down and talk with your college advisor if you’re contemplating a double major. This way, you can know all of your options, get a clear picture as to just how many more courses you’d be required to take, and how much more a double major would cost.

Starting your career may be put on hold

For many people, graduating from college is the time when they officially begin their professional careers. While you may have the opportunity to take on internships while you’re still in school, staying in college longer than four years to pursue a double major could mean you’re putting off the start of your new career. This means you’re missing out on valuable time to gain work experience and make money. Since a double major could take up more of your time, it’s also likely you won’t have the availability to also take on a full or part-time job.

Improve job prospects

Once you graduate, a double major on your resume could help you stand out amongst the competition, especially if you’re up against someone with otherwise very similar credentials and experience. Your two areas of study could complement each other in a way that makes you the perfect candidate for a particular role, and could also open up the door to other opportunities that you may not have been qualified for otherwise.

Potential for higher salary

Not only can a double major possibly improve your chances of landing a job, but it can also mean you may be able to negotiate a higher salary. For instance, you may be offered a job with a wide salary range. With a more advanced degree, you may have more leverage to discuss a salary that’s on the higher end of that range. In fact, one study showed that the average individual with a double major degree had a 3.2 percent higher salary than someone who graduated with just a single major.

Bottom line

All in all, while a double major can certainly help jumpstart your career, there’s no denying that it most likely will cost you more. It’s an investment in your future, and it’s crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages of that investment. As a compromise, you may choose to pursue a minor instead.


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