Guide to multiple degrees


Photo credit: David Molina

Kendall George

It’s hard to imagine that 20 years ago one four year degree was all that was needed to support a full career and stable life.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students attending college has increased over five million since 2000. Although not all will follow through with a degree, it puts everyone at a disadvantage for finding a job after college.

The solution? Double majors, double minors, master’s degrees and beyond.

It can be overwhelming, but there are some ways to ensure a stress-free transition into a double major if that’s the right path for you. It’s not a requirement for finding a job, no one is forcing anyone to pursue two degrees if it’s not necessary for an individual’s success in life. There are plenty of people who have dropped out of college, not gone altogether, or only gotten one degree and lived to tell the amazement that is their awesome career.

However, two degrees looks super cool on a resume, especially if complemented with a high GPA and other involvement in organizations. Here are some majors that compliment each other well.

1. Think about two degrees in the same academic organization.

If you’re an art history major, think about doubling it with an art education degree. A lot of the time’s classes will overlap, meaning you can get credit for two majors with only one class. This will help you graduate sooner and put less work in for double the benefit.

2. If your major specifies a concentration, why not major in both?

For journalism degrees, a specification on news or public relations is required, but students can do both for only 4 extra classes. Seek out your major requirements and see if you can concentrate in two different areas, for two degrees.

3. Minor in a language if studying abroad.

Going to Germany for a year, take all your classes in German and get your minor in German. A lot of classes offered abroad will allow you to take them either in English or the country’s home language, earning you units for your major and a language minor, if so desired. This goes great with business degrees, education degrees and anyone who is planning on traveling a lot after college.

4. Have a backup degree if you’re unsure about your future.

The truth is that pairing a dance degree with a physical education degree, an english degree with a public relations degree or a sociology degree with a psychology degree can be beneficial. It’s not to say that there isn’t success in dance, english or sociology, but there is a reputation of people having a hard time finding jobs after they graduate.

5. Pathway minors are your friend

Underclassmen listen up: Pathway minors are awesome because you can earn a minor while taking GE classes that you might not be interested in. There is a list of pathway minors and their requirements on the Chico State website. It’s an easy way to sneak a minor in along with GE classes, giving you more time to focus on another minor or another major if needed.

We know that school is stressful, and no one wants to put more pressure on anyone who knows they don’t need or want multiple degrees. Life is short and everyone has a right to do what they know is best for their success.

Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.