College Double Major: Waste of Effort, Money, and Time

College Double Major
What happens when you’re working on two projects at the same time? Both take longer to complete, and under tight time constraints you cannot focus all your attention on getting one project done right or on time.  That pretty much sums up what students are doing with a double major.

Waste of Effort
There is no evidence in the job market that employers are looking for college grads who double-majored. None. All that the student proves is that work came in a greater quantity, which doesn’t mean you worked more conscientiously.  You had to put in a lot more effort just to get the credits, but where did these credits get you? More knowledge? Or knowledge for knowledge’s sake? If you’re philosophical and financially capable, it works. Otherwise, it was too much work for little or nothing in return in a hard-bitten world that isn’t philosophical.

Waste of Money
Students like to impress me with saying that they want to double-major, as if to suggest they are real achievers. They usually are, but no one is being realistic with them to suggest that focusing on a major and a minor is less expensive. Or that both a major and a minor can give an achieving student what they’re looking for, and with less work and for less money. Why less money? Because at a private college, for example, where the parents may pay over $3,000 for a three-credit course – ka-ching! –  they may have to fork over another $30,000 – ka-ching! –  to pay for those extra courses to earn that double-major distinction.  Okay, you got two batchelor’s degrees. But at what cost and to what advantage in the job market? Quantity is not quality unless you’re killing more of the enemy in combat.

Waste of Time
Over 60% of all college students finish college after five or six years. You can bet a lot of double-majors are in this group. Students didn’t really know what they wanted to major in, so they hedged their bets by staying in college longer. Ka-ching!  Time is money, which is a truism students are not likely to hear from an economics professor who never owned a business. Theories can be expensive.

Recommendation
Have your student take a Myers-Briggs and Strong  personality assessment to give focus and direction to your student, something you wish you had when you were seventeen years old. It’s a start, and it’s foundational with everything I do with my students who want to get into the right-fit major at the right-fit college.
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