There are a lot of options when it comes to transitioning out of school and into uni – we totally get it. Will you go straight away or take a gap year? Which uni will you choose? Where are you going to live while you’re at uni? And, most importantly in the long term, which course should you pick? This bombardment of questions can leave you feeling like it might be better to just stay in bed for eternity. The thing is though, you’ll have to get up and face the world eventually, so you might as well take these questions one at a time, starting with the fundamental one. You’ve got to figure out what to study.
When I was a little kid I, like most boys I knew, wanted to be a fireman. My professional aspirations went through all the standard clichés: athlete, actor, doctor, competitive eater etc. but realistically those job titles were just hollow ideas that I’d picked up from movies. Eventually, I had to ask myself point blank what actually interested me. I eventually figured out that it’s writing and editing. It’s taken me ages to figure out what I’d do with that, and I guess I’m still figuring that out, but I can assure you of one thing: when I started university I had no idea what I wanted to do for a job.
I chose a Bachelor of Arts, and tried all sorts of subjects in my first year, including creative writing, English literature, sociology, anthropology and journalism. By second year, I’d settled on a double major in anthropology and journalism, and by third year, it was just journalism. My point here is that it’s ok to start a degree with only a vague idea of what you actually want to do, or at least, it worked for me. You can start with broad ideas and then narrow down your options based on which subjects you like best and what you’re good at.
Double Degree or Double Major?
This is one reason you might want to consider undertaking a double degree or a double major – to start with the multiple options and then hone in on what works best for you. To clarify, a double degree is where you do two bachelors degrees at the same time, except because it’s a streamlined course, you complete them more quickly than it would take to do two single degrees in a row. A double major is where you have two major subjects within a single degree.
A double degree saves you time. It’s also good if your passions are distinctly different, for example, if you think you probably want to be a lawyer, but you know you’ll do well in science, you might want to consider a double degree in science and law. Not only that, research from Graduate Careers Australia suggests that those who have a double degree are more likely to find full-time work after finishing their degrees, with 81% of double degree graduates gaining employment in 2010.
For me, a double major was a way to narrow down my choices. For you, a double major or double degree might be a way to pursue both choices. Either way, they’re both choices worth considering.