An increasing number of students are pursuing dual degrees in business school. For example, many students pursue an MBA due to the degree's prestige, but also really enjoy marketing, therefore; they decide to pursue a second master's degree (or dual degree) in marketing science. But, how do you know if this is the right choice for you?
Determine if Your Career Path is in a Unique Industry that Requires More Knowledge
Is your goal to pursue environmental management, civil engineering management, or healthcare administration? All of these career paths require business skills to manage employees, budgets, operations, and more. Therefore, a dual degree in business and the specific field would be very helpful. Remember, to be an effective manager you not only need to be a good leader and skilled businessperson, but also someone who is knowledgeable about the trade/industry you are managing. This is why an increasing number of business schools are offering dual degree programs that are often very unique in nature. For instance, the Columbia Business School MBA program (an AACSB-accredited school) offers several dual degree options. The school offers an MBA and MS in Urban Planning, an MBA and DDS (dental and oral surgery), an MBA and MD, an MBA and MS in Social Work, and more. All of which are excellent programs if your goal is to not only become a dentist or doctor, but also open your own practice. Or, understand the business side of urban development.
Find Out the Length, Cost, and Format of the Program
Most dual degree graduate programs last an additional year if not longer. The same is true for undergraduate dual degree programs, which can require five years. Sometimes, tuition can be higher for these types of programs due to the cross function between schools on campus. For instance, lab fees, additional text books, and more faculty requirements. Also, find out if the program allows for part-time attendance. Some dual degree programs are cohort, or full-time, "lock step" with a group of students. These can be difficult if you plan on working.
Determine if a Dual Undergraduate Degree or a Single Undergraduate Degree and Master's Degree is Better
If you are at the undergraduate level and are considering a dual degree, consider graduate school. If you want a graduate-level degree, it may be a better choice to earn a single undergraduate degree in the primary discipline and an MBA afterward. For example, it may look better on a resume to have an undergraduate and graduate degree than a dual undergraduate degree. This all depends on the employers you are seeking and their job requirements. This can be difficult to decipher. Talk to a guidance counselor at your school, speak with professionals in the industry, and discuss your possible decisions with professors. All of these individuals will greatly help you determine which route you should take.
Most university websites will provide detailed information about the differences in their dual degree programs. Therefore, start learning by visiting potential college sites and reading as much as possible.