Is Double Majoring Worth It for the Love of Learning and Personal Growth?

In summary, the conversation discusses the idea of pursuing a double major in mechanical and electrical engineering, with a possible minor in computer science. The main motivation for this is the desire to gain diverse knowledge and skills, rather than solely for job prospects. However, there are concerns raised about the marketability of a double major and the potential for it to be viewed as two half majors instead of two whole majors. It is suggested that instead of a double major, one could pursue a single major and take elective courses in the other fields of interest. There is also a discussion about the potential overlap in coursework and the distinction between a hybrid degree and a dual major.
  • #1
Phinx6236
For a long time I wanted to get degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering and I recently heard about double majors. For me it's not as much about jobs I want in the future. I wanted to become an engineer because they are problem solvers. I wanted to invent things and or make them better. I truly value learning. I was thinking if I could double major in these two possibly minoring in computer science. I wanted advise on how to get the knowledge that I crave in these fields. I am currently taking a course in calculus preparing me for these degrees. I love math and science. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated thank you.
 
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  • #2
What about looking into mechatronics as a focus? It combines the three fields you mentioned into one.
 
  • #3
Pick one. After earning a great GPA for a couple semesters, then circle back to adding a double major. Most students are in fantasy land about double majors when they are not even really willing to work hard enough to succeed in one engineering major, much less two.
 
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  • #4
Phinx6236 said:
For a long time I wanted to get degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering and I recently heard about double majors. For me it's not as much about jobs I want in the future. I wanted to become an engineer because they are problem solvers. I wanted to invent things and or make them better. I truly value learning. I was thinking if I could double major in these two possibly minoring in computer science. I wanted advise on how to get the knowledge that I crave in these fields. I am currently taking a course in calculus preparing me for these degrees. I love math and science. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated thank you.

<<Emphasis added>>

The statement I've highlighted is peculiar in this context. The main advantage for a double major is to increase your chances for landing a job [or keeping your options open for grad school]. For example, some job posts will read, "BS ME required"; others, "BS EE required". Depending on the state of the job market in your localities of interest at the time when you are hunting for a job, there may be a strong demand for ME and a weak demand for EE, or a strong demand for EE and a weak demand for ME. By having a double major, you're covered for both scenarios.

Assuming you're at a US university, most undergrad programs allow for a reasonable number of free electives. So, if you are not motivated by increasing your marketability, but by diversifying your knowledge, you can just pick one major, and take free electives in the subjects of your choice. That way you are not constrained by any formal requirements for a double major.
 
  • #5
Don't get caught in the notion that two majors are better than one as an employer will look at it as two half majors and figure they'd rather hire an ME or an EE instead.

This has happened to many BME majors who have been looked on as half and half not a whole engineer unless the company was looking for BME folks specifically.
 
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  • #6
Thank you all for your time to reply. It is a great help. I recently heard of the double major and thought I would ask about it. I did get excited when I heard about it as I thought maybe I could "have my cake and eat it too". You have brought up some valid points. I guess I could look a little deeper into what is more hirable in my area(Colorado, USA) so I could find work quicker but I can also look into furthering my knowledge. I am rather new to all of this and appreciate all the suggestion.
 
  • #7
jedishrfu said:
Don't get caught in the notion that two majors are better than one as an employer will look at it as two half majors and figure they'd rather hire an ME or an EE instead.

This has happened to many BME majors who have been looked on as half and half not a whole engineer unless the company was looking for BME folks specifically.

Could you please clarify this? In the US, in order to get a BS double major in ME and EE, you need to fulfill all the requirements for a BS ME and all the requirements for a BS EE. That is my understanding. Is that correct? Some requirements (such as math, physics, humanities, phys ed ...) will likely overlap and can be applied to both majors. So, the distinction in the ME coursework, e.g., for a BS ME (single major) vs. a BS ME and EE (dual major) potentially lies in the number of optional (not required) elective ME courses taken. That is, perhaps a BS ME (single major) will take more optional ME electives than a BS ME and EE (dual major), because the dual-major guy is taking all those EE courses. But, there's nothing that precludes the BS ME (single major) from taking optional electives in EE (or physics, or math, or chemistry ...) instead of more ME. None of this would be reflected in the degree granted on a resume presented to a potential employer; only in the detailed college transcript. So, when it comes to applying for an ME position, a BS ME and EE (dual major) should be on equal footing with a BS ME (single major) ... at least during the first-round screening.

I'm not sure what BME stands for. I'm assuming biomedical engineering or biomechanical engineering? If so, this would be a single hybrid degree (such as mechatronics mentioned by another poster). In a hybrid degree, you don't need to fulfill the requirements for a BS in each of the individual disciplines, and so would not be comparable to a BS dual major [e.g., a BS in Biomechanical Engineering would not be comparable to a BS Biology and Mechanical Engineering (dual major)].
 
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  • #8
Currently doubling in Aero and Physics. My experience is that I would have a higher gpa with just one major, but a high gpa is not something I stress myself about. I care more about learning about cool stuff and getting a heck of an education in the process. So note that a double major won't really help you get a higher paying job or a position you were not qualified for with just one major (unless the other major is in that particular area). I will tell you do not do it for job prospects or for $, you will be better off with one major and your gpa will thank you for it. If you genuinely enjoy both your majors and feel as if that is what you want from your education, then go for it, if not don't bother double majoring and just choose one and roll with it.
 

Related to Is Double Majoring Worth It for the Love of Learning and Personal Growth?

1. What is a double major?

A double major is when a student chooses to pursue two different majors or fields of study simultaneously. This means that they will complete all the required coursework for both majors and receive two separate degrees upon graduation.

2. How do I declare a double major?

The process for declaring a double major may vary depending on the specific university or college. Typically, you will need to meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options and create a plan to ensure you can complete all the necessary coursework for both majors within your desired timeframe. You may also need to fill out a formal declaration form and have it approved by the appropriate departments.

3. Can I double major in any two fields?

While some universities may have restrictions on which majors can be combined, in most cases you can choose any two majors to pursue. However, it is important to keep in mind that some majors may have more stringent requirements or may not align well with each other, making it difficult to complete both in a timely manner.

4. How will a double major benefit me?

Pursuing a double major can offer a variety of benefits, including a broader knowledge base and skill set, increased job opportunities, and the ability to explore multiple interests. It can also be a great way to stand out in a competitive job market and demonstrate your dedication and academic versatility.

5. Will a double major require me to take more classes?

In most cases, pursuing a double major will require you to take more classes than if you were to only pursue one major. However, some universities may allow you to count certain classes towards both majors, which can help reduce the number of courses you need to take. It is important to carefully plan out your course load and make sure you can handle the workload before committing to a double major.

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