A dual degree plainly translated is two degrees, a bachelors degree and a masters degree, pursued together as one. For instance, a B.Tech and M.Tech together for 5 years instead of separately which would take 6 years to complete. These two degrees are not necessarily complementary to one another. It could also be a B.Tech and an MBA, depending on the colleges that offer these courses.
Also known as sandwich courses, these dual degrees are pretty popular among students and parents because they provide the student an earning potential a year in advance than conventional courses. For example, a student who completes an MBA after a Bachelor’s degree takes 6 years to reach that stage. But with a sandwich course, the student attains the earning potential of an MBA graduate in 5 years.
Both parents and students think they are saving an extra year of college expense. What they don’t realize is the price they are paying in return. If it is a specialization in a chosen field of study, say a B.Tech and an M.Tech, or economics and CA, they are focussed steps taken in the same direction. But for example, if it is B.Tech and an MBA, they are in two very different fields, and is similar to a career switch because the subjects and the nature of jobs are totally different from one another. The prominence is on the one year saved, but in reality, all the 5 years spent are not mutually complementary. This diversity makes one a generalist; a jack of many trades.
This is a result of unclear career choices. Students do one of this and one of that, hoping one of them will land them in a good job. The common misconception is that due to the versatility of MBA, it works for any field (operations, HR, marketing, advertising) and opens up a lot of career opportunities. But in reality, these students will not be a specialist in any field. It is very similar to the generalist or specialist argument; do employers prefer employees who know something about everything or those who are experts in one specific domain? Dual degrees in totally irrelevant fields will make you a generalist, and complementing fields will make you a specialist.
When students give no thought to what they like to do and what they have the natural talent for, they tend to get safe with a dual degree of diverse fields. Instead, if more students prefer choosing a career path that they would actually feel motivated about, and specialize in it, there is a greater chance for them to excel. All the time and effort they put into it will be moving them in a unified direction, making them specialists in their chosen field. And specialists are always preferred by employers.
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