In my eyes, studying a double degree is pretty much the greatest thing ever. The beauty of a double degree? Double the career opportunities and knowledge but not at double the time or cost! It’s kind of like being Hannah Montana/ Miley Stewart- without that whole teenybopper popstar gig and creepy Billy Ray Cyrus dad situation. You’ve got the best of both worlds i.e. law student by day, creative writing student by night. It’s a very mysterious, dangerous double secret agent lifestyle- or I like to think it is.
Way back in grade 12 (lol four years ago), I was pretty set on studying journalism. However at the same time, the mainstream media and other silly conspiracy theorists were pedalling hype about the death of my beloved Fourth Estate. Panicked by the prospect of spending three years studying only to graduate to no job prospects, I decided to invest in a ‘back up plan’- that is, a second degree. And there I was six months later commencing my Journalism/ Business degree.
Fast forward to the present day and in my final year, I’ve realised I didn’t need a back-up plan (for those considering a career in journalism- don’t worry, it still is a profession!). I’ve also realised that my business degree isn’t a back-up. I’ve been able to get a taste of a whole suite of disciplines; from economics to accounting, from marketing to management, from business law to- OK, I’ll spare you a complete run-down of my academic history.
On top of this, I’ve decided I really love my business major- public relations. I originally chose this as a major because 1) yuck, numbers and 2) relations? that sounds like something I can deal with for four years as a back-up. Well, turns out public relations is not only a discipline I want to dip my toes into (and possibly further study) but also, is a great complement to my journalism degree. Studying these disciplines concurrently means I’ve learnt a lot about the communications industry AND gotten insight into both sides of media relations (from the media side AND the company representative side).
Who’da thunk it? Who’da thunk that doubling degrees and investing in a back-up would actually open up more job opportunities, add interest and variety to my university experience, improve my journalism craft and broaden my dream career horizon. Oh and at the end of it all I get TWO pieces of paper- score! It’s a very ‘Katniss Everdeen’ kind of situation- I get to choose between charismatic Peeta (journalism) and studly, handsome Gale (business)… or just have both.
But before this starts to sound like a terrible sales ad for double degrees (it kinda is), I’m going to share some of the downsides of choosing to study two different disciplines.
1) Campus hopping
Some double degree students may have the convenience of studying on one campus, but not this one. No, journalism has to be all “I’m a creative industry” and therefore be at Kelvin Grove. And then business has to go and be like, “Well, I think I like it here at Gardens Point”. What does this mean? Well, firstly, it means the 391 free loop between campuses (thank god for that service) is my second home. Secondly, it means one day a week I have to go from Kelvin Grove to Gardens Point and back to Kelvin Grove. So that’s fun…
2) No we-go-to-every-class-together cool uni gang
My friend who studies animation was recently sharing stories about her close-knit uni gang. They have identical class schedules, they do all their assignments in the 24-hour lab together, they probably eat all their meals at uni together. Sickeningly sweet, isn’t it? Yeah, well I don’t get that experience. I’ve got my ‘business-y’ friends, my ‘public relations-y’ friends and my ‘journalism-y’ friends. All nice and compartmentalised. But definitely not uni gang-like 🙁
3) Collision of assessment
I’m going to pretend that it’s only us dub degree-ers who have the displeasure of coinciding assessment (still not sure I’ve recovered after the mania that was week 9) because sometimes I like to pretend I’m hard-done-by and the grass is greener on the single-discipline side of institutional study. Also this definitely wasn’t a third criticism created to pretend that being a double-degree student isn’t totally awesome (it really is).
Aside from being good mates with the 391 bus driver (shoutout to Murph) and not being a member of a cool uni gang, studying a double degree is one of the greatest life choices I ever did make and sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that I’m not, in fact, Hannah Montana or Katniss Everdeen.
Find a broad list of approved QUT double degrees here.