Most of the time, people considering graduate school consider a handful of potential degrees at most before narrowing it down to a final one. Of all the dozens of times I have spoken to those nearing the end of their college years, only a handful have expressed interest in pursuing a dual degree program (although many have expressed a desire to get an MA before getting a Ph.D. or some other sequential combination).
I’m going to give you some insights on why you should consider pursuing a dual degree, with one of those degrees likely being in the area of business, economics, finance, or some tangentially related field.
It is a cliche at this point to say that the world is the most interconnected it’s ever been in human history, but it’s a true one. Despite the obvious caveats of globalization happening unevenly in different regions and borders and distances still preventing labor from moving easily, it is easier to pack up and start a career abroad than any other point in the past.
That being said, globalization is a double-edged sword that can have an unpredictable impact on countries’ individual economies and markets. It’s also easier for foreigners to compete in other markets. Getting a dual degree can give you more flexibility to move to better markets in bad times and join hotter markets in good ones.
2. Prior and/or unexplored passions
If you’re like me, you may be a double major with strong passions in multiple fields that can’t be adequately addressed with one graduate degree.
If there’s a subject you enjoyed a lot over a class, summer internship, immersive experience, or on your own that you would love to further explore, then a second degree may be for you.
3. An increased ability to enhance performance in certain jobs
There are examples of highly intersectional jobs in which earning a dual degree will help you stay ahead of the pack while shaving a few years off your graduate studies. Many business jobs like Mergers and Acquisitions Associate and Counsel have elements of law and business and would be compatible with a JD/MBA.
It would also be easier from you to flit between public service, corporate law firm, or big bank if you’re trying to find the best fit for you and want a good experience.
4. You got sizeable grants
If your college or university, family company, government, or nonprofit already gave you some kind of sizeable grant for a graduate school program for another degree, consider pursuing a dual degree. Graduate school is expensive and it can be hard to adjust to after working full-time for a few years, so you might want to complete it as early after college or university as possible in one go.
5. You got into a great business or economics-related school
Most of the top MBA institutions have multiple dual-degree programs. For example, Harvard Business School has joint degree programs with Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The University of Pennsylvania and New York University have accelerated application processes for people applying to dual degree programs.
Schools can also partner with each other—New York University’s JD program has dual degree partnerships with Harvard University and Princeton University.
Danni Ondraskova will graduate in 2018 from Wellesley College. Danni plans on earning a dual degree in law and business and dreams of working for JP Morgan’s Global Investment Management division.