||by Som Seng-Tiarks
Senior Director of Marketing
Monday, April 23, 2018
There’s a lot of tradition wrapped up in going to college, and that’s usually a good thing. But in some cases, modern ideas have outstripped traditional ones.
Picking a major is one of those areas. While some students are good with choosing to pursue a degree in one of the majors offered by a university, others want to build their own degree based on their specific needs and interests.
That’s where an individualized concentration degree comes in. Aimed at those who aren’t satisfied with the standard choices of majors, it gives students a chance to build their own.
Degree By Design
In many cases, students simply are not interested enough in established majors to commit the time, effort and money needed to earn one. In the past, that would have meant either dropping out or sticking with a major that didn’t thrill you.
With a Bachelor of Arts in individualized concentration, students have an alternative. Rather than having to choose between multiple academic concentrations, students can create a course plan that serves their educational needs while also satisfying their personal interests.
It also replaces the need to earn a double major, which takes far more time and expense.
There’s more work involved, however. Most universities want you to work with an advisor to design your major and present an argument of the major to university officials to get approval.
Advantages of Creating Your Own Major
Designing your own major - which also is sometimes called a “hybrid major” - has many advantages for students. They include the following:
- You’re not stuck in a major you don’t really like
- You can combine two disparate interests into one major, event combining arts and sciences
- You get to take classes that fully engage you
- Education in multiple fields may make you eligible to work in any of them
- It can better prepare you for the real world
As an example of that last one, a person who wants to get into management in the performing arts might have to major in one of the arts (theater or music, for example) or something like stage or theater management. By creating their own degree program, they can mix business classes with arts classes.
It also shows employers that the student was able to take the lead in creating a major specifically designed for them, which in turn can lead to better job opportunities.
Be aware, however, that the flip side is also true. In some cases, employers might not understand why you chose to design your own major rather than sticking to a traditional one. That’s why it is important to consider what field you ultimately want to enter before deciding on a hybrid major.
Careers in engineering, education and healthcare might not work well with a designed major, for example.
Designing your own major takes dedication, but the payoff can be big if the major is both created and handled correctly. It’s worth considering if you find yourself interested in a very specific field and cannot find a major to get you from here to there.