3 MBA Double Majors That Boost Your Value

By Reyna Gobel AAA

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a useful tool for your future success, and while you complete this degree you can make yourself even more employable by getting a dual master's degree. You should consider tacking on a semester or two and getting a dual master's degree in one these areas: communications, hospitality or cultural anthropology. Doing so will give you a knowledge base that will allow your MBA to focus in a specific area of expertise. (If you're considering a double undergrad instead, be sure to read A Double Undergrad Can Cost You Your MBA.)

TUTORIAL: Student Loans

A "Quick" Double Major
Many colleges have double majors, such as hospitality/MBA programs, various forms of communication degrees and MBAs, and cultural anthropology and MBAs, already in place. If your school has preset programs for dual majors, you don't have to worry about developing a degree plan for your program. If not, you can meet with counselors from both degrees to see how the other major's coursework can earn credit in your other degree.

For example, let's say you are majoring in mass communications with an emphasis on advertising. This master's degree takes 36 credits to complete. If you also want to complete an MBA in marketing to complement the advertising skills you intend to learn, the MBA will also take 36 credits. If you complete these degrees separately it will take you six semesters at 12 credits per semester.

However, each major allows six elective credits in another field of study. If you use those elective credits – with the advisors in both departments' approval - towards your other major, you only need 60 credits to complete your double major, and you can finish in five semesters at 12 credits per semester. If you start in a fall semester and go to school in the summer, you can graduate with both of your degrees two years later in the spring. To gain more work experience, you can possibly get internship credit, too, in both degrees in a summer course by choosing a position that involves both majors. (See Land That Internship! for tips on how to get that coveted internship.)

1. Communications-Related Degrees
Want to be a CFO of a major corporation one day? A communications-related degree will help you explain the numbers you tabulate to the rest of the company and investors. If you have more of a marketing lean, you'll get another perspective on your trade or learn advanced graphic design skills. But don't just look at the title of a complimentary degree, look at the coursework to make sure it's a great fit. For instance, you may think your communications degree that focuses on advertising would cover graphic design. But at the school you are interested in, the focus could be on account management or research. However, there may be a visual arts degree that does include graphic design that you could use to develop ads and marketing materials. Always meet with a counselor in any department you are considering - by phone or in-person - to get all the details you need. (For related reading, check out 4 Ways To Get A Head Start On Your Financial Career.)

2. Hospitality
Want a career in the hotel or travel field? You'll be able to show that you know how your business skills apply to all aspects of this industry: from pricing and marketing tour packages to developing marketing plans for a major airline. For example, if you want to work for a major restaurant chain, you could enroll in graduate courses that focus on hotel and restaurant management.

3. Cultural Anthropology
In a world where global branding is as important as local branding, you need to understand various cultures' attitudes towards buying different items. A cultural anthropology degree gives you an edge over someone who just has an MBA because you have studied various cultures.

For instance, in some parts of the world fish-flavored snacks are extremely popular. However, many Americans prefer barbecue or sour cream and onion flavors. If you are a snack manufacturer who wants to appeal to a global market, you would likely want to hire someone that has training in understanding buying habits around the world.

Conclusion
In a competitive market, you need every edge you can get. So why not take two extra semesters to show your prowess in a whole new area of specialization. Plan your degrees carefully to minimize your completion time, pick a major that compliments your first degree for hirability, and you'll worry more about which job offer to accept after graduation instead of who will hire you. (For further reading check out Start Off On The Right Foot With An Internship, Finding Your Place In The Financial Industry, and CFA, MBA ... Or Both?.)

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. The total cost of a university education continues to outpace inflation. For some degrees, that expense isn't likely to pay off.
    Personal Finance

    Is An American College Education Still ...

  2. Insurance

    Health Insurance Tips For College Students

  3. Professionals

    Introduction To The CAIA Designation

  4. Personal Finance

    College Dorms: Good Value Or Ripoff?

  5. Budgeting

    Free Financial Counseling Programs For ...

Trading Center