The MBA is a highly popular programme amongst all those that wish to pursue careers as managers in the future. However, many consider that management skills are essential while taking up any discipline.
Hence, they choose to implement both, and choose an MBA dual degree programme.
The dual degree programme allows an individual to earn two Master’s degrees simultaneously. Dual degree disciplines may be very different from the MBA but may provide the individual with the opportunity to pursue another field of study while also acquiring business management skills.
Sounds complicated? It really is not. Let’s take you through what a dual degree programme has to offer.
What is an MBA?
An MBA is a Master’s in Business Administration and is a degree which usually spans a period of one year or two years (depending on the country it is pursued in) to teach potential managers business skills. As an MBA is a Master’s programme, it usually teaches advanced business skills and touches upon the disciplines of finance, human resource management, marketing, accounting and other areas. Students are allowed to choose their area of specialisation for some MBA programmes and thus most of their courses during their time of study revolve around that particular discipline.
What is an MBA dual degree programme?
An MBA dual degree programme combines two disciplines and allows students to pursue both degrees at the same time. For example, students can combine journalism, law, public policy, communication or other disciplines with an MBA to achieve two degrees. Credits for one course in a dual degree programme are not carried over to the course in the other programme as the two disciplines are completely separate.
According to MBAstudies.com, some of the popular dual degree programmes include an MBA combined with a JD (Juris Doctor-Law), MBA with a Master’s in Policy Analysis (MBA/MPA), MBA with a Master’s in Information Technology, MBA with a Master’s in Public Health, etc.
Joint Degree programmes and Dual Degree programmes
A joint degree programme usually allows students to study similar disciplines with their MBA and both degrees can be completed simultaneously. Unlike the dual degree programme, the joint degree programme allows credits for one course to be carried over to other courses. Popular joint degree programmes include an MBA with an MA in Education, an MBA with an MS in Computer Science, and an MBA with an MS in Environment and Resources.
The joint degree programme may last approximately a year less than the dual degree programme as it is pursued simultaneously with the MBA. Thus, the joint degree programme may last approximately two to three years based upon the discipline that it is pursued in and the university schedule.
Added value of a Dual Degree programme
Dual degree programmes provide students with expertise in a field other than business while also preparing them to be efficient and effective managers and teach them essential skills such as leadership, decision-making, budgeting, etc.
Pursuing a dual degree programme can be highly beneficial both professionally and personally. Having two degrees opens many more career opportunities and provides students with the opportunity to choose either of the two fields they have specialised in. Moreover, the dual degree teaches students to be more efficient and effective and thus can help them set up their own business in their other discipline. For example, a dentist could open his/her own clinic and be able to manage the finances, marketing and human resource aspects because of his/her dual degree.
Individuals who opt for jobs after their dual degree are likely to have a competitive edge over other candidates and may also be awarded higher salaries. They also have chances of accelerating their careers faster than their counterparts as they have the necessary skills to be effective leaders.
Cost and length of Dual Degree programmes
Dual degree programmes require that candidates be admitted in two different schools/departments in the same university to pursue both disciplines. As students need to complete the coursework for two degrees, dual degree programmes usually take a bit longer to complete, roughly about 50% more than if they study just for one degree.
According to the Stern Business School, candidates have to pay the tuition fee for each of the programmes individually. However, some business schools are more flexible and the tuition for a dual degree programme may only cost about 20% more than that of the MBA itself.
Admission requirements for a Dual Degree programme
Harvard School of Business mentions that in order to pursue a dual degree programme, students must meet the requirements for both schools, rather than just one as in a single degree programme. Hence, students must pass both entry exams, have the required marks for both schools, and other credentials which may be necessary for admission.
Although it seems as if the MBA dual degree programme is highly challenging, it is also equally rewarding, and those that have the guts should definitely go for it!