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Hey there managers,

I'm currently a junior at Virginia Tech, and I'm triple majoring in Accounting, Finance, and Management. Because of IB transfer credits from high school, I'll be able to graduate with all 3 degrees with just one additional semester. Furthermore, the accounting degree combined with the extra breadth of business coursework will allow me to complete Virginia's education requirements for the CPA exam without having to take graduate coursework. However, if I were to drop down to a double major, I could graduate a semester EARLY, and if I dropped all but one major I could graduate a YEAR early.

Here's my question for you. Given that I have no reason to graduate early, and that finances are not a huge issue regarding time spent enrolled, do you think the triple major is the best use of my time? If not, which major(s) should I drop/keep, and what would you regard as a better use of my time?

I was considering the possibility of dropping a major or two, and using the extra 1/1.5 years to instead get a masters in one of those fields. I intend to pursue a full-time MBA after a few years in the workforce anyway, so this hypothetical masters would be a concentration in a specific discipline. I suppose it's a question of breadth versus depth... would I be better served with an undergraduate education with average depth in 3 fields (and touching on marketing/IT as well), or with great depth in one field, and average or light experience in the others? Keep in mind that the "average" depth of experience is no less than that of a single major in any field; I'm not sacrificing any field to add the others, merely time.

I know that was a long post, and thank you for taking your time to help me out. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

- William Kelly

bffranklin's picture

[quote="wvkelly"]Hey there managers,

I'm currently a junior at Virginia Tech, and I'm triple majoring in Accounting, Finance, and Management. Because of IB transfer credits from high school, I'll be able to graduate with all 3 degrees with just one additional semester. Furthermore, the accounting degree combined with the extra breadth of business coursework will allow me to complete Virginia's education requirements for the CPA exam without having to take graduate coursework. However, if I were to drop down to a double major, I could graduate a semester EARLY, and if I dropped all but one major I could graduate a YEAR early.

Here's my question for you. Given that I have no reason to graduate early, and that finances are not a huge issue regarding time spent enrolled, do you think the triple major is the best use of my time? If not, which major(s) should I drop/keep, and what would you regard as a better use of my time?

I was considering the possibility of dropping a major or two, and using the extra 1/1.5 years to instead get a masters in one of those fields. I intend to pursue a full-time MBA after a few years in the workforce anyway, so this hypothetical masters would be a concentration in a specific discipline. I suppose it's a question of breadth versus depth... would I be better served with an undergraduate education with average depth in 3 fields (and touching on marketing/IT as well), or with great depth in one field, and average or light experience in the others? Keep in mind that the "average" depth of experience is no less than that of a single major in any field; I'm not sacrificing any field to add the others, merely time.

I know that was a long post, and thank you for taking your time to help me out. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

- William Kelly[/quote]

William,

First, great choice of school! I wish I had gone away to VT. :)

Secondly, my wife was a triple major in her undergrad, now has two masters and work is going to pay for the 4 classes she needs to get an MBA and make it three. Her rule of thumb was that the easiest point in your life to get this sort of education is when you're young and able to apply yourself to it full time. She also felt that she got something out of each major, and out of her two current masters (n.b., she'd _love_ to not get the MBA, but given that it won't cost her a dime, she can't find a reason to say no).

In my own experience, the only thing a degree really helps you with is the first job out of school. After that, it's all accomplishments. So do what enriches you and will make you happy, not what employers "want." Employers want passionate people that tenaciously pursue what they're interested in.

wvkelly's picture

Thanks for the advice, Brandon! Part of my motivation for getting all the degrees is to allow myself far more mobility with my career choices in the future. More importantly, when I'm looking through the course descriptions of the courses I have to take, each one just sounds more intriguing than the last. In fact, there are a ton MORE classes outside of the 3 majors (and music minor) that I would like to take, but I can't pursue those without turning into Van Wilder. Maybe I can try to find a job in a college town and take night classes in the subjects that still interest me.....

lazerus's picture

Have you thought about a career in academia?

wvkelly's picture

I have actually... my dad is a professor, and he's always extolling the virtues of the academic life, especially post-tenure. Academia just isn't exciting enough for me, at least at this stage in my life. There's a very good chance I'll end up teaching at a b-school somewhere after I retire from the private sector, but for now I just don't see it happening.