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Diversify your degree

Many students struggle to pick a major because they have many interests they want to pursue. BYU-Idaho offers special, customizable degrees so students can tailor their degrees to their future careers.

Samuel Nelson, a junior studying communication and a team lead with the Academic Advising Department, shared the ins and outs of the customizable degrees in an interview with Scroll.

“They’re awesome.” Said Nelson, “We get a lot of cool combinations, a lot of cool career ideas and we get to help them try and make something that fits for them.”

Two customizable degrees are offered at BYU-I. The first degree is called an interdisciplinary studies degree, which is the stronger degree of the two custom options. The second is a professional studies degree, which tends to be slightly weaker as a degree and has more unique qualifications.

The professional studies degree can be a good option for many students, but Academic Advising only allows students to pursue it if they have 70 credits or more. This can be a good option if students have too many credits but want to change majors.

The degree takes what the student already has and combines it with their new interests to make a complete degree, but the combinations of majors don’t always have a good connection to help with future careers. This can make this degree seem weaker to employers.

Interdisciplinary studies varies from professional studies in many ways. The objective of the degree is to allow students to create a degree fitting any niche dream job they may have. An interdisciplinary studies degree allows a student to combine multiple fields of study into their degree for greater versatility, but it requires a student to have a direction they are moving toward and know what would help them most in their future career.

With 330,000 valid options, any student can find a combination to fit their dream career. Changing to an interdisciplinary studies major can be tough since there are more than twice as many invalid combinations.

While the versatility available from these customizable degrees paints a pretty picture, there are a few extra steps when job hunting. Any student who switches to one of these majors needs to know how to sell themselves and the skills they’ve acquired on their resume and in an interview because it won’t be as easily recognizable to an employer as a traditional degree would.

According to Nelson, interdisciplinary degrees seem to be trending towards the new college norm nationwide. With interdisciplinary studies students having the highest hire rate out of all degrees and employers always asking for more interdisciplinary students, this could be the future of higher education.

For more information on customizable degrees or for help switching your major, reach out to Academic Advising by email at idsadvising@byui.edu, over the phone at (208) 496-9800 or online here.

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