Why are Indian students choosing dual-degree programs?

Pursuing two academic programmes simultaneously has been a long-time desire for many students from across the country. Recently, University Grants Commission (UGC) published guidelines allowing students to pursue dual degree programmes simultaneously either in physical or Online or ODL mode or Hybrid mode, based on the recommendations envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to provide multiple learning pathways to students.

This is seen as part of a slew of new reforms in the Indian higher education sector that is aimed at increasing the Gross Enrolment ratio and employability of students. Online education has ensured anytime, anywhere learning and has enabled students from the most remote regions to enrol in top universities, while continuing their jobs or other commitments. The ability to pursue dual degrees will further empower learners to expand their knowledge and skills in newer areas. 

Benefits of pursuing dual-degree programmes

In this competitive world, it is necessary for students to be skill-rich and dynamic to be able to have an edge over their peers. Therefore, the student community is looking for programmes that allow them to get a good job upon graduation and thrive in their future workplaces. This trend has forced higher education institutions (HEIs) to offer new-age programmes and revamp their curriculum to attract more and more students. 

Pursuing two-degree programmes at a time is seen as beneficial for students in many ways. Here are the top reasons – 

  • Multidisciplinary exposure: Students can gain knowledge and skills in different domains and areas, in parallel. Some students may have a passion outside their chosen area of study. Others may require knowledge of a specific domain in addition to their chosen field, in order to obtain a certain job. 
  • Stand out in your chosen area: Pursuing two-degree programmes in the same domain will give students various perspectives and domain-specific skills to achieve new heights. For example, a student of M.Sc. Data Science may also pursue an MBA with Analytics or Data Science or Business Analytics specialisations to seek a management career in the data science domain.
  • Diverse career options: Getting two degrees will help students gain twice the exposure and reduce the wait for a dream job or promotion. It is also being seen by students as the means to switch their roles/ domains. Getting qualified in two areas improves one’s chances for a better career and puts them on a higher pedestal compared to their peers who have a single degree. Taking into considering the unemployment rate, shrinking employment opportunities, and skill gap, students are bound to explore more than one option for a better career.
  • Richer network: Pursuing two degrees simultaneously is an opportunity for students to build and enrich their professional networks. Especially with an online degree, one has a better chance of interacting and building contacts across geographies, age groups, and professional experiences, because increasing number of experienced professionals are choosing the online mode to continue their educational pursuits.
  • Saves time: Students can save a huge amount of time by pursuing two degree programmes simultaneously in different domains.

The commencement of dual degree programmes is being seen as historic, and rightly so. It is a very student-centric decision and is set to change the future of the youth in the nation. As always, each student must choose wisely- be it the degree or the university providing it.

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