Best Unexpected Double Majors for Computer Science Students
Did you know that double majors yield higher earnings? They also say they are more satisfied with their university experience. But what are the best double majors in computer science?
Our list includes less common double majors like Philosophy, Graphic Design, and Psychology. These majors prepare graduates for emerging, in-demand technological fields like psychoinformatics and artificial intelligence. You will also acquire in-demand relationship skills, such as interpersonal communication and research.
A second major in the humanities, social sciences, or business may pay a fee.
Why choose one of these double majors?
Why choose an unexpected double major? Computer science majors that choose a second major usually stick to the more common CS double majors. CS majors usually see the biggest pay rise ever dual major with a major in STEM or business.
But choosing a less common major can help advance your tech career in key ways.
Consider the role that soft skills play in the tech industry. The ability to communicate effectively, write persuasively and work collaboratively can take your career to the next level.
Majors in the humanities and social sciences emphasize these skills, along with research and critical thinking. A creative major can change the way you approach technical issues and open career doors.
These double majors also give you flexibility in your future employment options. Or you can specialize or innovate in a particular area of computing, such as artificial intelligence or localization testing, where a double major will help you progress.
Less Common Computer Science Double Majors That Could Boost Your Career
You are a computer science student who thinks outside the box. What unexpected double majors can help your career?
This section will help you find the best double major in computer science based on your interests, abilities, and career goals. Our list is a starting point. Consider how other unique combinations will help you stand out in the job market.
Why it’s a good fit: A business management degree strengthens analytical and problem-solving skills. And many tech career paths benefit from on-the-job training. The ability to analyze an organization’s technology needs or assess security risks helps technology professionals. Business education can also help IT majors move into supervisory roles.
Challenges: Business and computer science majors require very different coursework. However, many colleges offer either a double major dedicated to business and computer science, or a combined major in both areas. Computer science majors can also earn a business management degree online.
Potential careers for double majors: Data Analyst; computer systems analyst; technical sales engineer; start-up founder
Why it’s a good fit: Computer science and philosophy may seem like an unexpected combination, but the two fields overlap in one key area: logic. Adding a philosophy major to your computer science degree will develop strong logic skills, which play an important role in programming languages. Philosophy majors also study the ethics of technology.
Challenges: Philosophy majors typically have very different course requirements than CS majors, including a year of a global language. (This is true for most BA degrees.) However, some schools offer a combined major; The northeast, for example, has a degree in computer science and philosophy.
Potential careers for double majors: Data Scientist; programmer; data engineer, software engineer
Why it’s a good fit: Psychology majors examine human behavior and perception. A double major in psychology and computer science develops interdisciplinary skills in technology and social sciences. These double majors work in areas such as artificial intelligence research, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science. The emerging field of psychoinformatics combines the two disciplines.
Challenges: The course requirements for the two majors generally do not overlap. However, some schools offer both options in one major. For example, Yale offers a handset major in psychology and computer science.
Potential careers for double majors: Artificial Intelligence Engineer; psychoinformatics researcher; human-computer interaction engineer
Why it’s a good fit: A global language can open up your career prospects in technology, making it one of the best dual majors in computer science. A specialization in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French or German will strengthen your soft skills while attracting technology companies. Since many tech companies operate globally, a language can be chargeable after graduation.
Challenges: While computer science majors can easily master programming languages, the world’s languages can pose different challenges. Students may also need to complete additional general education requirements for a BA major.
Potential careers for double majors: Technical sales engineer; software localization engineer; translation software developer
Why it’s a good fit: An eye for design helps computer science majors interested in web development or UX/UI design. Graphic design majors study layout, typography, and accessibility. They also boost their creativity, another skill that benefits computer science majors. Many graphic design programs include courses in web design and UX/UI design.
Challenges: Graduation requirements for graphic design and computer science overlap little. This may mean that a double major will add credits and time to your degree.
Potential careers for double majors: Front-end web developer; UX/UI designer; interactive designer
Choose your second major
What’s the best way to choose your second major? Consider your interests and career goals before declaring a second major. It’s also a good idea to take courses in the field. Explore potential second majors while checking off your general education requirements, if possible.
Ask yourself these questions to find your best dual major in computer science:
- Which major will give you a boost in your field?
- What excites and interests you the most?
- Does your school offer combined majors?
- Which double majors fit your graduation timeline?
- What are the course requirements for each option?
If a double major doesn’t fit your college plan, consider these good minors for computer science.
This article has been reviewed by Sierra Gawlowski, PE
Sierra Gawlowski, PE, earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in Washington State. She has worked for a private consulting engineering company as well as for public bodies. Sierra enjoys mentoring engineering students and junior staff. She also leads a project team for Engineers Without Borders and currently sits on the board of Kilowatts for Humanity.
Gawlowski is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Assessment Network.
Last revised April 20, 2022.