How do you get a double degree

Dual studies: career springboard or double the stress?

  1. Dual study: what is it?
  2. How is a dual study structured?
  • What types of dual study are there?
  • Which courses can you study as a dual?
  • Where do you have to apply for a dual study program and what are the requirements?
  • Advantages of the dual study
  • Disadvantages of the dual study
  • Conclusion: is a dual study worthwhile?
  • Have you graduated from high school and are wondering what to do now? Do you want to study or do you prefer an apprenticeship? Before you decide, you should definitely take a closer look at a third option: the dual study program. What is that? How does it work? And what are the pros and cons? We'll explain it to you!

    Dual study: what is it?

    Often the biggest criticism of a university degree is that it lacks practical relevance. You often learn highly complex, scientific theories that you cannot apply at all in everyday work. Instead, one lacks the know-how how to work, for example, in complicated programs. The dual course of study solves this problem. Because it combines studies at a university, technical college or vocational academy with training or practical phases in a company. This means that graduates of a dual degree benefit twice: They have the theoretical knowledge from lectures and are already familiar with everyday work at work.

    How is a dual study structured?

    A dual course of study is characterized by the fact that theory and practical phases alternate again and again. How long these phases are varies. A common option is for students to spend the semester at the university and the semester break in the company. But it is also possible to change on a weekly or even daily basis. An example: The student works in the company from Monday to Wednesday and attends the university for the rest of the week.

    If the dual students are completing an apprenticeship at the same time, it is also common for only the apprenticeship to start and the course to begin in the second year or later. Another option is to study online, which means that the lectures can be followed from home. How a dual course of study works is usually decided by the universities in coordination with the company. A dual course of study usually lasts six to eight semesters. However, it differs from course to course and from time model to time model.

    What types of dual study are there?

    Forms of dual study

    • Integrated into training
    • Integrated into practice
    • Part-time
    • Professionally integrated

    In one dual study program integrated into training you are practically killing two birds with one stone, because you are completing a degree and a full apprenticeship at the same time. This means that in the end you will also have two degrees - a bachelor's degree and a completed vocational training. During their studies, the students alternate between visiting the university, their training company and the vocational school.

    Who one Practice-integrated dual study program also alternates between going to university and a company. However, proper visitor training is not completed at the same time. This means that after completing the dual course of study, you will “only” receive the bachelor's degree. Nevertheless, you learn a lot in the practical phases, because you work in the company like a normal employee.

    A part-time dual study program is aimed at those who have already arrived at work. So if you want to study alongside your full-time job, you can choose this form. It looks similar for the job-integrated dual study program. The difference, however, is that with this form the study takes place parallel to a part-time job. There are different lecture times for both forms. While you have to study in the evenings and on weekends with a part-time dual study program, you find job-integrated study the lectures take place one or two days a week or always in the mornings or afternoons so that you can work in your free time.

    Which courses of study can you study as a dual?

    The dual study program is becoming increasingly popular. That is why it is now possible to complete a large number of dual courses. However, there are areas in which dual courses of study are more common than in others. These include, for example:

    1. Economics (e.g. business administration studies and training to become an industrial clerk)
    2. IT (e.g. computer science studies and training to become an IT specialist)
    3. Technology (e.g. mechanical engineering studies and training as a mechatronics technician)
    4. Public service (e.g. dual studies to become a police superintendent)

    Where do you have to apply for a dual study program and what are the requirements?

    If you are interested in a dual course of study, you first have to look through job offers. As a rule, you apply to companies, not universities. If you get hold of the position for a dual study program, you are guaranteed a place at the university immediately. To this end, the companies cooperate with the universities. However, this means that a simple university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur) is not necessarily sufficient to get hold of the coveted position. As with applying for a job, your application, especially your grades in subjects relevant to your studies, as well as your behavior in the interview, play a role. On the other hand, you can breathe a sigh of relief: there is usually no NC for dual courses of study.

    Advantages of the dual study

    A dual course of study has a number of advantages. Here we introduce you to the greatest advantages.

    • Practical relevance: You can already gain a lot of work experience during your studies. You can also apply what you have learned during your studies in practice. This may even give you an advantage over other students, because after your studies you will already know how things work in your job.
    • Double degree: If you choose the dual course of study integrated into training, you can quickly complete two degrees, an apprenticeship and a degree. That saves a lot of time than if you first do an apprenticeship and then study.
    • Salary: You get paid to study! Well, it's not quite like that. You get a salary for the time you work in the company. So not for the time you study in college. Nevertheless, normal students do not enjoy this advantage and have to keep their heads above water with annoying part-time jobs. You will be spared. Sometimes companies even cover the tuition fees.
    • Good chance of being taken over: Of course, companies don't just offer dual study programs because they love to train young people. You are also looking for talented new employees. That is why the chances of being taken on after graduation are good. This makes it easy to start your career.

    Disadvantages of the dual study

    The advantages of a dual degree sound very convincing. Nevertheless, there are also some disadvantages that you should definitely consider before deciding whether to do such a degree.

    • A lot of stress and little free time: With a dual study you have a higher workload than with a normal full-time study. While other students are enjoying their semester break, you have to work or even go to vocational school. You also have to do justice to several “construction sites” at the same time. There is more stress inevitable and you will have to crush your free time a bit.
    • Little science: Science and research play an important role in a normal full-time course. This is often neglected in the dual study program, as you will prepare directly for the practice. So if you can imagine working at the university as a lecturer or in research, then a dual course of study may not be the right choice.
    • Cancellation or change only possible with difficulty: It often happens that one imagined a course of study differently. If you normally study full-time, you can usually change your course of study or drop out of your studies without any problems. This is not so easy with a dual study program, after all, you have signed a contract with a company. It is possible that a company reclaims the tuition fees paid if you drop out of your studies prematurely.
    • It is not possible to think outside the box: Normal full-time studies also provide for internships. So you have the chance to get a taste of different fields of activity or industries and find out where you want to work. In a dual study program you do not have this freedom, because you usually complete all practical phases in the same company.

    Conclusion: is a dual study worthwhile?

    Overall, it can be said that a dual study program has a lot of advantages. It can act as a career springboard. But there are also downsides that should definitely play a role in your decision. It is therefore important that you are well informed about the content of the course before embarking on a dual course of study and that you consider whether it fits your own ideas. However, if you already know which area you would like to work in later, a dual course of study can be a good way to combine theory and practice. And if you are determined and hardworking, then you will also be able to manage the work-intensive phases. However, if you do not yet know for sure what you would like to work as later, then you are probably better off in a normal course of study, because there you can get a taste of different areas, orientate yourself and then choose a focus at a later point in time.

    Theresa Müller (9 articles)

    Theresa Müller studied journalism as a bachelor and communication management as a master in Bielefeld. During her studies, she worked as a freelancer for daily newspapers, magazines and in various online editorial offices. She has also already gained experience in marketing and PR. Now she works as an online editor and writes articles for Praktikumsstellen.de on the topics of everyday internship, studies and career entry. If she doesn't write, she can often be found in the riding stables - high up in the saddle.

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