“Get Two Degrees for the Price of One”: Career Orientations and Choices of Double-Degree Students
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Double degrees have been identified in universities around the globe. The Colombian double degree is a local hybrid of the American double major and the local profession-enabling pregrado that universities, particularly elite private ones, marketize in a context of mass higher education, devaluation of first university degrees and a weak economy ensuing from social conflict. Through a narrative approach, we found that students learn to pursue two degrees to maximize their investment in education, seek future job security, reduce their angst about survival given the low value of university credentials, and gain recognition from peers and family members. Choosing two degrees also maximizes their opportunities for preparing themselves to serve others, allows them to pursue intellectual development, and to satisfy their curiosity. The main trend found is that of students led by a consumerist orientation privileged over an educational rationale. We argue that the superimposition of consumerist orientations over self-cultivation motives may occur in the context of implementation of new programs such as double degrees, implemented by universities under a market logic.
Comparative education review, 66(2):342-364
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