Econ major - pros and cons of double majoring

<p>Hi, I'm going to be a junior majoring in Economics. I want to ultimately get involved with something like consulting or a similar business field after graduating. However, this past summer I'd read about becoming a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department (economic cone) which looked attractive as I travel a lot on my own, love foreign cultures, and pick up languages very quickly. (This is a dream job though, and I know it's not something to go to as a sure thing. I will definitely be pursuing a career while applying to be an FSO).
This made a double major with International Relations (World Trade focus) look extremely attractive, especially since I had fulfilled plenty of the prereqs on my own (Econ classes and language classes - I am fluent in German). I mapped out a four year plan and as it turns out, without summer school, I can finish the double major within two more years.
Now, this is all well and good and I've picked my classes for next fall with the intent of double majoring Econ/IR-World Trade, but I'm starting to reconsider.
Since the IR focus is basically Econ-lite(there is a LOT of overlap), it seems like it could be a bit redundant regarding job opportunities, and I feel like I could get more out of my degree if I were to focus more on Econ classes and take up a minor such as Statistics. That and IR would probably take a bigger toll on my GPA - I love Econ, but there are a lot of Political Science, History, Sociology, and Arts/Culture related classes that I would have to take which may trip me up a bit.
Also, if I were to major solely in Econ, my schedule would be a lot looser and I would probably be able to study abroad, which I would love to do. I'm already applying for an Economics-related internship in Germany next summer (through ICE if anyone here knows it) but I would like to take classes abroad as well.</p>

<p>So to sum it up...
Pros of double majoring:
Looks good if I consider working for the State Department (debatable - any input?)
Can do it within the next two years if all classes are available
More breadth (Poli Sci, History, Sociology, Arts and Cultures)
Can apply to a wider range of jobs (not sure about this one, but generally double majoring tends to give that feeling)</p>

<p>Cons:
May hurt GPA
Tight schedule and probably more work - and if I don't get the classes I need, I may have to take summer school or stay over four years
Inability to study abroad because of strict schedule
Possible redundancy between Econ and IR-World Trade
Less depth</p>

<p>Pros of majoring in Econ alone:
Class schedule flexibility
More depth - I'll be able to take more Econ classes than I need to
Can minor in Stats or something that directly complements Econ - or not!
Should be able to study abroad due to flexibility
Probably higher GPA</p>

<p>Cons:
One BA vs two
Might not look as good as Econ/IR to the State Dept (also, debatable, I don't know enough about their criteria to really know. From what I've read it looks pretty mysterious)</p>

<p>So, your two cents?</p>

<p>Wow, I typed an essay here. Hopefully it all makes sense. I'm currently leaning away from the double major but whatever you guys say could tip me either way... thanks!</p>

<p>People from all different backgrounds become FSOs. There isn't a set requirement on what you need to do. The Peace Corps is a great way to become an FSO however there are many other ways as well. The fact of the matter is they don't really care what you study. They are looking for certain traits in their officers to make sure they are the right fit to serve as "ambassadors" of the United States in different countries. You would want to typically apply in your late 20s or even 30s, 40s. It's never too late to apply.
There is no set requirements for education, language, or work experience.</p>

<p>yeah i know, but that doesn't mean that certain things wouldn't help.
that's what i meant by it's mysterious - there are no set requirements and it seems to be a "best fit" type thing. and yeah i have considered the peace corps, especially since there are plenty of returned PCVs in the foreign service except going away for 27 months not gaining real world work experience kinda turns me off - if i could spend those 27 months working in a field i want to work in and saving up money then i would rather spend it that way.
but you can keep applying, right? why not start applying right after i graduate and just keep on trying while also pursuing a career? are there any negatives to applying from age 22 onward?
thanks for the input! i'm leaning more towards just going with a major and a minor now, heh.</p>

<p>Peace Corps is GREAT work experience. Many top MBA programs look at that favorably. You are just not going to have that much money compared to if you had a typical job in the states.</p>

<p>You need experience showing your leadership skills, etc. Do you have that in college? There is a lot of competition and you will be competing against highly skilled ~30 year olds, for example.</p>

<p>Oh and having a Masters degree is an advantage for the FS, so keep that in mind.</p>

<p>Hmm, yeah I'm still definitely considering the Peace Corps.. especially if the economic situation here gets much worse, heh. I don't have much experience showing leadership skills, but I'm planning on doing an internship abroad next summer and I've done a lot of traveling by myself, so maybe that could count for something.
I don't think I would pursue a Masters in Economics, but I'll look into it.
Thanks! (and bump)</p>

<p>Hey! I might be you in a few years... haha. No, I think peace corps would be a great way to get in the FSO! I would totally want to do a track of. Econ Grad ->Small work experience (1 year) -> Peace Corps -> Masters/Work -> FSO by mid/late 20's!</p>

<p>sounds good! what masters program would you be looking at?</p>

<p>Ideally maybe a MPP (Master Public Policy) at an Ivy or Maybe Mich or something. I'll leave an Econ Master option open.</p>