I study a Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Commerce Macquarie University.
When people say, “B.A is a load of B.S”? I think that my degree is very useful, often more useful at times than a Commerce degree. An Arts degree doesn’t teach us a specific technique, like Commerce does. An Arts degree teaches us basic fundamentals including analysis, problem-solving and observation techniques needed for a rapidly changing workforce. An Arts degree also allows us to establish a point of view in the world and understand why the world has gone from point A to B. My majors are, International Business, Politics and International Relations, Public Policy and Law and Governance (Minor).
Subjects are quite generalised, particularly in Arts. In Arts, you study what you want to learn, E.g. Middle East politics, or political theory. There is no particular set of specifics that you have to learn. Commerce is a little more specific- you are required to learn basic accounting, marketing and economics.
I was more interested in history before studying politics. When I first signed up to Macquarie and saw the handbook, I noticed that my interest areas were more in political studies than they were in history. Politics also offered an answer of why things are the way they are in the world. Getting into politics is not easy though; there are internships for some departments in politics, like the Department of Infrastructure and Regional development, and PMO.For public service jobs once you have graduated, most departments have graduate programs that facilitate the training on the job. A lot of politics majors use their skills in the private sector as well, in particular contracting and consulting for public-private partnerships, an area I’m very interested in.
From high school to university, I wasn’t given as much help in terms of when tasks where due, how to carry out the tasks etc. That high school ‘spoonfeeding’ is not to be found at university, and the amount of research required on some of the assessment tasks was a real shock to me.
When I started, I wish I knew exactly what subjects I was going to do, and had more of a plan of attack. I had a very vague idea of what I was going to study, as I didn’t even realise that I was going to go on exchange- what this meant for my course- and that new subjects were being offered further along my degree! So if you can, definitely try to plan ahead on your subjects to allow for opportunities like exchange.