Reduce, Reuse, Reboot: Combining Data and Environmental Science

Data science double degree

By Ben Delaney


Studying a double degree is a great way to increase your career options; you’ll graduate with two qualifications and a unique skill set that will set you apart from the rest.

If you’re considering studying science, you may have discovered it’s possible to combine your degree with a Bachelor of Data Science. So what are the benefits of a double degree? One current student, Ben Delaney shares why he chose to combine a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Data Science at Griffith University.

“For anyone currently studying or looking to study at Griffith, I strongly encourage you to consider undertaking a double degree. I hope to answer some of the questions I had when considering a double degree, as well as the benefits the degree may offer.”

ben delaney griffith data scienceHow I chose my double degree

Choosing a degree to undertake at a university can be very overwhelming especially for anyone uncertain of the career path they wish to take. Choosing which institution to study at, as well as the many degrees offered, can be a daunting process! I know that’s the position I was in when I was finishing high school and was browsing through the extensive list of degrees, trying picture my future self in the various occupations.

I knew I wanted to study a science related degree and eventually chose to enrol in a Bachelor of Science majoring in wildlife biology at Griffith University. After my first year at Griffith I was engaged with the content I was learning but I started to consider how I could stand out to employers at the end of my degree. It was at this time I chose to change my degree to a double degree with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Data Science.

Having now completed my first trimester in the double degree I wish I had made the change sooner. The study of species relies heavily on the collection, presentation, and interpretation of data to learn about organisms, as well as how we should protect them. In my new degree I not only learn about the organisms and their ecosystems, but also how to apply mathematical models and data manipulation to better understand them.

How long does a double degree takes to complete?

I know when I first started looking at a double degree my first concern was not being able to handle the workload of two degrees. With most single bachelor’s degrees taking 3 years to complete as a full-time student, a double degree is usually only 4 years as a full-time student but with the qualifications of two degrees. Having a whole extra degree with only a year added to your studies, Griffith makes it both achievable and affordable to undertake a double degree.

How can a double degree help me get a job?

Another consideration I had when choosing to make the change was, how will this affect my employability? A double degree gives you the chance to really develop a unique skill set that may be in high demand on the job market. This allows you to be hired in more specialised roles, but what about employability across a more generic job market? I was worried that becoming too niche may prevent me from ever branching out into other fields. However, after a trimester of half data science related classes and the other half biology related, I do not feel limited in my employment options but instead more liberated. I learned skills that could still allow me to branch into either data analysis for companies, as well as wildlife conservation work. While also having the option to combine the two disciplines for a more specialised occupation.

“This year I got to take a class about website design and then with a short walk across campus later I’m learning about the ways in which we should help Australian wildlife damaged by forest fires.”

The benefits of a diverse syllabus

Lastly, I want to discuss one of the most significant benefits I have found in taking a double degree, and that is content variation. This year I got to take a class about website design and then with a short walk across campus later I’m learning about the ways in which we should help Australian wildlife damaged by forest fires. This variation in what I learnt has helped me stay engaged and has improved both my grades as well as my enjoyment of the degree.

If you are someone who came to university knowing the exact career you want and know you don’t need a double degree to get you there, then I can’t tell you to spend an extra year doing one. But if you are somewhat unsure of your career path, as I was, and want more options for employability as well as to distinguish yourself from the competition with a unique skill set, then I can highly recommend enrolling in a double degree.


Learn more about a double degree in science and data science at Griffith University

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