A general studies, or interdisciplinary studies, degree could be perfect for students who want a broad, classic education, typically without a major, or concentration of study. Liberal Arts and Humanities program in general studies usually include a balanced curriculum, with coursework in the humanities (such as English and comparative literature), social sciences (such as psychology, history and sociology), natural sciences (such as biology, chemistry and physics), and mathematics.
For a person seeking a well-rounded education, a general (interdisciplinary) studies degree might be the right solution. Some programs allow a degree of flexibility within their program, allowing a student to choose the course of his or her degree program, but without the declaration of a major. Many online programs, mindful of the fact that adult students have to juggle career and family obligations along with their studies, offer flexible programs that can accelerate or space out courses, depending on the individual student's needs. It's best to speak with a school program officer to see what options exist.
The competencies developed in a classical education, including critical thinking, analysis, written and oral communication, and technical skills, are those in demand in the working world today. Moreover, the foundation provided by a general studies degree program can prepare students for undertaking an additional degree later, when they settle on a career specialty. Students may transfer their course credits, accelerating their completion of a second degree program.
Among the online pathways, you can find colleges offering an associate's of arts in general studies, an online general studies degree, and interdisciplinary studies degree.
Putting Your General Studies Degree to Work
Undergraduate courses in business, mathematics, and psychology can help new grads adapt to the fast-moving business world. After completing their general studies degree, graduates often find themselves ready for jobs where their skills and broad knowledge are respected by employers who prefer well-grounded individuals and offer their own internal career training programs. Employers know you've had qualified training and exposure to computer use, research methodologies, communications organization, public speaking, and culture.
Your degree should indicate you have the aptitude and dedication to follow through on a commitment and apply problem-solving skills across a range of challenges. Grads often take positions in administrative support roles, in project management, materials procurement, or in sales while they move up the career ladder. Graduates of online general studies degree programs can also find a wide range of options in education, health care, government, fine arts, social work, real estate, or law.
A survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that completing an associate's degree can boost your average weekly earnings by $119 over wages by workers who hold only a high school diploma. Return to school and complete a bachelor's degree and you may be able to earn an additional $228 a week, on average. Of the 56 million jobs that open for workers entering the career marketplace for the first time between 2006 and 2016, approximately14 million will go to candidates who hold a college degree.