Many students ready to continue their education but not sure which area of study they are most passionate about choose a general studies degree. A General Studies Degree is an undergraduate program that allows selection from a broad range of courses in a variety of subjects in the liberal arts, humanities and science fields. Though this type of degree has been around for centuries, a recent resurgence in its popularity is due in part to a movement towards more individuality, as well as students reluctant to lock themselves into one specific field of study. Most colleges and universities offer this degree in a variety of formats, and it is often the degree of choice for those still undecided on a major. Because of the broad range of knowledge and ideas that this degree exposes graduates to, a general studies degree holds infinite possibilities for possible career paths. Students easily tailor this degree to fit their own interests and select courses that can be adapted to a variety of employment situation. Graduating from a general studies program signifies that a student has obtained a well-rounded education that will include skills in research, oral and written communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Advantages of a General Studies Degree
- Flexible education program – Students who are returning to school after a long gap in their education or transfer students with credits from several different schools find that this type of degree ideal for meeting their educational goals as most universities allow for a greater number of credit hours to be transferred towards this degree
- Variety and flexibility in learning platforms – Similar to a liberal arts or Bachelor of arts degree students can include a array of online, in class lecture, independent, and blended study courses tailoring their curriculum and education
- Experiential and prior learning credits can be applied – Credits based upon a student’s life and work experiences can often be earned and applied towards a degree by compiling and presenting portfolios displaying the education and skills acquired
- Additional nontraditional means of assessing credits towards graduation -Some universities even accept personal essays detailing work and life experience that can be applied toward additional credits.
Different Types of General Studies Degree Programs
Most colleges and universities offer both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in general studies. Many graduates of a general studies program go on to pursue advanced degrees in other concentrations. Because of the diverse courses that they have been able to take in the general studies program, most graduates find that they are very successful in completing their graduate work.
Career Options for a General Studies Degree
Graduates with a general studies degree often find that their employment options are wide open upon completing their degree. Many become employed in leadership positions in small businesses or companies. Various positions such as office managers, human resources, or department managers are common career choices among people with a general studies degree. The strong communication skills that are developed within a general studies program also makes sales and marketing positions ideal for graduates from this program. Students who include electives in art, music, and history tend to find employment in related fields such as museums and schools. Graduate students who pursue an advanced degree are often employed within their chosen area of specialization while furthering their education. This is often due to students increasing their career options by participating in volunteer or internship opportunities. This combination of on-the-job training and a well-rounded education contributes to the success of graduates with a general studies degree.
For students that are looking to discover a degree that can be tailored to suit their personal interests and career goals, a general studies degree program is a perfect fit. A general studies degree is also a perfect fit for returning and transfer students who need to have a degree program flexible enough to accommodate their life experiences and previously earned credits. Students undecided in a chosen field or career path also find the variety and flexibility both in subject matter and means of credit acquisition ideal. In addition General studies degrees let potential employers know that a graduate from this program has a broad range of knowledge in a variety of fields.