For those who want a strong education allowing for a variety of career paths, an associate degree in general studies could be a smart fit. Many employers value a general studies degree because it helps to create adept thinkers capable of bringing a broad base of knowledge to the job. Similarly, students might be attracted to the degree because of its open door approach toward a career and opportunity to develop goals as they progress.
Associate degrees in general studies
The broad-based general studies degree includes a wide selection of courses, all of which are designed to teach critical thinking, effective communication and the ability to draw knowledge and skills from many disciplines. Courses can include, but are not limited to, anatomy, astronomy, biology, comparative literature, economics, political science and others. Some programs even allow you to design your own degree so that you place an emphasis on the courses you desire.
Career options, outlook and salary
The broad range of skills and knowledge acquired through associate degrees in general studies can be attractive to potential employers. As a result, opportunities can be found in sundry fields. A few of the careers that could work for general studies majors, including job growth and salary information made available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:
- Editors: made a mean annual wage of $59,340 in 2010. Job growth is projected to increase by 8 percent from 2008 to 2018.
- Retail sales managers: earned $39,890 per year in 2010. Employment opportunities could increase by 5 percent from 2008 to 2018.
- Correctional officers: made $42,780 in 2010. Jobs are projected to grow by 9 percent from 2008 to 2018.
- Social and human services assistants: earned an annual wage of $30,100, and jobs are expected to grow by 23 percent from 2008 to 2018.
- Preschool teachers: made $29,200 per year in 2010. Growth of 19 percent is expected between 2008 and 2018.
Going beyond the associate degree
Associate degrees in general studies can provide an open door to entry level jobs, but also offer a bulk of credit hours to those interested in continuing to a bachelor's degree. Online degrees in general studies are also an option to those who value opportunity, flexibility and open doors, and a choice in designing their future.