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Online Masters Degree in General Studies

It is never too late to return to school -- just ask Nola Ochs. At the age of 95, Nola earned a bachelor's degree in general studies, becoming the oldest person to ever graduate college. Nola lost the record to a 96-year-old Taiwanese man, but forged ahead to earn her master's degree at 98. General studies, the major that Nola chose, could help you find your own path to achievement.

Exploring master's degrees in general studies

Just as companies like Netflix and Amazon have made it possible to watch television programming without subscribing to a cable package, general studies programs allow you to earn your degree without being locked into one discipline. Choice and integration are central to general studies, and individual programs vary. Some require you to complete graduate courses in at least two areas, while others offer interdisciplinary concentrations, such as the following:

  1. Computational social science
  2. Energy and sustainability
  3. Film and video studies
  4. Higher education
  5. Social entrepreneurship

Master's degrees in general studies cover a wide range of subjects, including math, science and the liberal arts. This multidisciplinary approach often promotes the idea that to fully understand something, you must look at it from more than one angle. Regardless of the curriculum, studies encourage analytical research, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and communication skills that are applicable in many careers.

Career outlook with master's degrees in general studies

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher education pays. In 2011, the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent for individuals with master's degrees, compared to 9.4 percent for workers with high school diplomas. Employment options depend on your academic and professional background. Management positions often call for experience in the field, and teaching positions have specific requirements.

Here are some potential careers, with the 2011 median salaries and 2010-2020 job growth rates reported by the BLS. The Department of Labor anticipates average or faster than average job growth for these occupations:

  1. Human resources managers: $99,130; 13 percent
  2. Marketing managers: $116,010; 14 percent
  3. Postsecondary teachers: $64,310; 17 percent
  4. Public relations specialists: $53,190; 21 percent

Whatever your age, a master's degree in general studies can prepare you for a career that you are passionate about. Online degree options allow you to pursue your studies while maintaining your current job and other obligations.

Featured Online General Studies Degree Programs

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  • Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
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