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Online General Studies Degrees and Careers

Unlike many degree programs that focus on training for specific careers, degrees in general studies prepare well-rounded specialists in critical thinking and communication--applicable skills in nearly every position. Numerous employer surveys reveal that good communication skills are what they most seek in potential employees. General studies degree programs provide students with training in a variety of disciplines, including a good overview of science, humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

Education & Career Opportunities in General Studies

A general studies major most often leads to an associate's degree, although occasionally you can earn a bachelor's degree in this topic. Some schools allow general studies majors to design their own curriculum or theme. While you may think that general studies degrees are too vague for employers or graduate schools to take seriously, you should know that the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association both recommend that law or med school applicants possess broad-based, liberal arts degrees, such as general studies, for the research, critical thinking, and communication skills that are this major's foundations.

Individuals who have degrees in general studies can choose from a variety of career fields, many of which are expected to see significant job growth between 2008 and 2018. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following career fields should see the following employment increases:

  • Public relations specialist: 24 percent
  • Human resources specialist: 21 percent
  • Technical writers: 18.2 percent
  • Writer/author: 14.8 percent
  • Psychologist: 14.4 percent

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports public relations specialists earned a median annual salary of $51,960 while psychologists earned $66,040 in 2009.

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