General Studies Degree Overview
General studies degrees teach important foundational skills like critical thinking, analysis, general knowledge, and writing that can be crucial in any career. Often, a general studies degree will lead to more specialized education or training and an entry-level position in virtually any field, including social sciences, health, education, law, business, and more.
Listed at the bottom of this page are colleges and universities that offer online degrees or certificates in general studies. You can also explore the various study options in this discipline through the general studies Study Areas section below.
General Studies Study Areas
Outlook for General Studies Careers
General studies degrees offer students a variety of career options. While a general studies degree might not lead directly to a specific career path, it can provide the required college education necessary for an entry-level position or it can be a good foundation to an advanced degree in many fields, including law, business, psychology, education, and more.
A four-year degree in any of the general studies disciplines, including foreign language, history, liberal arts, political and social sciences, English, geography, humanities, philosophy, and religious studies qualifies a job seeker for a broader range of careers than those with specialized technical training or non-degree holders.
It may be difficult to find a career that relates directly to your general studies degree without an advanced education, especially if it concentrates on something like art history or Spanish literature. However, there are several career paths that are a great fit for the critical thinking and analytical skills you will gain with a general studies degree.
The list below outlines job growth projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2016 to 2026 in several occupations commonly pursued by those who obtain a general studies degree.
Predicted Job Growth, 2016 to 2026
- Makeup artists, theatrical and performance: 12%
- Technical Writers: 11%
- Marketing managers: 10%
- Set and Exhibit Designers: 10%
- Writers and Authors: 8%
- Clergy: 8%
- Music Directors and Composers: 6%
- Political Scientists 3%
- Retail supervisors: 2%
- Editors -1%
- Reporters -9%
Featured Online General Studies Colleges
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Salaries for General Studies Degrees
As with other degrees, the salaries earned by general studies degree graduates varies based on education level, experience, and field. As for experience, some paths offer lower salaries at the start, but then increase as you learn more skills and take on more responsibilities.
With some careers, your success will determine your earning potential. For example, best-selling authors and award-winning film composers will typically make more than freelance writers or musicians playing in the local professional orchestra.
Below are the median salaries collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2017 for several careers often pursued by general studies students.
Median Salaries, 2017
- Marketing Managers: $129,380
- Political Scientists: $115,110
- Technical Writers: $70,930
- Writers and Authors: $61,820
- Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance: $59,300
- Editors: $58,770
- Set and Exhibit Designers: $53,090
- Music Directors and Composers: $50,590
- Clergy: $47,100
- Reporters: $40,910
- Retail Supervisors: $38,550
Education Requirements for Careers in Humanitites
Education Requirements for General Studies Degree Careers
Different careers and advanced educations have various entry-level requirements. Some occupations may require an associates degree, a bachelorâs, and others a more advanced degree. A higher degree has the potential to increase your salary and job opportunities.
General studies provide a foundational education that can be applicable a variety of different jobs. Pick one of the careers below that interests you and matches your career goals or find a different one on your own that will fit even better.
Below is a list of the degrees required for an entry-level position in the following fields:
General Studies Degree Requirements
- Writers and Authors: Bachelor’s degree
- Technical Writers: Bachelor’s degree
- Editors: Bachelor’s degree
- Reporters: Bachelor’s degree
- Marketing managers: Bachelor’s degree
- Retail supervisors: Associates degree
- Political Scientist: Master’s degree
- Clergy: Bachelor’s degree
- Set and exhibit designers: High school
- Makeup artists, theatrical and performance: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Music Directors and Composers: Bachelor’s degree
Colleges For General Studies Degrees
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