What Are the Best General Studies Careers?

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If the typical college degree programs don’t feel like perfect matches for your interests and career goals, then consider a General Studies degree program. General Studies careers give you the option to design a custom degree program which involves a variety of academic disciplines, and could be the answer you have been looking for to get the most out of your college education.

Best General Studies Careers

List of the Top 40 General Studies Careers & Salaries

Due to the diverse nature of General Studies, there are a variety of career paths that graduates can pursue. From business and sales to communications, we have put together a list of popular career choices that you may be interested in after earning your General Studies degree.

Job Title Job Summary Median Pay
Account Director Manages the accounts of a business by handling the paperwork necessary to ensure that all accounts stay current. $98,515
Editorial Director Generally works for publishing companies and are responsible for the written and graphic content of a business. $91,094
Director of Public Relations (PR) Oversees a business’s overall communications while developing and leading departmental strategy. $84,932
Marketing Director Manages many responsibilities related to the overall management and direction of a business’s marketing tasks. $88,486
International Sales Manager Works to ensure that the daily overseas operations of a business that exports goods flows smoothly. $78,995
Employee Communications Manager Works as part of the human resource team to ensure a positive workplace and develop proposals, budgets, and schedules. $85,590
Marketing Communications Director Oversees and coordinates the written communication and team planning of an organization’s marketing strategy. $80,925
Software Consultant Assists a company in moderating and effectively managing their technological content. $76,669
Brand Manager Specialized marketing managers that handle the control and management of a company’s associated trademarks. $71,226
Sales and Marketing Director Helps a company maintain a positive profit-loss ratio by implementing sales, marketing, and product development programs. $74,529
Media Relations Manager Manages the relationships with a business’s media representatives and oversees media communication within the company. $66,394
Regulatory Affairs Specialist Assists a company in the implementation of international and domestic regulatory strategies. $68,661
Senior Account Executive Develops and implements sales and marketing project plans while overseeing the establishment of new contracts. $67,598
Project Manager Oversees designated projects for their company within their field of specialty. $74,365
Marketing Manager Uses a variety of input to create effective marketing and sales campaigns while supervising their development and execution. $65,688
Public Relations (PR) Manager Plans events and initiatives for the company and coordinates outreach to the public. $69,154
General/Operations Manager Works with personnel and upper management to maintain the functions of a business or service delivery. $65,484
Advertising Manager Maintains a unified brand message for an organization by planning and executing advertising programs. $64,834
Administrative Services Manager Coordinates all office personal and services to ensure that daily operations run efficiently. $62,808
Risk Management Specialist Minimizes risks to their companies’ financial standing by focusing on safety or material loss. $68,754
Technical Writer Work in a business office to write complex technical content in an understandable form. $60,481
Branch Manager, Banking Leads a team of bank employees to ensure that the financial needs and goals of customers are met. $59,533
Auditor Responsible for checking the accuracy of their organization’s business records. $57,111
General Manager, Hotel Responsible for overseeing the entire workings of their hotel in order to ensure operations are handled in an efficient manner. $57,007
Program Director, Non-Profit Supervises the management team of a non-profit to coordinate program planning and development. $56,784
Market Research Analyst Reviews and analyzes data in order to help a company’s profits grow over time. $54,301
Program Manager, Non-Profit Handles the projects of a non-profit organization to ensure they meet stated goals. $52,290
Project Coordinator Manages projects for their organization by coordinating details, maintaining schedules, and securing resources. $50,169
Public Relations (PR) Specialist Promotes and elevates the awareness of a company, brand, or individual. $49,125
Office Manager Responsible for the daily activities, projects, and employees of their office. $47,500
Retail Store Manager Oversees the personnel and operations at a retail store by managing employee relations and sales. $49,062
Social Worker Works closely with patients and their families to asses and treat a variety of social and mental health issues. $47,587
Copy Editor Responsible for reviewing and editing the content for their organization’s publications. $49,488
Computer Support Specialist Assists users in resolving issues with software, computers, or computer components. $45,500
Content Writer Responsible for the creation, writing, and editing of various content for their organization. $46,054
Inside Sales Representative Helps a company sell a product or service by completing the process of that sale from start to finish. $44,479
Case Manager Offers guidance to at-risk populations, such as the elderly, recovering addicts, and the impoverished. $41,128
Administrative Assistant Assists in the daily operations of their employer’s office, including all administrative and clerical tasks. $38,500
Research Assistant, Medical Works underneath a researcher or investigator to gather data in conducting research studies. $39,608
Bank Teller Uses customer service skills to accurately conduct transactions for bank customers. $28,954

*Data provided by Payscale.com and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics


What can you do with a General Studies Degree?

brand manager working on a project

After reading the information in the above table, you probably noticed how diverse the career paths are in the field of General Studies. Through the course of your degree program, you will be able to create a custom course path that allows you to take classes that suit your specialized interests.  From there, you will learn the skills needed for an entry-level position in a variety of careers spanning business, management, communications, and the humanities.

With the diversity of occupations also comes a wide range of median annual salaries, as you can see above.  While most General Studies graduates begin their careers in entry-level positions, it is possible to work your way up through the ranks to earn top-level pay in executive or upper-management jobs. Depending upon your skills and experience, you may make more or less than the median salaries that are shown. However, most of the careers we have listed have annual pay that is at or above the national average across all occupations.

What is a General Studies Degree?

A General Studies degree is a versatile educational program that allows the student to have a large say in the direction of their studies. Throughout the course of your program, you will be able to custom-tailor your degree so that it matches your interests. By doing this, you will obtain a broad foundation of skills that can be applied to a number of different careers.

Colleges typically offer online general studies degrees at a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree level. If you are interested in continuing to further your education with a graduate degree program, you will then have to choose a specialized concentration.

When choosing the courses that you want to take during your General Studies degree program, you will be able to pick from a variety of academic disciplines that include:

  • Business
  • Composition and Literature
  • Computers and Information Systems
  • Life and Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Technology

With advancements in technology and the evolving trends of the student body, many top colleges are now offering high-quality online degree programs in the field of General Studies. By taking advantage of this flexible degree option, it is now easier than ever to log-in and complete your courses on a schedule that fits into your busy life!

General Studies Career Outlook

Computer Support Specialist handling a client

With any degree program, it is a smart idea to take a look at the projected occupational growth of your desired career to get an idea of what to expect after graduation. When it comes to the broad scope of jobs associated with the General Studies degree program, utilizing resources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great starting point in researching different careers.

According to the BLS, jobs in Media and Communication are expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which will result in over 27,000 new jobs. Additionally, Business and Financial occupations are projected to have an 5% increase in the same timeframe. This is great news for graduates of a General Studies program and useful information that can be used to create a degree program that has the potential for a long-term, well-paying career.

If you are looking for flexibility within your degree that allows you to pursue a variety of academic interests, then the General Studies program is an excellent choice. Whether you want to learn advanced skills for a variety of industries or are looking for a starting point to further your education, General Studies provides a solid foundation on which to build your long-term goals!

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.