Online General Studies Degrees

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Are you having trouble deciding on a specific degree program to meet your career goals? Do you have interests in a wide-range of subjects and topics? Then you may want to consider earning an online general studies degree.

Online General Studies Degrees

With this versatile degree you have the opportunity to fully customize the courses that you take, giving you the freedom to design a program that covers a broad spectrum of disciplines and provide you with an edge in the modern workforce.

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Online degree programs have become a popular choice for a variety of adult students. From high school graduates juggling a new job to experienced professionals looking for advanced training, online degrees are an excellent way to create a flexible educational plan to balance your busy life.

Careers in General Studies

A degree in general studies prepares you for a variety of entry-level occupations across a number of different industries. From business and marketing to anthropology and communications, the options seem nearly endless once you have graduated with your online general studies degree.

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Below we have put together a sample of popular careers that you may wish to pursue after graduating from a general studies program, along with their annial median salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Careers Annual Median Pay
Marketing Managers $135,030
Branch Managers, Banking $131,710
Executive Assistants $62,090
Anthropologists $61,910

When pursuing a career in general studies, the average salaries can vary greatly depending upon your educational skillset and experience within your chosen industry. Please keep in mind that some employers look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a few of these positions. 

Through hard work and dedication, you may have the opportunity to work your way up the corporate ladder and have the potential of earning top-level pay rates.

Types of Online General Studies Degrees

Friends getting degree in General Studies online

General studies is a popular online degree program due to its high level of course flexibility that is enhanced by the ability to complete your education from the comfort of your own home.

Now more than ever, top colleges are offering online degree programs that help students get on the fast track to meet their long-term career goals. Currently, there are options for a certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s level online degrees in general studies. If students wish to continue on to a graduate degree program, they are typically required to choose a specific area of specialization.

Throughout the course of your online general studies degree, you will be able to choose classes that meet the needs of your schedule as well as match your specific interests. While most traditional degrees take a set amount of time to complete, you may be able to work at a faster pace when completing your general studies degree online.

Online Associates Degrees in General Studies

Student taking Associates Degrees in General Studies

If you are looking for a strong foundation of college courses to enhance your current career or set the stage for furthering your education, then an online associate’s degree in general studies could be the right option for you.

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Throughout the course of this online program, you can expect to take several “general” courses as well as a variety of classes in career-related disciplines. With the customizable nature of this degree program, you can choose from a variety of classes that match your long-term goals, including:

  • Business management
  • Criminal justice
  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • English language and literature

After completion of this program, you will have a marketable degree that can be used to gain employment across a variety of respected industries. This online degree program is also an excellent choice for students that need a little more time to discover which discipline is the best fit for them before continuing their education down the road.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in General Studies

Not only does an online bachelor’s in general studies provide you with a wealth of marketable skills, but it can also demonstrate to future employers that you have a diverse knowledge base and are highly trainable in a variety of disciplines.

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While earning your online bachelor’s degree in general studies, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the subjects that most interest you. After completion of the program, you can expect to have achieved the following advanced skills:

  • Ability to analyze and synthesize knowledge across a variety of disciplines
  • Advanced skills in research, writing, and presentation
  • Understanding a wide range of perspectives and terminology
  • In-depth critical thinking and communication skills

Through advanced courses in the sciences, mathematics, and humanities, an online bachelor’s degree in general studies sets the stage for you to take your career goals to the next level.

Online Masters in General Studies

Man completing his Masters in General Studies online

When you want to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study at the graduate level, earning a master’s degree in general studies is a great choice.

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Throughout the course of your studies, you can expect to take classes that span a variety of fields, including:

  • Social science
  • Natural and biological science
  • Arts
  • Humanities and culture

After completion, students can use this degree as a stepping stone to higher education or advance their current career opportunities.

General Studies Career Outlook and Salary Information

Earning your online general studies degree allows you to pursue a variety of career paths in fields that include business, administration, sales, communication, and more.

Using online resources, such as those found through the BLS, is a great starting point for occupational research of the career path that most interests you. While the BLS does not show specific job outlook information for general studies due to its broad nature, it is a helpful tool to look up common career path statistics.

For example, business and financial occupations are expected to experience a growth of 85 over the next 10 years, with an average annual pay of $76,570.

Additionally, careers in media and communication are expected to grow 14% within this same time frame. As a popular career path for general studies majors, those in this field can expect to earn an average annual salary of around $62,340.

View a list of the top 40 General Studies careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.

Is an Online Degree in General Studies Right for me?

Woman doing research on General Studies degree

There are many reasons that students choose to enroll in an online general studies program. Whether you simply need the flexibility of being able to log in to your courses at untraditional times or you want to experience a variety of disciplines before settling on a major, an online program in general studies is an excellent choice to further your education.

Taking general studies courses online come with many advantages to postsecondary students, including:

  • Ability to continue pursuing full-time employment while in school
  • Extensive options for online course offerings across a variety of disciplines
  • Ability to work at a faster pace than traditional schooling
  • Interactive, virtual experiences to enhance your education
  • Option to transfer General Studies credits to other degree programs

If you have a number of different interests and a thirst for knowledge, then an online general studies program is a great way to jumpstart your educational journey.

Comparing Top General Studies Degree Programs

With the popularity of online schools, there are now many options available to earn an online degree in general studies. So, how do you choose?

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To pick the best school for you, it is important to do your research into factors that go beyond the degree programs that the school offers. Below, you will find information on important aspects of online schooling that you should consider before committing to a college or university.


University offering General Studies Degree Programs

Accreditation is the voluntary review process that a postsecondary institution undergoes to ensure that its curriculum and educational offerings meet high-quality standards.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes several regional accrediting agencies that review institutions across the United States. For a full list of reputable accrediting agencies, you can check out the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Student-to-faculty ratio is an important consideration in any degree program, including general studies. Even in online education, a professor will have difficulty providing individualized support to students if class sizes are too large. To help ensure your success, don’t hesitate to ask your prospective school some specific questions about student ratios in the general studies courses that you plan on taking.

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Most college websites have a dedicated “Faculty” section in which current and prospective students can read about the biographies, accomplishments, and educational history of the professors that head their degree programs.

Academic Advising and Student Services

Two General Studies student doing Internship

In addition to quality course offerings, the top online colleges offer a support network to their distance learning students through academic advising and student services.

These services can be extremely useful to general studies majors for assistance in determining their long-term career and educational path.

Student services that are offered to those in the general studies online degree program may include:

  • Virtual academic advising to plan your customized degree path
  • Internship and job shadowing opportunities within your field of interest
  • Flexibility in transferring online general studies credits to graduate degree programs
  • Interactive, online tutoring and support for advanced courses across a variety of academic disciplines

For a diverse educational experience that provides you with a broad knowledge base, an online general studies program is a great choice to open up a world of opportunity. Whether you want to achieve an expansive skillset to advance your current career or hope to continue on with specialized graduate studies, the flexibility of an online general studies degree can help you reach your lifelong 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.