Students seeking a liberal studies education might be interested in online general studies degree programs. An associate degree in general studies would provide a foundation in the arts and sciences, with broad knowledge in math, science, technology, and more. Students would also be able to develop their writing and critical thinking skills. Courses would prepare students for a bachelor’s degree in any number of areas.
Why an Associate Degree?
For the student not sure what to study, an online general studies associate degree can be a noncommittal way to start your education while still earning relevant credits that could be put towards your future education. Graduates are able to put their associate degree towards a bachelor’s degree in any number of liberal arts subjects, including general studies, as well as math, science, computer science, and more. An online associate degree can be an affordable and convenient way to explore all your options. At the same time, for those already in the work force, an associate degree can help lead to a job or promotion.
Getting Into an Associate Degree Program
Exact application requirements will vary from one school to the next. But generally, they all require:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
Inside a General Studies Associate Degree Program
An associate degree usually takes about two years to complete, depending on the student’s prior education, the program, and whether it’s full time or part time. General studies programs, also sometimes called liberal studies, are well-rounded. Courses cover a variety of subjects and are typically designed to fulfill general education requirements, especially if the school offers or is connected with a four-year program. Subjects in math, history, behavioral and social sciences, physical and life sciences, fine arts, and English composition are typical.
There are a variety of options for online associate degrees in general studies. These programs are commonly asynchronous, meaning students do not have to log in at a particular time or day of the week but can work on their own schedule. Students and teachers might communicate via email, message boards, or live chat.
What’s Next for General Studies Associate Degree Holders?
The most common path for graduates of associate degree programs in general studies is continued education. After getting a taste for different subjects, they would be prepared for continued study at the bachelor’s degree level. They likely would also have their general course requirements completed so that they can delve right into their major.
Those graduates who are seeking employment would find a range of limited opportunities. For instance, office assistant, customer service representative, retail assistant manager, and flight attendant are some careers that might be available to associate degree holders. Those who are already in the work force might be eligible for promotions or pay raises with an associate degree, too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), associate degree graduates earn about $133 more a week than workers with just a high school diploma. This can add up to $7,000 a year. Associate degree earners are also less likely to be unemployed, with the rate of unemployment 6.2% for people with an associate degree versus 8.3% for those with a high school diploma, according to the BLS.