For students who want to get a college education but aren’t sure where to start, a liberal studies degree might be for them. Also called a general studies degree by some schools, a liberal studies degree introduces students to a broad range of subjects in math, science, technology, and more. Some programs may even let students tailor their own curriculum based on their interests. The degree would provide them with a foundation to then go on to a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Why an Associate Degree?
An online liberal studies degree is geared towards a variety of students. If you’re not sure what you want to devote your college degree to, this degree might be attractive because it can provide you with a foundation in a number of different areas. From there, you can put your associate degree towards a bachelor’s degree in any number of liberal arts areas. Working professionals can also benefit. If you need an associate or bachelor’s degree to advance, a liberal studies degree can provide an affordable, convenient way to get started.
Getting Into an Associate Degree Program
Requirements will vary from school to school. But generally, you can expect to need this:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
Inside a Liberal Studies Associate Degree Program
Associate degrees are designed to take about two years to complete. This may be longer or shorter depending on the student’s prior education, work experience, and whether the program is full time or part time. Students can expect to take a variety of intro-level courses in math, the physical and life sciences, fine arts, English composition, and the social sciences. These courses would most likely fulfill the general education requirements for a four-year program.
Students have a number of options when it comes to online associate degree programs in liberal studies. The exact online structure will vary from school to school. For example, classes might be live, with students required to “attend” lectures or online discussions at a specific time. Or, students might be able to view course materials and lectures at their own convenience. Knowing these key differences, you can find the program that would work best for your learning preferences and schedule.
What’s Next for Liberal Studies Associate Degree Holders?
Students that pursue an associate degree in liberal studies most typically use it as a stepping stone towards a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the four-year institution’s transfer policy, you could easily have two years of a bachelor’s degree finished and can jump into major requirements. And after getting a taste for different subjects, you might have an idea of what you want to focus on.
Working professionals could potentially leverage their associate degree for a promotion or raise, while those looking to enter the workforce would have a number of entry-level positions as options. For example, they might work as a retail assistant manager, flight attendant, or office assistant. Having the undergraduate degree may also improve both salary and job prospects. 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 and are slightly less likely to be unemployed.