Many students, by the time they graduate high school, do not know where they want to take their career. There are also many adults today who went to school, entered the workforce, but now are seeking a career change. If you fall into either bucket, it’s okay. It’s normal!
Today, up to 50 percent of students enter college with an undecided major, and 75 percent change their major during their time in school. You do not need to commit to one career path right away. Instead, you might consider something called a “general studies” major. General studies is a degree program designed for those who value a college education, but who need time to explore and discover the right career path. It allows students to fulfill general education credits, study relevant topics, develop versatile skillsets, and prepare for a wide net of career options.
If you are wondering if a general studies major is right for you – or if it’s worth the investment – read on. Below, we delve into the top reasons to pursue an associate degree in general studies today.
- You’re unsure which career pathway you want to pursue.
If you understand the value of higher education, but do not know what you want to do with it just yet, a general studies major is a great option. A general studies program offers students the opportunity to explore their interests, while also preparing them for a variety of career pathways. Its varied curriculum covers topics such as English, math, humanities, the sciences, public speaking, and communications – all of which are applicable to any career you choose down the road.
As a general studies major, you can take time to explore these subjects, earn college credits, develop new skills, and figure out where you want to go next. You can also dip your toes into other programs through electives, in efforts to determine where your passions lie. This open-approach educational model is a key benefit of general studies programs, in that you get an overview of many subjects, rather than a narrowed curriculum.
- It’s a great launching point for your education and career.
Typically, upon completion of a general studies major, you will be awarded an associate degree. Data from national sources shows that individuals with an associate degree, on average, earn more income than high school graduates, and are less likely to be unemployed. In fact, with a general studies degree in hand, you can go on to fulfill many entry-level careers right away, earning over $50,000 per year.
Career pathways for graduates of Goodwin’s general studies program include:
- Business or Business Administration
- Advertising and Marketing
- Journalism, or Writing and Editing
- Library Science
But this is just the beginning. In addition to the many careers you can pursue, an associate degree in general studies will also qualify you to pursue advanced degree programs. After earning a general studies degree – which includes the core general ed requirements you’d need for just about any major – you can go onto to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field of your choice. For example, some Goodwin students will complete their associate degree in general studies, discover they want to work with children, and later pursue a bachelor’s degree in Child Study to become a licensed schoolteacher.
Because the general studies major covers various subjects, and establishes a stretch of skillsets, you can rest assured it will apply to any future education you pursue. And because it’s an associate degree from an accredited institution, your credits will transfer, too.
- It allows you to pave your own path.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a general studies major is that it enables you to create your own academic path. Maybe you do not know what you want to do with your career. Or maybe, what you want to do is very specific, or very unique, and there isn’t a perfect program option for it. A general studies degree, usually, can be customized to meet your evolving interests and career goals.
At Goodwin College for example, general studies majors will take the core requirements of English, math, and the required sciences. In addition to these general ed pre-requisites, however, they are free to choose course options that speak to them. Electives make up the bulk of the general studies degree at Goodwin College, with students required to complete:
- 15 credits of Open Electives
- 12 credits of General Education Electives
- 6 credits of Humanities Electives
- 3 credits of a History Elective
- 3 credits of an English Elective
Electives are available across our various programs of study. If healthcare interests you, you may explore courses in Health Sciences. If you wish to work with people, courses in Human Services and Early Childhood Education may pique your interest. You may also take courses in Business/Business Administration, and prepare to become your own boss. These are just some of the many options available to general studies majors at our career-focused college.
Upon choosing general studies as your major, you will be matched with an academic advisor at Goodwin College. Together, you will design a solid academic plan and curriculum that works for you. Your academic plan will be based on your personal needs, as well as your professional goals.
The general studies program at Goodwin College is designed to provide a secure atmosphere where you can develop interests, progress academically, and prepare for the next step – whether that’s a four-year degree, a career, or a vocational path. This is a flexible degree path, which adds to its appeal. If you are not ready to commit to years in college, or commit years to a dedicated specialization, rest assured that a general studies degree can take less than two-years to complete. Depending on the electives you choose, you will have the opportunity to take online classes, evening classes, and weekend courses, for added flexibility.
A general studies major, despite popular belief, can be a major step in getting to the career of your dreams. If you are interested in pursuing a general studies degree in Connecticut, please do not hesitate to reach out to Goodwin College. Call 800-889-3282 to learn more.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.