Many students choose to major in general studies or liberal arts in college rather than choosing a particular specialty such as accounting or sociology. The general studies degree gives more flexibility in elective courses and so allows student to tailor their educational experiences more than many other degree programs. While employers have both positive and negative opinions of such degrees, numerous career options exists for the general education graduate.
Courses within the general studies degree teach writing, speaking, language and diversity. This communications focus creates good background for teachers. Options include elementary and middle school, high school English or social studies, and post-secondary liberal arts instruction. Graduates find other work within education such as library director, academic advisor, ESL evaluator and program or department manager. Outside of academia, freelance writers, journalists, public relations workers, researchers, legal assistants and human resources managers may all have degrees in general studies.
The study of cultural differences, languages and problem-solving skills also prepares students for work in politics and other social sciences. Various governmental and political positions such as lobbyist, congressional representative and political liaison are appropriate. Graduates also work as mental health counselors, volunteer services coordinators, social services administrators and social workers. While some such positions may require graduate degrees, the bachelor's level general studies diploma opens doors for many entry-level positions within the social sciences.
Learning good communication and organizational skills also helps general studies graduates in the world of business. Marketers, advertising executives and sales professionals draw on these abilities plus the understanding of human relationships from the social sciences courses within the degree. Elective courses in economics and finance give students background to be successful in banking. Managers of businesses, organizations and offices draw on the skills learned within the general studies degree, and graduates may find rewarding careers as business owners.
A bachelor's degree gives students a base to continue study in various graduate and professional programs. The degree is appropriate for entry into law school, which can lead to a career in the district attorney or public defender's office, private practice, consultation and working as a judge. Some schools accept a general studies degree for entry into medical programs, leading to jobs as hospital administrators, clinic managers, nurses and even doctors if students include the proper science courses in their elective choices.
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