Bachelor of General Studies: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a bachelor's degree in general studies. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and employment statistics. Schools offering General Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor of General Studies?

A bachelor's program in general studies might be the right choice for students that have difficulty deciding what major to apply for, with many courses in various, mostly unrelated subjects. These programs are especially helpful to those trying to continue their education using credit earned previously in their educational career. General studies degrees provide a well-rounded education that builds the foundation for many different career possibilities. With this degree, it's possible to become an administrative services manager, a market research analyst, or a sales representative, among other options. The following table compares these three possible careers available to someone with a general studies degree.

Career Administrative Services Manager Market Research Analyst Sales Representative
Degree Required Bachelor's Bachelor's High school diploma or bachelor's
Training Required Administrative experience typically required None May be specific training for sales of technical materials
Key Responsibilities Buy office supplies, supervise staff, coordinate equipment maintenance Monitor trends, compile data, prepare marketing reports Find new customers, sell products, maintain customer relationships
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8%* 19%* 6% (for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives)*
Average Salary (2015) $94,840* $70,030 (for market research analysts and marketing specialists)* $66,790 (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, except those in technical and scientific products)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a Bachelor of General Studies?

A Bachelor of General Studies is a multidisciplinary degree program that includes courses in arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences. The program is designed to give you a broad foundation in critical thinking and communication. Many general studies degree programs allow you to customize your program by choosing courses that fit your career goals and schedule. You will most often find this type of program in the continuing education division of colleges and universities.

Is it Right for Me?

A Bachelor of General Studies may be right for you if you cannot decide on a college major. The flexibility of a general studies program enables you to study a broad array of subjects instead of focusing on just one.

Many general studies programs are geared toward adult learners with some college credits, but not enough related courses for a specific major. If you are in this situation, you can enroll in a continuing education Bachelor of General Studies degree program, complete the number of credits you need and earn your bachelor's degree.

Some general studies degree programs are developed primarily for community college graduates seeking to complete a 4-year degree. In some cases, 2-year colleges have established partnerships with 4-year colleges to facilitate the process of completing a bachelor's degree.

Will This Help My Career?

According to Forbes, bachelor's degree holders have higher average salaries than those with less education. Additionally, they typically have more job options and are more likely to be promoted (forbes.com). The flexibility of a general studies program allows you to tailor your program to your needs and thus you may become more knowledgeable in your career field, adding to your value as an employee.

Will My Salary Increase?

There is a good chance your salary will increase by completing a bachelor's degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, weekly earnings for individuals with only a high school diploma were roughly $678, while individuals with an associate's degree could expect weekly earnings of $798. Graduates of bachelor's programs earned roughly $1,137 per week.

What Other Careers Will I Be Qualified For?

Given the nature of general studies degrees, you will have a wide pool of potential careers you may be qualified for. You could choose to become a technical writer, writing manuals, guides, and instructions to explain what different products and services do and how to utilize them. You may also qualify as a social science research assistant, helping social scientists conduct research and prepare for laboratory analysis. Becoming a computer user support specialist is also an option, assisting users with their computer troubles in person or electronically.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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