Multidisciplinary Studies Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in multidisciplinary studies. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Interdisciplinary Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Careers Are Available in Multidisciplinary Studies?

Multidisciplinary studies is a broad field, covering areas such as organizational behavior and environmental studies. A couple of career fields that would fulfill these areas might be as an environmental scientist or a human resource specialist. Environmental scientists collect data by taking samples from the air, water, ground, foods and other materials. They run tests and assess danger to the community or environment. Human resource specialists work with employers to figure out hiring needs. They may recruit needed specialty hires, interview prospective employees and hire personnel. They arrange training and take care of employee records.

Multidisciplinary studies programs allow you to take a variety of courses across multiple disciplines to custom build your own curriculum. As such, career options for you are fairly broad, including environmental scientist and human resources specialist. Consider the the information in the following table to determine if a career involving multidisciplinary studies is right for you.

Environmental Scientists Human Resources Specialists
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Biology, chemistry, physics, engineering Human resources or business
Key Skills Analytical, communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills Decision making, interpersonal, listening and speaking skills
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% for all environmental scientists and specialists* 5% for all human resources specialists and labor relations specialists*
Median Salary (2015) $67,460 for all environmental scientists and specialists, including health* $58,350 for all human resources specialists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are Some Common Programs?

A wide variety of multidisciplinary studies programs are available; two examples include environmental studies and organizational behavior. Generally, undergraduate programs require general education credits in addition to core courses in theory, methods and research. Environmental studies programs stress the interrelationship between a variety of disciplines, with courses in earth and natural science, advanced math, humanities, ethics, policy and behavior. Undergraduate degree programs in organizational behavior generally combine courses in management, behavioral science, ethics and communications to give you an overall perspective of business, philosophy and group behavior.

At the graduate level, you can pursue a master's or doctoral degree in multidisciplinary studies with a focus in environmental studies or organizational behavior. A master's degree in organizational behavior prepares you for management and professional positions in organizational affairs, while a doctorate might qualify you for university positions in teaching or research. A graduate program in environmental science can sharpen your decision-making and research skills in specialization areas such as ecology, conservation biology or forestry.

What Jobs Are Available?

Multiple career choices offer entry-level positions that are available to bachelor's degree holders. If you majored in environmental studies, you could work in conservation, marine biology or environmental policy. Environmental science jobs are available at all government levels and with corporations and organizations as consultants or researchers. Although you could find a job in environmental science with a bachelor's degree, a master's is usually preferred. If you majored in organizational behavior, you might work as a human resource specialist to improve job performance and increase employee satisfaction, or you could work as a labor relations manager who prepares contracts and negotiates with unions.

What Will I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental scientists earned a median annual salary of $67,460 in May 2015, while those working specifically in the science and technology consulting industry averaged $77,000 annually. One of the highest-paying employers at the time was the federal government, where environmental scientists earned an annual average of $99,770.

The annual median salary for human resources specialists was $58,350 in May 2015; however, those working for the federal government in the same year earned more than those working in other industries on average, with a mean annual wage of $82,470.

The BLS predicted higher-than-average growth rates for environmental scientists from 2014-2024, with a 11% increase predicted and a slower-than-average 5% increase predicted for human resources specialists.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several excellent alternative career fields that all require a bachelor's degree in that field. You could be a conservation scientist who manages land quality for communities, parks or forests. Geoscientists study the planet and its physical aspects to determine the future based on what we have learned in the past and present. Another related career could be as a labor relations specialist who works with labor contracts and deals with issues pertaining to salaries, medical insurance, pensions and other employee/employer situations.

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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