Get the General Studies Course You Need in Online Degree Programs

General studies courses provide a wide variety of basic practical knowledge that students can use in multiple career fields. Taking online education courses lets students expand their knowledge base and fill in educational gaps at their own pace via their high-speed Internet connection.

Choosing a general studies program is an excellent education path for students who have not determined which direction to take in their future careers. Exploring a variety of subjects gives young students the time to consider many potential careers.

Exposure to many disciplines help students narrow their career choices. Possible subject offerings include:

  • Economics
  • History
  • Cultural diversity
  • Humanities and the arts
  • Mathematics and finance
  • Oral and written communications

In today‚Äôs work environment, more employers require a degree for even their entry-level workers. This trend signals employers’ suspicion that public schools are not fully preparing students for the 21st century workplace.

Many schools, like Ashworth College, offer associate-level degree plans based on general studies courses that build on a foundation that teaches fundamental reading, writing and computing skills.

In years past, the skilled-labor pool, which typically includes electricians, mechanics, office-support personnel and machinists, relied more heavily on technical and vocational schools for training. Today, these workers can improve their job prospects and receive higher salaries with an advanced education that signals they have adequate competency in communications, technology and leadership.

Perhaps one of the best reasons for gaining advanced education through general studies courses is flexibility. Some universities allow students to design their own degree plan — combining courses from two or more universities to meet the core requirements and add diversity to their toolbox of subjects. Many programs support part-time attendance and flexible time parameters for completion.

Reasons to Take General Studies Courses

  • Non-traditional students can update their education or fill in educational gaps to complete their degree plan.
  • Recent high school graduates can begin their educational career while exploring career options.
  • Flexibility allows taking one or two courses at a time while working.
  • Many online education courses meet requirements for professional development programs.
  • Students are not limited to one career path.
  • Some employers reimburse employees who continue their education to improve relevant industry skills.

Education Requirements

All programs require a high school diploma or GED equivalent to enroll. Many universities have entrance exam requirement to test for proficiency in English, language arts and mathematics. Students whose high school GPA does not meet academic standards or who cannot pass a college’s entrance exam may find that the school offers remedial courses to prepare them for college courses.

Career Options: What You Can Do with a General Studies Degree

With a general studies degree, graduates can expect to gain access to a diverse set of job opportunities. Graduates with either an AA or a BA are eligible for the careers like the ones listed below.

  • Apartment complex manager
  • Security guard
  • Correctional facilities employee
  • Public relations associate
  • Retail clerk or merchandise buyer
  • Daycare provider
  • Support staff
  • Maintenance supervisor

What to Consider if You Pursue a General Studies Degree

Taking online education courses increases the earning potential for jobs seekers. Some employers give more preference to those who have completed general studies courses over workers without college-level training.

Although not every job requires a degree, the number of employers that are leaning toward requiring a college degree is increasing. To remain competitive in our domestic and global jobs market, students should weigh the advantages of gaining an advanced degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists average salaries for all types of jobs in the country. To help potential graduates consider their options, a list of 2010 median annual wages follows with information gathered from the BLS. It includes:

  • Corrections officer (requires academy training): $39,020
  • Secretary or administrative staff worker: $34,660
  • Property manager: $51,480
  • Purchasing agent or manager: $58,360
  • Social and community service manager: $57,920