Is an Associates in General Studies Worth Anything?

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If you are looking to further your education and advance your career, you may ask if an Associates in General Studies worth anything.

Is an Associates in General Studies Worth Anything

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If you are unsure of what to major in, a general studies online degree can help you to gain more in-depth knowledge in a variety of subjects and better your communication skills.

What Does a Degree in General Studies Mean?

A general studies degree offers a well-rounded education that helps to prepare students to further their education or begin working in the professional world. A general studies degree covers topics in all academic core courses but does not give students one subject major.

If you are looking into a general studies degree, you may want to consider one of these three degree paths:

  • Liberal Arts degree
  • Multidisciplinary degree
  • Interdisciplinary degree

Each of these paths is a type of general studies degrees but are slightly different.

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Liberal Arts

A liberal arts degree may be perfect if you have not decided on a specific career. It can allow you to take classes in literature, math, history, science, and several elective classes. As you continue working through this degree, you should begin to paint a picture of what you enjoy and may want to pursue further.


An interdisciplinary studies program can allow you to combine two academic areas while getting your associate degree. This program lets you modify the educational course load to meet your specific goals. You will still be required to take general education classes, but you will be able to add a combination of classes from two specific majors.


Multidisciplinary degrees are similar to an interdisciplinary degree program. The biggest difference in these two programs is that an interdisciplinary study lets you combine two areas of interest, and a multidisciplinary degree allows you to combine three areas of interest.

This path will allow for tailor-made education so that you can narrow your education goals for a specialized career.

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What is the Abbreviation for Associates Degree in General Studies?

Most associate degrees assist in obtaining the general education requirements such as English, math, history, and science that you would need to be able to transfer into a four-year degree program. You can also choose to go straight into the workforce once you have an associate degree.

Most people who are in an associate program will graduate with an associate in arts or an associate in science.

Associate in Arts

An Associate Degree in Arts allows students to focus on electives such as history, humanity, psychology, and more. These are usually not stem type courses and might be a better fit for someone looking to get into a professional setting in business, teaching, or management.

Associate in Science

An Associate Degree in Science may be a great option if you are seeking to advance in a career in science, technology, or mathematics. Careers in computer technology or accounting are a few examples of career paths you might take with an associate in science degree.

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What Do You Learn in a General Studies Associate’s Program?

An associate in general studies does not hinder you from taking courses in a discipline that you are not majoring in. You may choose electives in any discipline as long as you meet your core academics requirements. Some of the courses you are likely to take in a general study major are:

  • Comparative Literature – study and write about the different type of writings, while comparing the styles, origins, cultural aspects of each
  • Anthropology – explore human societies and cultures from past to present
  • Economics – study social actions in a business world

There are only a few examples of the many classes that are needed to complete the degree.

Is an Associates in General Studies Worth Anything in the Job Market?

Yes, an associates in general studies can be worthwhile since U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employers often seek out graduates with a general studies degree. Students from these fields are generally strong in communication and critical thinking skills. A general studies degree seems to attract students with a desire to do well in any type of career.

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People who can problem solve, work with others, and have a solid educational background tend to succeed wherever they go. This is what a general education degree can help you achieve, and what makes a general studies degree valuable.

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What Is an Associates Degree in General Studies Good For?

An associate degree in general studies can help obtain the skills needed to succeed in a multitude of jobs. Some of these jobs may include:

  • General Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Public Relations
  • Copywriter

Employers want to see applicants who are flexible and diverse in their knowledge, which can make an associate’s degree valuable for many. A general studies degree can offer you a variety of courses to help you develop skills in many areas.

General Studies Associates Degree Salary

General Studies Associates Degree Salary

There are many jobs that you can look into when you have an associate degree in general studies. See the table below for a few examples of these jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, what they entail, and what the average annual salary you can expect.

Depending on the employer, you may need additional education or work experience to qualify for some of these jobs.

Careers Annual Median Salary
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative $62,070
Paralegal $52,920
Human Resources Assistant $43,250
Sales Clerk Supervisor $41,580
Financial Clerk $41,520
Secretary or Administrative Assistant $40,990
Case Work Aide $35,960
Customer Relations Representative $35,830
Psychiatric Technician or Aide $33,140
Teacher Assistant $28,900

Compared to a Bachelor’s, Is an Associate’s in General Studies Worth Anything?

A degree in general studied can help to better your future career goals. Both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree can be beneficial and choosing which one you want depends on your career goals. The table below some of the pros for each degree path.

Associate’s vs. Bachelor’s in General Studies

Associate Degree in General Studies Bachelor’s degree in General Studies
Fewer courses required so the total out of pocket cost is typically lower More career options in a variety of different careers
It should take less time to complete Higher long-term earning potential
Should allow you to enter the workforce faster More skills in a variety of core areas, such as communication and research
Great if you do not have the GPA or SAT scores needed to get into a higher-degree program More likely to start at a high-level position in a company after graduation
Get your first two years of your bachelor’s degree done and you may transfer the credit later Can apply to grants, loans, and scholarships to bring down the cost of attending school

After you decide which degree program will work best for your career path, you can begin looking at colleges and universities that are right for you. If an associate degree in general studies is what you are looking for, consider community colleges and vocational schools near you.

Accreditation for an Online Accounting General Studies Degree

Accreditation for an Online Accounting General Studies Degree

Obtaining your degree from an accredited school is important because it ensures your school has the educational standards needed to provide students with the skills needed to be competitive in a global industry.

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There are several organizations charged with making sure schools meet these standards. The six-regional accreditation for an associate degree in accounting includes:

  1. Accrediting Commission for Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  2. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  3. Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  4. New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  5. Higher Learning Commission (North Central)
  6. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Schools are not required to be accredited. They enter into these programs on a volunteer basis, so it is important to ask about your program accreditations before you enroll if you plan to transfer to a four-year degree or get a certification.

Financial Aid for an Associates in General Studies Online

Financial Aid for an Associates in General Studies Online

The total cost for an associate degree in general studies online will vary depending on the school you chose. Public colleges are often cheaper than private colleges. Most community colleges and vocational school will offer financial aid packages, but the actual cost of your program will depend on factors such as:

  • Your household income
  • Grants or scholarships offered by your school
  • Other financial awards and scholarships for which you apply including:

Grants, scholarships, and loans are a great way to help finance your education.

  1. Pell Grants
  2. Low-Interest Student Loans

You should talk with the financial advisor at your school to further assist in with questions you may have. They should have a plethora of information on loans, grants, and other ways to help you finance your education.

Your first step should always be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA. You can find all the necessary information, such as deadlines, forms, and directions on their website.

Is an Associate's Degree in General Studies Worth Anything

Is an Associate’s Degree in General Studies Worth Anything?

When you decide to continue your education, you are deciding to better your future. An associate degree in general studies may be your stepping stone to a high-level degree or a more lucrative work setting. This degree can help you gain experience and expand your knowledge in a variety of subjects.

Look into what degrees are offered at your local college or university and begin paving your way to a better future.

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Jordan Meeks
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.