Interdisciplinary studies are degree programs that allow the student to choose the courses they want to take. Sometimes referred to as a general studies degree program, this course of study allows students to essentially design their own course of study. If students want to combine courses from healthcare and business, from computer science and humanities, or any number of any other disciplines, they can – and create the degree that will give them the right direction for their career.
What Is Interdisciplinary Studies?
Because an interdisciplinary degree is so generalized, it allows the student to explore several different degree options. Students are encouraged to choose courses from one or two different degree programs to determine which one is more in line with the type of degree they are wanting.
Interdisciplinary degree programs allow a student to mix and match courses to see what works best for them. Some schools only allow for one specialization in a specific field of study. Others may allow for up to three. Students who choose to include more than one specialization are allowed to create a degree program that is customized to their individual needs. Personalized interdisciplinary degree programs can be created for almost any type of career. Choosing multiple specializations gives the student to learn about subjects they feel could be useful for the type of career they hope to have.
Even though a student chooses to pursue multiple avenues in terms of subject matter and specializations, an interdisciplinary degree must still have many of the basic courses. By creating a personalized, interdisciplinary degree, a student can meet the requirements of a traditional degree program, but also create a course of study that gives them the knowledge they need to pursue their career goals and be fully prepared for the different challenges they may face along the way.
Most Popular Schools with Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs
In-Demand Jobs for Interdisciplinary Studies Majors:
|Career Paths||Median Salaries||Job Growth|
|Human Resources Specialist||$67,150||17%|
|Middle School Teacher||$59,660||4%|
|Training & Development||$113,350||7%|
|High School Teacher||$61,660||4%|
Most Affordable Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Programs
What Can You Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?
Jobs in interdisciplinary studies can be found in every industry. The fact that an interdisciplinary degree program can be customized to include courses that interest the student will allow them to choose which direction to go with their career. With many colleges and universities allowing students to choose up to three specializations, it gives them an opportunity to create the exact degree program that suits their goals. Students who have are interested in more than one discipline can literally forge their own educational path and create a degree program that allows them to focus on more than one aspect of their career at a time.
For many students, choosing a career can be difficult if they are interested in multiple types of work. An interdisciplinary studies program allows a student to research their options. By choosing up to three specializations, they are able to get a glimpse of what would be required in terms of education and job duties for each type of work they are interested in. Taking the time to explore each of their choices will give them an opportunity to make an informed choice. This prevents a student from choosing one specialization just to find out they don’t really like it.
Not only does an interdisciplinary studies degree allow the student to test the waters in terms of career choice, it also gives them an opportunity to enhance the depth of their education. Students who know what they want to do may be able to add one or two specializations into the mix, giving them more opportunities for advancement in the future. Graduates who have multiple specializations that enhance their primary career path are often sought after and will have a higher earning potential than others who don’t.
Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Types
Accredited Online Associates’
Earning an Associates’s degree in interdisciplinary studies can be looked at as the first step toward a brighter future. While an Associate’s degree is often considered a beginner degree program, it is more generalized and acts as a foundation for the student to build their future on. Many Associate degree programs contain the basic courses that are needed for almost any major, some also include the core classes as well. This ensures that if the student only goes far enough to earn their Associates, they will still have a degree they can use to follow their chosen career path.
With an Associate’s degree in interdisciplinary studies,a student can begin to test the waters by choosing two, or possibly three, specializations they can explore to see if they may be interested in including them in their overall career path. An Associate’s degree normally takes two years to complete and will provide valuable information that the student can use, no matter what degree program they choose to pursue as they move on to the next level of their education. An Associates’ degree is sometimes all that is needed for an employee to be hired for a job. Once they start work, they can begin to gain valuable work experience.
Accredited Online Bachelor’s
A Bachelor’s or baccalaureate degree in interdisciplinary studies is the next step up after having earned an Associates’ degree. While most Associates’ degrees are approximately two years in length, a Bachelor’s degree may take anywhere from three to seven years. Part of the reason for the extended length is that many Bachelor’s degree programs do not require an Associates’ degree. There are several Bachelor’s degree programs, especially those in interdisciplinary studies, that blend in the same courses that would have been taken in an Associates’ degree program. Having an Associates’ degree is a great way to build a foundation for your education, but it isn’t always necessary.
If earning an Associates’ degree is a good way to build the foundation for your career, then earning a Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, erects the framework. With this type of degree program, students begin to learn from the more advanced courses that provide them with the information they need to complete the tasks required for a specific position. With interdisciplinary studies, the student can choose additional specializations that allow them to fine-tune the information they receive so they can improve their overall effectiveness and make themselves more valuable to their employer.
Accredited Online Master’s
A Masters’ degree in interdisciplinary studies means that the student is taking the necessary steps to “master” their chosen career path. Mastering more than one specialization may seem to be a lofty task, but it is one that can provide a student with a solid background for success. When a student chooses more than one specialization, they begin to add depth to the level of knowledge they bring to the table. With a Masters’ in interdisciplinary studies, a student is able to become proficient in several different subjects. When the specializations support one another, the student can often combine them into a career that offers many different paths to success.
A Masters’ in interdisciplinary studies can give a student all of the tools they need to pursue a career path that allows them to combine many of their favorite tasks. Carefully choosing each specialization will allow the student to choose a career and then maximize its potential. A good example of this is exploring a degree in psychology. Adding a forensics specialization and one for child development will create a Masters’ program that can be used for counseling or as an advisor to law enforcement. While the student is sticking to one main course of study, the two specializations add depth and substance, making it more valuable overall.
Accredited Online Doctorate
A doctorate in interdisciplinary studies allows the graduate to put the knowledge they learned to good use in practical applications. Depending on their primary course of study, they can take their degree and use it to build a solid career in almost any type of industry. A doctorate allows the graduate to put what they have learned into practice, either by doing the job themselves or managing others who have the same intended goals when it comes to employment and careers. Either way, the graduate will have the level of knowledge they need to master any goal they set their mind to.
Earning a PhD in interdisciplinary studies allows the graduate an opportunity to take other avenues. Many individuals who earn PhDs often return to the classroom as an educator ready to pass on what they have learned to future generations. While PhDs often join the workforce just like those who have earned doctorates, they are more likely to work with theories instead of practical applications. This is where research begins to play an important role. Both PhD and doctorate students often explore employment options that include research because it gives them an opportunity to continue to learn and explore their field.
Accreditation for Interdisciplinary Studies
Accreditation offers students the advantage of knowing that their interdisciplinary studies program has met the standards of specific organizations that regulate the content of specific types of curriculums. In order for a degree program of any kind to receive accreditation, it must include certain elements and met specific standards. The standards are set by organizations that often provide the state exams for specific licenses and certifications. Degree programs are often graded or evaluated by how well they educate students who are required to be licensed or certified to work in their home state.
Accreditation is also beneficial in that students are guaranteed to receive the knowledge they need to pursue a specific career. Employers often look at the type of degree programs a potential employee has completed to see if they will have the level of knowledge they need to perform the duties of the position they are applying for. Students who graduate with an accredited degree in interdisciplinary studies will be able to enter the workforce and meet or exceed their employers’ expectations. Choosing to go back to school at a later date will also be much easier if the student already has one accredited degree program under their belt.
Certifications and Licensure
Completing a certification program or obtaining a license can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is working to be considered a professional in their chosen career field. Graduates who have earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies often have the option of completing a certification course or passing a state exam and earning their certification or a license to practice. For many graduates, having a diploma is all that is needed to take advantage of an employment opportunity. Not every type of position will require a certification or a license in order to be hired.
Mastering a specific type of skill and becoming proficient takes time. Students who complete their degree and go immediately into the workforce may decide later that becoming certified would be beneficial. Many colleges and universities offer certification programs that give students credit for the many years of experience they have earned through working in their chosen career field. Certification programs can take as little as six months to complete but will offer a lifetime of benefits. Many certifications and licenses require the graduate to take so many continuing education courses each year to maintain their good standing. This ensures they have up to date knowledge about their field of study and helps them continue to provide quality service to their clients.
Scholarships for Interdisciplinary Studies Students
Scholarships are just one way to help reduce the growing cost of completing your education. Students can apply for scholarships from a wide variety of organizations. Churches, non-profits, and large corporations commonly give out scholarships to deserving students who may need a little extra financial assistance. Scholarships do not need to be paid back and are considered to be a donation or gift to the student. Scholarships can range in size from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the organization and type of degree program the student is choosing.
Both scholarships and grants can provide students with the financial assistance they need to help them get the best education possible. Unlike grants that are often written to cover specific expenses, most scholarships are cash gifts that the student can use in whatever way is most beneficial for them. There are instances, however, where an organization may earmark the funds for tuition just to make sure the student’s classes are fully covered. Applying for a scholarship is sometimes the best way for a student to gain the additional funding they need to pursue their education.
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