An accelerated general studies degree allows you to explore different interests without being stuck following one track or being in school longer than you need to be.
An online bachelor’s degree in general studies can be your stepping stone, either into another bachelor’s degree, into an entry-level position, or into graduate school.
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Online General Studies Degree Options
You may explore the different areas of study while earning a bachelor’s degree in much less time and for a fraction of the usual tuition cost. This stepping stone may be the start of your career. You are the one who decides which direction you want to take after!
Typically, you do have to choose a major or concentration, such as:
- Computer Information Technology
- Criminal Justice
- Healthcare Administration
- Legal Studies
You won’t find many job opportunities that list “General Studies” as a degree requirement. A major in one of the above fields might allow you to start out at an entry-level position with many companies.
But you could also make sure you get good grades in your General Studies degree and get admitted to a specialized degree program or apply for graduate school.
Accelerated General Studies Degree Programs Overview
A General Studies degree can help you develop the skills you need to work in any industry. You may learn how to be a:
- Problem solver
- Good writer
- Confident public speaker
- Competent manager
- Strong decision-maker
These skills are transferrable to whatever career path you choose. Your wide range of knowledge and classes may give you the tools you need to go far in your career.
A General Studies degree (also known as an interdisciplinary degree) may involve up to 42 credits of core competency classes, 48 credits focused on your major, and 30 hours of free electives.
It is like a choose your own adventure degree! There are 26 classes that you get to decide what you want to study.
You could be taking classes in:
- Aviation Safety
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Business Leadership
- Social Media Management
- Computer Science
- Fashion Design
- Criminal Justice
- Athletic Training
- Global and Intercultural Communications
These classes sound very random and unconnected, but that means you are in charge of creating your own path. A General Studies degree might be a perfect fit for the entrepreneur and self-starter in you.
If you want to open your own fitness gym, for example, you could major in business, athletics, and management.
Careers with an Accelerated General Studies Degree
The career you may get with an accelerated general studies degree will often be the one you make. It may be whatever you choose. You have the opportunity in your studies to match your interests and your goals in a very self-directed way.
Your top 3 chosen areas of studies may help determine (and let you figure out!) what career is a good fit for you. Or prepare you for multiple careers in your lifetime.
According to Career Change Statistics, the average person will change careers 5-7 times in their lifetime, sometimes even changing jobs every 12 months. A General Studies degree may give you the flexibility to reinvent yourself for each new career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the possible careers and salaries will give you an idea of where you might want to start once you have your degree.
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Administrative Services Manager||$98,890|
|Nonprofit Program Manager||$69,600|
|Writer or Author||$67,120|
|Administrative or Executive Assistant||$63,110|
|Public Relations Specialist||$62,810|
Remember that with any career you start, you don’t immediately walk into a manager/director position (and the $150,000 paycheck). That is a position that you might earn through experience and hard work.
Other tips for making your General Studies degree more valuable would be to add skills/classes in marketing, sales, business, social media, graphic design, data analysis, computer programming, IT, communications, management, research, and operations.
No matter what career you take, these classes can help you to be ready for almost any role. You might even go on to a master’s degree to advance your career, and you may be looking at a satisfying career of your making.
Why Enroll in An Online Accelerated General Studies Degree Program
I need a degree fast! If this is your primary goal, then taking 8 week online classes might be a good option. There are three main benefits of taking online accelerated classes.
Start sooner. A General Studies degree is all about doing what works best for you. This even counts for when you start your degree. Almost all online colleges and universities will offer you start dates for your General Studies degree every month. Instead of waiting for September to roll around to start your first class, you could register for a class today and be starting this month.
Finish faster. An accelerated class operates like a traditional classroom course. The school gives you a start date, end date, and assignment due dates that you must keep pace with. But the difference is that the class schedule is often twice as fast at 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks.
Study when are where you want. With the fastest online degree classes, you may log in and watch the lectures when you want. No driving to campus and sitting in class at a certain time.
General Studies Degree Accreditation
Accreditation means that the school you are attending has met the standards of an accrediting board that has reviewed the curriculum, faculty, and research. It is the golden stamp of approval that proves to future employers and grad schools that your degree is valid.
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A General Studies degree will not have specific program accreditation because it is not specific. Instead, you will be looking for the school to have regional accreditation from one of these boards:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
If a school does not have regional accreditation, you can’t be sure of the quality of the education you’ll be getting, and other universities and future employers may not recognize your degree.
Financial Aid for a Student in General Studies
You may still qualify for financial aid even if you don’t declare a traditional major. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There, you’ll see what the government can offer you in free grants and low-interest, payment-deferred student loans.
You should also look into:
- State funding
- Scholarships from your university
- Scholarships from private organizations
- Employer tuition assistance
All of these sources of funding may reduce your college expenses significantly.
Questions Related to Earning an Accelerated General Studies Degree
Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
It depends on what works best for you. One way to get a bachelor’s degree online fast is to enroll in accelerated classes. You may also consider testing out of classes, submitting a portfolio of prior learning, and transferring in any existing college credits you have.
If you take the maximum number of classes year-round, you might finish in 18-24 months instead of 4 years.
What Is an Accelerated Degree Course?
An accelerated degree course features classes that take less time to complete. A typical on-campus semester lasts 16 weeks. An accelerated class only lasts 5-12 weeks. A normal accelerated class lasts 8 weeks, meaning it may take half as much time as a traditional class.
What Is the Quickest Degree to Get?
Typically, the quickest degree to get is one you can earn through online accelerated classes. Fortunately, there are many options for online accelerated degrees.
A bachelor’s degree typically requires 120 credit hours, which takes 4 years to earn if you follow the traditional format. If you take the max number of accelerated classes per semester, including the summer, you may finish in 2 years.
Can I Finish My Bachelors in 2 Years?
Yes, you can finish your bachelors in 2 years. The key is taking online accelerated classes. These classes usually take half as long to complete as on-campus classes.
You might also consider testing out of classes using programs like CLEP and submitting a portfolio for prior learning to earn college credit for any job training, military service, or other educational experiences you may have had. You may save yourself a year and a half with these methods.
Hit the Books Running!
A General Studies degree taken with accelerated online college classes may be your stepping stone on your career path, no matter what field you want to pursue. Even if you don’t know what field to pursue!
You might make your own career, design your own degree, and choose exactly how you complete your degree. There is no other degree that will give you this much flexibility!
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