What Can You Do With a Bachelor's Degree in General Studies?

Bachelor's degrees in general studies are not designed to prepare students for a specific career. Instead, most general studies degree programs are intended for students with some prior college coursework who want to complete their studies. View article »

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  • 0:04 Overview of General…
  • 1:11 Career Path: Sales Agent
  • 1:48 Sales Agent Career Info
  • 2:30 Career Path: Customer…
  • 3:18 Customer Service Rep…
  • 3:47 Other Career Options

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Video Transcript

Overview of General Studies Programs

Students in a general studies bachelor's degree program can modify their program to suit their individual interests. Graduates can find employment in a number of fields, including sales, marketing and customer service.

General studies bachelor's degree programs are typically designed for students who don't feel any of the typical major fields of study are for them. They are also geared towards students who left college at some point in the past and want to finish their degrees in order to advance their careers or gain a sense of personal accomplishment. Some programs require prior college enrollment for admission.

Bachelor's degrees in general studies are available online, and some programs offer flexible course schedules to suit working adults. Students in general studies or liberal arts can customize their degree by taking classes from a variety of subjects in humanities, social sciences and literature, as well as math and sciences. A general studies degree allows students the opportunity to explore a variety of interests, producing a well-rounded individual who can enter a variety of fields upon graduation.

Career Path: Sales Agent

Although it's not required, a bachelor's degree in general studies may be helpful for beginning or advancing a career in sales. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree can help individuals stand out in the insurance, real estate and advertising sales fields. Sales agents typically work one-on-one with clients to identify products that fit their needs. They may conduct their duties in person or over the phone, and they are sometimes responsible for following up with customers after the initial sale to ensure satisfaction with their purchases.

Sales Agent Career Info

The BLS projected that employment for advertising sales would decline by 3% from 2014-2024, while real estate sales agents would see 3% growth in job opportunities over the same period. Insurance sales agents have a predicted growth of 9%, over the 2014-2024 decade.

In May 2016, the BLS reported that real estate sales agents earned a median annual salary of $44,090 compared to approximately $50,380 for advertising sales agents and $49,990 for insurance sales agents.

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Career Path: Customer Service Rep

Graduates with bachelor's degree in general studies can also pursue careers in customer service.

Although the majority of customer service representative jobs don't require a college degree, the BLS explains that employers increasingly seek a more skilled workforce. Some specialized positions in customer service require a degree, and the broad liberal arts education one gets from a general studies bachelor's degree program can be helpful in this profession because workers need good communication and problem-solving skills.

Customer Service Rep Career Info

Customer service representatives are responsible for addressing and solving customer complaints and issues. While most representatives do their work over the phone, some may be required to interact with customers in person or via email, and many companies also provide live web chat services.

The number of jobs for customer service representatives should increase by 10% from 2014 to 2024, as predicted by the BLS. The median salary for this position was $32,300 in 2016.

Customer service jobs are rapidly growing due to the increase of telephone call centers. From 2014-2024, workers in this field should expect to see job growth of about 39% in these call centers specifically.

Other Career Options

Because general studies degrees are customizable, career options are numerous. Some additional areas in which general studies graduates have found success include, but are not limited to, marketing, communications, public relations, media relations, and project management.

If you are interested in receiving a well-rounded, diversified education, then a bachelor's degree in general studies might be for you. Such a degree does not prepare students for employment in a specific area upon graduation, but graduates can find employment in a variety of fields based upon their individual interests.

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