Is a Degree in General Studies Worth it?

Is a Degree in General Studies Worth It?

A degree in general studies (GSD) offers a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge across a wide range of disciplines, but is a degree in general studies worth it? While this is a subjective question we will explore the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

A GSD offers students the opportunity to build a solid framework for their personal education while also allowing for specialization in areas of interest. This combination of breadth and depth provides a well-rounded education that can be highly valuable in today’s job market.

One of the significant advantages of a GSD is the flexibility it offers. Students can maximize transfer credits, customize their curriculum, and explore multiple areas of interest. This versatility not only enhances their educational experience but also prepares them for diverse career opportunities.

The ability to adapt, think critically, and communicate effectively are valuable skills cultivated through this program, making you an attractive prospect in various fields.

Key Takeaways:

  • A degree in general studies offers a breadth of knowledge and depth in specific areas of interest.
  • Flexibility and customization are key features of a general studies degree.
  • Employers value the diverse skillset developed through a general studies program.
  • Explore your interests and career goals through our wide range of degree-applicable courses.
  • Employers are increasingly valuing candidates with diverse skills.

PROs of a Degree in General Studies

These PROs highlight that a GSD isn’t just about gathering knowledge; it’s about building a well-rounded individual, ready for the dynamic world.

Broad Knowledge Base

A GSD offers an expansive educational foundation. With this degree, students can enjoy:

  • Diverse Exposure: Students get to tap into various disciplines, from arts and humanities to social sciences. This multiplicity not only enriches their knowledge pool but also introduces them to multiple ways of thinking.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Abilities: Due to exposure to a variety of subjects, students often develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This is because they learn to approach issues from various angles and consider multiple perspectives.

Flexibility in Career Options

Graduates aren’t pigeonholed into a single career path. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Adaptability in the Job Market: With a set of general skills, graduates can apply for roles in diverse sectors. Whether it’s marketing, management, education, or research, the foundational skills gained make them suitable for various fields.
  • Inter-industry Mobility: Given the generalized nature of their degree, these graduates find it relatively easier to shift between industries. This is especially beneficial in uncertain economic times when some sectors may experience downturns.

Personal Development

More than just a career tool, a the degree aids in personal growth:

  • Exploration and Self-awareness: Given the breadth of subjects covered, students often discover passions and interests they weren’t previously aware of. This period of exploration can be instrumental in holistic personal development.
  • Skill Development beyond Academics: The varied curriculum ensures that students don’t just gain academic knowledge. They also develop essential interpersonal skills, learn to interact with people from different disciplines, and cultivate a sense of cultural awareness.

CONs of a Degree in General Studies

While the cons present challenges, it’s essential to remember that much depends on how an individual leverages their degree and pursues additional learning opportunities.

Lack of Specialization

While breadth in knowledge can be an advantage, there are potential downsides to not specializing in a specific field:

  • Competitive Disadvantage: In industries or roles that demand specialized skills, general studies graduates may face stiff competition from individuals with focused degrees.
  • Skill Depth: While they might have a broad understanding of many subjects, they might lack the deep, intricate knowledge that certain job roles might demand.

Perception Issues

The generalized nature of the degree sometimes leads to misconceptions:

  • Directionless Image: Some employers or peers might view general studies as a choice made by those who are uncertain about their career path.
  • Skepticism from Employers: There might be a perception that a general studies graduate is a “jack of all trades, master of none.” This could affect job opportunities and initial impressions.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Further studies might pose challenges:

  • Specialized Programs: Some post-graduate programs or certifications might prefer students with a more focused undergraduate background.
  • Bridging the Gap: Graduates might find themselves needing to take additional courses or certifications to bridge the knowledge gap in specialized fields.

Who Should Pursue a General Studies Degree?

A GSD is a versatile option that appeals to a wide range of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. Here are the groups of people who can benefit from pursuing a degree in general studies:

Adult Learners:

Adult learners who have accumulated transferable academic, military, or professional learning credits can find value in a GSD. This program allows them to utilize their prior knowledge and experiences to build a customized curriculum that meets their specific goals.

Working Professionals:

Working professionals who are seeking academic flexibility can greatly benefit from a general studies degree. This program offers a range of flexible learning options, including online and part-time study, allowing professionals to balance their work and educational commitments.

Transfer Students:

Transfer students from community colleges or other undergraduate programs can seamlessly transition into a general degree program. The multidisciplinary nature of the degree allows transfer students to explore new fields of study while utilizing their previously earned credits.

Individuals with Multiple Areas of Interest:

Those who have diverse interests and are passionate about multiple areas of study can find value in pursuing a general studies degree. This degree program offers the opportunity to explore various subjects and stackable credentials, allowing individuals to acquire a well-rounded education.

Current Undergraduates:

Current undergraduates who are looking for a new major without wanting to lose progress toward their degree can consider pursuing a general studies degree. This allows them to tailor their education to their evolving interests and career goals without starting from scratch.


A degree in general studies is undeniably worth it, offering a multitude of benefits and value to students. Its well-rounded education and comparative advantage in the job market make it an attractive option for those seeking a versatile degree.

The flexibility and individualized nature of a being a generalist allow students to explore their interests and tailor their education to their career goals. This unique approach offers diverse career opportunities in various fields: including non-profits, management, media, marketing, sports and recreation, government, and law enforcement.

The skills developed throughout a general degree, such as communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, are highly transferable and in-demand in today’s job market. These skills give graduates a competitive edge and open doors to a wide range of professional opportunities.

While the cost of a GSD may vary, financial aid, scholarships, and grants are available to mitigate expenses. It’s essential to evaluate personal goals, interests, and career aspirations to determine the worth of pursuing a general studies degree. With the right mindset and a clear vision of one’s future, a degree in general studies can lead to a fulfilling and successful career.

If you are still on the fence check our post on why people often major in general studies.