Earning an Online Associates Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies

An online associates degree in Interdisciplinary Studies may provide an invaluable set of skills applicable across a wide range of fields. It may be a great choice for anyone who wishes to keep his or her career options open after graduation. Earning an online associates degree in interdisciplinary studies, however, may provide an even more impressive background for those seeking to jumpstart their careers.

The Basics of an Online Associates Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies

An online associates degree in Interdisciplinary Studies involves two or more focuses, in which the student must often draw meaningful connections between fields. It generally requires initiative on the part of the student as well as a broad skill set to tackle different fields. Once students earn this degree, they may be able to demonstrate extensive knowledge in two separate fields, which could in turn indicate to employers a candidate that is well-rounded, driven and also insightful.

One of the potentially greatest values of many interdisciplinary studies programs is the opportunity for students to tailor their focus to their own interests. It may be possible to study political science in conjunction with economics, or English with a foreign language. In doing so, students may have the ability to customize their coursework to help better prepare themselves to work toward careers that require broad skill sets. Students who earn an associate's degree may decide to pursue further education at a four-year institution, but their education may already be enough to help them pursue careers in a number of different fields.

Putting your degree to use
The benefit of any liberal arts degree is that the education may provide a broad platform for the pursuit of many kinds of work. Interdisciplinary studies could heighten and widen that platform. Graduates who wish to make use of their degree may want to look into careers related to those subjects involved in their interdisciplinary studies' coursework.

Paralegals and legal assistants often need an associates degree to enter the field. People in these positions usually provide assistance to lawyers, in the form of writing documents, performing research and organizing files, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[i] An appropriate interdisciplinary studies degree might combine English, sociology, government and logic courses to provide a solid framework for execution of these tasks.

Sound engineering technician is another job that often only requires an associate's degree at the entry level. A related position may demand communication as well as computer skills in order to perform the job successfully. Studies in English, communications, math and physics may all prove beneficial to people pursuing work in this field.

Potential Salaries
Because an online associates degree in interdisciplinary studies may apply to a wide range of fields, potential salary earnings are similarly broad in scope. The BLS provides annual median wages for any number of positions to which the degree may be applicable.

  • Paralegals and legal assistants: $46,990[ii] (17 percent employment growth projected through 2022)
  • Sound engineering technician: $46,310[iii] (9 percent employment growth projected through 2022)

Skills required
Unlike other fields, the skills needed to earn an interdisciplinary studies can be highly variable depending on the classes involved. Of the two types of work previously mentioned, sound engineering technicians may need excellent analytical skills for numbers and a good ear, especially in the field of acoustics. Computer skills are also generally valuable as much of the current audio and video equipment used today is digital. Paralegals, meanwhile, will want excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to perform research quickly and efficiently. Organizational skills are also key given the number of cases people in these positions may have to balance.

Generally speaking, however, students pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies will likely need the appropriate analytical skills to see connections between potentially different fields as well as the ability to connect them in a meaningful way that will be valuable in future positions.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm [iii] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm#tab-6