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What Should I Pursue: A General Studies Degree or Generalist BBA?

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Are you interested in staying open to a wide range of possible career paths? Are you still undecided about what discipline you want to pursue? No worries. You can still move forward with your college aspirations by choosing some type of general studies degree.

If you've already done a little exploring around this topic, there are two types of general these degrees that you may have discovered: an overall degree in general studies and business administration generalist degree. Here, we'll define each of these, answer common questions and review some key differences between the two to help you make the best decision about which to pursue.

What is "general studies"?

Often offered at the associate level but also found as a bachelor's degree, a general studies degree can provide students with an undecided major flexibility in exploring a variety of subjects, usually in three broad fields of study: arts and humanities, science and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences. Typically, students choose to concentrate in a specific area by the time they reach upper-level courses.

What is a generalist BBA?

In contrast, a generalist Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree focuses specifically on business courses. Students who pursue a generalist BBA can develop a broad, business-based foundation of knowledge, combining general education courses with a core business administration curriculum.

What can I do with a general studies degree?

This type of degree can prepare you to pursue a variety of entry-level jobs and is a good gateway degree for continuing on with a higher-level degree. Many students who begin with an associate's degree in general studies choose to concentrate their program on a more specific field once they move on to their bachelor's degree.

What can I do with a generalist BBA degree?

A generalist business degree readies you to explore various entry-level jobs in the business world by giving you a solid foundation in important business fundamentals in fields such as accounting, finance, marketing and human resources.

What goals are the degrees best suited for?

General studies students often are still exploring different career path options and may have a goal of eventually pursuing a higher-level degree to further specialize in a certain discipline. On the other hand, generalist BBA students typically have a goal of learning a well-rounded foundation of industry-relevant knowledge and skills that can make them adaptable to a variety of responsibilities and jobs in the business world.

Overall, what are the pros and cons of each?

A degree in general studies offers flexibility in the courses you can take as well as the ability to get your core classes out of the way before choosing a discipline. However, depending on your company and job choice, a general degree might make it harder to progress up the career ladder. Many times, employers require candidates to have a degree in a specific field such as business, marketing or otherwise.

Meanwhile, earning a generalist business degree has the benefit of providing a core business foundation while keeping the big-picture view. Those interested in a more-specialized focus might choose to return to school for a graduate degree in their field of choice.

Ready to learn more? Explore online degrees at AIU.