Earning an Associate of Arts in General Studies provides graduates a broad educational foundation that prepares them for a variety of careers. Some also choose to continue with their education and earn a bachelor’s degree.
One of the biggest benefits for those who enter an AA in General Studies program is learning the kind of soft skills that employers highly value. These include effective communication, the ability to work well with teams, problem-solving, critical thinking, and adaptability.
Hiring managers often list these skills in the “desired” section of a job listing – although you will often find them listed under “required.”
The wide breadth of knowledge gained in an associate of arts degree program provides graduates a steppingstone into many career options. They include public relations, retail business manager, administrative assistant, and as a manager in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
The Value of an Associate of Arts Degree
No matter what career path they follow, graduates from an AA in General Studies program typically make more money. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average weekly pay for those with an associate degree is $887, compared to $746 a week for high school graduates.
An associate of arts degree is also an important step toward earning a four-year degree, where the average job pays $1,248 a week.
In an AA program, students take general education courses and choose electives that suit their specialized interests. Taken together, these courses give students the chance to prepare for entry-level positions in a variety of careers. Some of those careers and annual salaries include the following (all salary numbers come from the BLS as of May 2019).
- Restaurant manager ($55,320)
- Administrative assistant ($39,850)
- Computer support specialist ($54,760)
- Web developer ($73,760)
- Customer service representative ($34,710)
- Paralegals and legal assistants ($51,740)
Employers Place a High Value on Skills Learned in College
Business leaders and hiring managers place a high priority on a job applicant’s skills and knowledge that aren’t associated with one college major, but that come from across all majors, according to a report by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
That same report found that 82% of executives and 75% of hiring managers believe it is “very important or absolutely essential” for employees to have completed a college education.
Among the skills they value in college graduates include:
- Ability to effectively communicate orally
- Critical thinking/analytical reasoning
- Ethical judgment and decision making
- Able to work effectively in teams
- Able to work independently
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing
- Can apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings
Graduates with an AA in General Studies are more likely to further their education and earn a bachelor’s degree, according to a study by Hanover Research. That same study found that those who earn an AA in General Studies develop the habit of lifelong learning. Because they get an education in such a large variety of topics, they can quickly learn when presented with a new challenge.
How Touro University Worldwide Supports AA Students
Touro University Worldwide’s online AA in General Studies program provides students the skills they need to pursue careers in their area of interest. It also gives them the foundation they need to move forward with earning a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree.
Because the program is online, students can earn their first college degree while maintaining their current job. TUW also maximizes transfer credits awarded to each student. This allows completion of their degree in a shorter amount of time.
TUW industry experts give students an education that offers information relevant to the modern workplace. Because students can maintain their job, students can apply what they learn in class immediately to their job.
Earning an AA in General Studies shows a commitment to building a better career. It demonstrates to employers that you have learned the skills and knowledge they value. With the online options available, it’s a perfect time to move forward with your college education.