Online General Studies Degree by The Numbers

NGU’s General Studies online degree is designed for students who are looking to gain a broad base of skills and experience that can be applied to any discipline. The degree curriculum focuses on the foundations of liberal arts and humanities, including subjects like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, researching, multidisciplinary interaction, analytical skills, physical, social, and cultural understanding, as well as how to apply this knowledge in your own career.

Astronomical Growth

Although it’s hard to draw lines from a General Studies degree to a specific career path or industry, overall enrollment and graduation rates have greatly increased over the last decade.

General Studies Degree completions are up nearly 80% from 2009 to 2014 (source link)

Overall completions eclipsed 100,000 annually in 2014 (source link)

Coupled together the growth rate and graduation rate make it one of the fastest growing degree paths in the last decade.

General Studies Degrees Go Hand-in-Hand with Trades and Associate Degrees

As the workforce continues to reward those with specialized skills, and students are choosing programs based on career outcomes, the rate of associate’s degrees have grown. A large part of that is General Studies degrees. Associates degrees account for nearly 80% of General Studies program graduations, followed by Bachelor’s Degrees which make up nearly 15% of General Studies program completions. (source link)

Growth in Transfer Students

As college tuition continues to rise, students are finding ways to get general coursework out of the way at a more affordable rate and then transferring those credits to a more traditional four year institution. Students with previous coursework made up about 20% of graduates in the 2014–2015 school year, a 12.4% increase from the previous year. (source link)

Students Want Flexibility in Their Education and Career Path

According to a Penn State article, 20–50% of undergraduate students are undecided on their career path, so a General Studies Degree makes sense as a way to get a broad base of knowledge and narrow their focus over time. Additionally, that same article cites that 50–70% of undergrad students will change their major at least once. If you’ve never tried to change your major after you’ve developed a credit base, it has the potential to set you back years in your curriculum. A General Studies Degree program is particularly appealing for those students who want options without having to pay the price. (source link)

At the end of the day, it’s the job of colleges to offer degree programs that appeal to students and helps serve their needs. Today’s job market demands agile workers who can wear a lot of different hats. That’s why the General Studies degrees are seeing such astronomical growth.

NGU offers an online General Studies Degree program to add increased flexibility for those students who don’t have the flexibility to be in the classroom.

Read more about North Greenville’s Online General Studies program.


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