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What Can I Do With a General College Degree?

Having a college degree opens the door to job opportunities that are simply unavailable to non-degreed workers. A bachelor's degree is the defining feature that separates managers from entry-level servers at restaurants, for example.

If you are looking to advance your career by earning a college degree, the online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) from Eastern Michigan University may be right for you. Taught by EMU faculty, the online degree program allows students to use previously earned college credits while choosing three main areas of study.

What Types of Jobs Require a Bachelor's Degree?

Generally speaking, having a college degree places an individual among white-collar workers, while labor-intensive work (construction, assembly line work, welding, carpentry, etc.) is largely done by non-degree holders. Workers with college degrees also largely comprise what is considered the skilled working class. Common professions that require a college degree include: 

  • Public school teacher
  • Engineer
  • Accountant
  • Registered nurse
  • Manager
  • Military officer
  • Pilot
  • Software developer

A recent article in Business Insider listed the highest-paying jobs achievable with a bachelor's degree. A few of these roles and their annual salaries are:

  • Actuary ($100,610)
  • Training and development manager ($105,830)
  • HR manager ($106,910)
  • Aerospace engineer ($109,650)
  • Sales manager ($117,960)
  • Financial manager ($121,750)
  • Chief executive ($181,210)

What Careers Can a BGS Degree Prepare Me For?

Did you know that bachelor's degree holders earned $48,500 a year while those with only a high school diploma earned $23,900? Those numbers from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics put the importance of earning an undergraduate degree into stark relief. 

EMU offers many areas of study for students enrolled in our BGS program. A few of these courses (and potential jobs) include:

Criminology: These classes cover crime and justice. Completing them gives students a good overview of skills needed for careers in criminal justice. Constables, sheriffs, criminal attorneys, judges, jail wardens and police detectives all require a background in criminal justice.

Dietetics: A concentration in dietetics teaches a wide range of topics related to nutrition and health. This field of study can prepare students to be nutritionists, nutritional therapists, food safety auditors, food product development specialists or public health nutritionists.

Management: Communications, organizational behavior, leadership, business policy and other business-related skills are taught through the management program. These skills prepare students for careers in management, human resources, accounting, marketing and a wide range of high-paying leadership positions.

Technology management: This series of courses teaches business leadership for tech-driven industries. Individuals who desire to pursue jobs in IT, car manufacturing, inventory supply systems or transportation will need a keen understanding of the topics covered in these classes.

Earth science: The Earth sciences cover a wide range of specialties, ranging from geology to climate science. Once you graduate with a focus in this field, you can pursue careers in environmental consulting, mining, petroleum geology, environmental science or climate science, among many others.

Potential Promotions With a Bachelor's Degree

A college degree can open up job opportunities in your chosen career field. A few examples include promotions (and pay raises) from: 

  • Draftsman to engineer
  • Substitute teachers to certified public school teacher
  • Secretary to office manager
  • Server to restaurant manager
  • Construction worker to construction project manager

Further Your Career With a BGS

The advantages of a college degree are clear. A bachelor's degree can open new job opportunities, create the possibility for promotion or lead to significant increases in wages. A BGS holds the same weight as other undergraduate degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS). 

By completing an online degree program, you could be the proud holder of a college degree from a respected university.

Learn more about the EMU online Bachelor of General Studies program.


Business Insider: The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a Bachelor's Degree

Study: How Much More Do College Graduates Earn Than Non-College Graduates?

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