Many universities offer students looking for flexibility in their education a way to individualize their particular fields of study. A Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies combines general education courses with study in more than one main interest. Known as a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, the B.A. version of the four-year degree typically includes a foreign language competency requirement. Students graduating with a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies frequently obtain jobs in one of their fields of study.
Interdisciplinary Studies Degrees
A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies generally features study in at least two main interests. For example, B.A.-level interdisciplinary studies could feature study in psychology and sociology. A graduate with a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies has a well-rounded educational background and strong education in two or more fields. Because of the broad scope of an interdisciplinary studies degree, graduates holding it are able to obtain a variety of jobs.
Popular Career Options
The broad-based nature of an interdisciplinary studies degree can help graduates succeed in entrepreneurial roles. Some interdisciplinary studies B.A. degree holders have obtained work in public relations, as case managers in healthcare and as purchasing agents. Because a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies normally requires a language competency component, degree seekers can select language training and then seek positions requiring such ability. Government agencies such as the State Department or even the CIA are always looking for broadly educated foreign language speakers.
Interdisciplinary Studies Advantages
Employers appreciate applicants with diverse backgrounds and with a demonstrated ability to succeed in different fields of endeavor. A B.A. in interdisciplinary studies will appear attractive to employers looking for people with a global perspective and an ability to integrate many viewpoints. Some college and university interdisciplinary studies programs offer specific interest area selection such as in education or in women's studies. Other colleges and universities allow interdisciplinary studies students to choose from a wide variety of subjects such as psychology and biology.
Designing for Jobs
The courses of study selected while in a college or university's B.A. in interdisciplinary studies program strongly influences a graduate's job prospects. For example, a university interdisciplinary studies student interested in healthcare administration might select public health administration and business administration courses. Interdisciplinary studies students thinking of a career in arts and entertainment would select courses most applicable to jobs in those fields. Other interdisciplinary studies graduates also take their B.A. degrees and focus additional education in follow-on graduate studies programs.
Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.