What Can You Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?
December 21, 2022
What Can You Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?
Look no further than the Nobel prize in medicine for evidence that interdisciplinary study is a valuable pursuit. A 2021 report published in Social Science and Humanities Open noted that, of the Nobel laureates in medicine:
- 49.5% had educational backgrounds in more than two areas of academic study.
- 69.0% had undergraduate degrees in something other than medicine.
Medicine is far from the only area that benefits from interdisciplinary study. Capitalizing on knowledge from different disciplines has the potential to advance any field.
Earning a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree is an excellent option for individuals who have an interest in integrating two or more academic fields with the goal of studying a unique theme or developing answers to a specific question. The customizable nature of interdisciplinary studies degree programs enables students to tailor their degrees and take only courses that are relevant to their particular areas of academic interest.
But what can you do with an interdisciplinary studies degree? It doesn’t take long to identify an array of fields in which you can excel when you have interdisciplinary expertise.
Career Advancement with a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies? ¶
The attributes of an interdisciplinary studies degree align well with what employers believe leads to long-term career success. In 2021, the Association of American Colleges and Universities surveyed employers regarding what matters most in higher education. The academic programs that employers felt led to long-term career success were programs that:
- Encouraged students to think for themselves
- Produced versatile students who can adapt to problems as they arise
- Provided students with a well-rounded education
- Emphasized non-technical skills such as critical thinking
- Exposed students to a variety of academic disciplines and topics
These attributes are some of the hallmarks of an interdisciplinary studies degree program. This speaks well to the career potential of students who earn this specialized degree.
Important Steps for Career Advancement ¶
Those who have earned a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies have a unique educational background. They also have a built-in story to tell employers about how they approached their academic studies.
In 2020, Science magazine offered advice for individuals seeking career advancement, much of which was applicable to individuals who pursue interdisciplinary studies. For example, it advised taking steps such as:
- Focusing on a skill that you can sell. Graduates of interdisciplinary studies programs get to tell employers that they focused their entire academic program on the career-oriented skills and expertise they wanted to acquire. In discussing their educational backgrounds, they have the chance to shine a spotlight on their unique knowledge.
- Diversifying and having an awareness of how different disciplines dovetail. This advice is tailor-made for individuals who have earned an interdisciplinary studies degree. Demonstrating knowledge about integrating multiple fields of study to derive new insight shows a unique knowledge from which an employer could draw.
- Showing how you bring value to an employer. Graduates of interdisciplinary studies programs get to emphasize their creativity, critical-thinking skills, and ability to analyze data. They also develop sound research skills that are valuable to employers looking to innovate.
Key Benefits from a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies ¶
What you can do with a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies is closely related to the benefits these degrees offer. While uncovering new insights, students strengthen their skills in a variety of areas that expand their career potential.
A 2020 study published in the journal Sustainability noted a number of benefits of interdisciplinary study. For example, interdisciplinary study:
- Builds a capacity for critical and holistic thinking
- Strengthens students’ ability to synthesize diverse perspectives
- Enhances students’ cognitive skills
- Gives students an interdisciplinary outlook, not only about their fields of study, but about all academic disciplines
In 2020, the journal Facets noted additional benefits of interdisciplinary studies. It reported that interdisciplinary study:
- Encourages students to experiment with new concepts, theories, tools, and statistical analyses
- Gives students a broader research horizon, experience thinking outside the box, and the opportunity to uncover both insight and inspiration
- Opens students to unconventional thinking that could challenge long-standing beliefs
The Skills That Students Acquire from Interdisciplinary Studies Programs Are Beneficial in Several Fields ¶
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cites several fields in which individuals with interdisciplinary studies degrees work. Examples include:
Whether at the elementary or post-secondary level, teaching is a good option for individuals who earn interdisciplinary studies degrees. The critical-thinking skills and resourcefulness that students derive from their degree programs are skills that improve teachers’ odds for success and advancement in their field.
Management Consulting ¶
Analyzing ways for organizations to improve their processes and efficiency is a good way for individuals who earn interdisciplinary studies degrees to apply their expertise. Their analytical skills and ability to solve problems make them good candidates for advancement in a management consulting career.
Software Development ¶
The creative, analytical, and problem-solving skills that students hone while earning an interdisciplinary studies degree are some of the same skills necessary to succeed and advance in software development.
Employment website Indeed offers additional examples of fields in which individuals who earn interdisciplinary studies degrees work, such as:
Project Management ¶
Developing ideas and putting them into action is something that both project managers and students who earn interdisciplinary studies degrees share. The critical-thinking and decision-making skills that students gain can lead to success and advancement in project management.
Students in interdisciplinary studies degree programs build strong research and communication skills that can lead to success and career advancement in journalism. A desire to learn new things is another important attribute of both journalists and students in interdisciplinary studies degree programs.
Successful entrepreneurs and students in interdisciplinary studies degree programs are talented at creating something from the ground up. They also share strong problem-solving skills. Experience in multiple, diverse fields — something in which students in interdisciplinary studies degree programs specialize — also can lead to entrepreneurial success.
Interdisciplinary Study: A Unique Path to Career Advancement ¶
The careers individuals can pursue with interdisciplinary studies degrees span an array of rewarding fields. In earning these degrees, students gain a number of skills that prepare them well for career advancement. Individuals who are interested in interdisciplinary studies can explore Athens State University’s online Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree program to learn how the program can help them pursue their professional goals.
Designed for goal-oriented professionals, the program could be the path to advancement in a uniquely fulfilling career. Start your journey today.