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Three Reasons Why You Should Consider An Integrated Studies Degree

Sometimes your dream career can feel so distant. Many things can get in the way of obtaining your perfect job—life commitments, geographical location, skill set, education, and more. And whether you’re a first-time college goer or a returning student, you can easily feel overwhelmed by having to choose one career path when your interests may lie between a few. Regardless of how niche your special interests are, ACU’s online Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies might be the perfect pathway to combine your current interests and passions into the most effective degree for landing you where you want to be. 

Not sure where to start? Read these three reasons and discover why a bachelor’s in integrated studies is the right degree for you.

Reason #1: Ability to combine your passions with your skills.

A B.S. in Integrated Studies is helpful for students with various career and educational interests—because, let’s face it, picking a major is daunting. You might be telling yourself, ‘I need to pick something that immediately leads to a high-paying job’ or ‘my passions won’t get me anywhere, so I should probably pick something else.’ Before you fall into the rabbit hole, it’s worth taking a breath and asking yourself some questions to help you articulate what you want in education and a career: 

  • What are your interests? 
  • How are they different from your passions? 
  • Do you work well with others? 
  • Are you tech-savvy? 
  • Do you enjoy working with different groups of people? 

Beyond the questions, it’s also helpful to figure out your skills and what types of people you’d like to work with. Identifying the answers to all of these can help you solidify what areas of study may be a good fit for you. 

Dr. Scott Self, program director for the Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies, acknowledges that, while there can be several degrees to choose from, the most popular combinations include psychology and business, psychology and criminal justice, and leadership and business due to their less complicated prerequisitesmaking it easier for students to start and finish sooner. 

Marrying your previous work experience with your professional aspirations, this program strategically places you in courses designed to tie your integrative thinking skills with your vocational priorities and life goals. 

“We like to work collaboratively with our students in crafting the course plan,” Scott said. “The advisor will often talk with the student at length to get a sense of what their long-term interests are [..] We have some requirements in how the fields have to be developed, but we often work with the student’s own personal interests as we frame the degree.” 

Reason #2: Employers Want Employees With Diverse Academic Backgrounds.

Another reason a B.S. in Integrated Studies degree may be perfect for you is that this degree offers a diversified educational experience, which is highly in demand in today’s labor market. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer at Handshake, said “College students think they have to choose the right major to lead to a job. The reality is that most jobs can be filled by students of all academic majors. And employers look for a diverse workforce, even in academic background.” 

As expressed by Scott, “The world around us is increasingly complex and people who have the skills and training to bring interdisciplinary solutions are in demand.” 

According to studies conducted by DataUSA, integrated studies programs have grown by almost five percent in the last few years. Due to the advanced, dual coursework taken, the average income for Integrated Studies degree holders has reached over $80K – $20K more than other bachelor’s degree holders. Most integrated studies degree holders gain the necessary understanding to start new careers in many fields, including business, marketing, communications, government, human resources, and corporate sales—just to name a few. 

“The workforce is increasingly interested in people who are equipped to solve real-world problems through interdisciplinary solutions,” Self remarked. “The capstone course in our program helps students explore the application of an interdisciplinary approach to research so that our students are uniquely equipped to help address some of the more complex challenges that face us.” 

Reason #3: Easily transfer your previous credits and customize your degree plan.

Unlike other disciplines, Integrated Studies is highly flexible – and sought after – for two important reasons: efficient transfer of credits and the ability to customize courses. Because this degree program is hyperfocused on using your previously acquired credits, you can transfer credits from a previous institution and customize your study, giving you the chance to complete the program faster and gain momentum toward completing your degree. 

“We often find that students were majoring in an area of study somewhere else and have enough credits from that area of study to qualify as [one] completed field,” Dr. Self said. 

You can easily learn more information on how your credits will transfer to ACU Online through our Transfer Portal. 

“We have recently seen a lot of students coming to the Integrated Studies program with a desire to ‘customize’ a degree,” Dr. Self added. “This is an exciting part of the design; we want students to engage in a degree plan that best meets their interests and goals.”  

Beyond these three reasons, a B.S. in Integrated Studies can most importantly teach you how to think broadly, deeply, and innovatively about the world and how you can creatively work toward its improvement. Interested in taking your education into your hands? Contact our admissions team today at 855-219-7300 and see how our B.S. in Integrated Studies program might be the best fit for you. 

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