Have you ever wondered how it would be to create your own college degree with your own chosen curriculum? Thanks to interdisciplinary studies, you can! Interdisciplinary studies is a relatively new degree that allows you to mix and match classes from various disciplines to create your own unique course of study that meets your individual needs.
How Does an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Work?
While interdisciplinary programs allow students great latitude, they cannot simply pick and choose their favorite classes. Interdisciplinary programs still begin with a core requirement of classes from each of the major academic disciplines such as Math, English, History, and Science. Each school’s requirement is somewhat different, but most students will take courses in these four areas plus guided electives chosen by the school.
After the first two years of study, however, interdisciplinary studies candidates have far more latitude in their choice of courses. Most interdisciplinary programs still require students to choose from a finite number of courses, but there are numerous ways to mix and match those courses to suit the candidate’s individual preferences and needs. Many programs give the students a list of classes in three areas and allow them to choose a certain number of hours in each area.
What Types of Jobs Can I Find With An Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?
Interdisciplinary studies degrees prepare students for a variety of jobs, and what is available will depend on the courses of study the student chooses. Some of the job options for interdisciplinary students can include:
Naturally, the job opportunities available to a graduate of interdisciplinary studies will hinge on the selection of courses. This is a good reason to choose the most challenging curriculum possible and to focus on interrelated fields of study rather than random choices.
Are There Drawbacks to an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?
Interdisciplinary studies is a relatively new degree and as such has not had time to become universally accepted. If a job simply requires a four-year degree but is very flexible about the type of degree, students should not have much trouble qualifying for the education requirements of the position. However, there are some jobs that require very specific degrees, and these employers may not be willing to bend their requirements for an interdisciplinary student.
If there is a prejudice against the interdisciplinary degree, it likely springs from its abuse by students who only want to “have fun” in school instead of acquire a useful degree. Recognizing this, most schools put limits on both the time allowed for an interdisciplinary degree and the type of content of which it is composed.
How Can I Design A Good Interdisciplinary Degree?
For students who are serious about getting a well-rounded education, the interdisciplinary degree can be one of the best possible options. When students choose their courses wisely, few degrees can prepare them for the flexibility and problem-solving skills they will need to acquire and keep a good job.
One way to maximize the potential of your interdisciplinary degree is to do some research on “hot” job fields and choose at least one of your areas accordingly. For example, an interdisciplinary student who chooses both literature and history as curriculum categories might also want to add business or computer science as a third category to make himself or herself more marketable to a wide array of employers.
You can enjoy your college experience and get a great education with an interdisciplinary degree if you are willing to do some research and choose your courses based not only on your preferences but on a well-thought-out plan for the future.