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What Are the Advantages of an Interdisciplinary Degree?

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Looking to complete a degree, but not finding one area of study that really speaks to your specific interests and goals? Perhaps all the programs you’re looking at seem either too broad or too narrow to match up with the future career you have your eye on.

If so, you’re not alone. Interdisciplinary degrees are becoming more popular every year with college students. And for good reason! This flexible type of degree program can be tailored to your interests and is appealing to hiring managers in many different fields.

So let’s explore what an interdisciplinary degree is and the advantages of pursuing one.

What is an interdisciplinary studies degree?

An interdisciplinary studies degree is an undergraduate or graduate degree that is made up of two or more areas of study. These programs are a great fit for students who want to chart their own path with a specific goal in mind, or students who want to explore how multiple areas of study intersect with one another. Upon graduation, you’ll often receive a Bachelor of Science degree or Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a major in your area of specialty.

Examples of interdisciplinary degrees

To give you some idea of what these degrees look like in real life, here are three interdisciplinary studies majors offered by ODUOnline:

Leadership - As you can imagine, leadership skills come in very handy in just about every field and level of work. In the leadership program, you’ll learn about ethical leadership, legal issues, communication skills, and critical thinking/decision-making. Since this is also an interdisciplinary program, you’ll have the opportunity to combine your leadership studies with classes in philosophy, computer science, engineering, information technology, and criminal justice. You’ll graduate with a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies with a major in leadership.

Professional Writing - Have a knack for writing and want to turn it into a career? Technical writing is a burgeoning field due to our ever-expanding technical world. But other types of professional writing are in high demand as well. With a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies with a major in professional writing, you’ll gain a foundation in technical writing as well as learn about business, communication, human resources, marketing, and public relations.

Cybercrime - Interested in pursuing a career as a detective, fraud investigator, or forensic science technician? In this interdisciplinary bachelor’s program, you’ll take a wide range of courses including criminal justice, computer science, philosophy, and information technology. In addition to gaining a foundation in criminal justice, you’ll also learn cybersecurity, cyber law, and digital forensics. You’ll graduate with a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies with a major in cybercrime.

Advantages of an interdisciplinary degree

Interdisciplinary degrees aren’t for everyone. Some industries require or encourage traditional single-discipline majors, after all. But for students who have multiple interests and want more flexibility within their curriculum, they can feel like a breath of fresh air. Here are some of the main advantages of pursuing an interdisciplinary degree. 

You’re not restricted to a single area of study. Let’s face it: variety is the spice of life! And for many students, this applies to academic pursuits as well. Are you someone who likes to follow your curiosity without feeling limited or hemmed in? Do you enjoy making new connections and exploring new opportunities? An interdisciplinary degree might be the perfect way for you to achieve a truly well-rounded education.

It’s tailored to your specific interests. Some students like the predictability that comes with a single-discipline major. But others want the freedom to follow their interests as they learn. Interdisciplinary degrees are a great fit for this second group, who are excited and driven to study a variety of subjects.

It prepares you with a customized skill set. Many companies recognize the value of hiring candidates who bring a breadth of knowledge from different disciplines. After all, most careers require skills across multiple areas. In addition, a major within an interdisciplinary degree can showcase a skillset that will set you apart from other job applicants. You’ll look like you were tailor-made for the role!

As you can see, interdisciplinary degrees can be an exciting pursuit for students who have a variety of interests. If you’re ready to explore interdisciplinary degree options at ODUOnline, please get in touch.

Have questions? Contact us.