IDS Degree

What Can You Do with an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree?


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The decision to earn a degree is not one to be taken lightly. For those with clear-cut career aspirations, there is an added peace of mind in knowing exactly what type of degree program they’re seeking. If you want to be a teacher, pursue an education major; if you’d like to become a social worker, opt for a social work program; if you’ve long dreamed of working as an athletic trainer, steer toward that specific degree path.

What about the aspiring college students who are unsure of their career goals or are possibly following a job path that isn’t paired directly with a corresponding major?

A degree in interdisciplinary studies is an academic path that allows college students to cross traditional boundaries, drawing upon two or more disciplines to earn a multifaceted, integrated degree. The result is a widespread base of cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills, such as critical thinking, effective communication, social and ethical responsibility, global diversity, strategic planning and successful leadership.

Whether you are unsure of your career goals or you’re looking for a degree path that can take you many directions, an interdisciplinary studies program may be the option you’ve been seeking.

Read on to learn more about what an interdisciplinary studies degree program entails, explore possible career prospects and find inspiration from students who moved on to a wide range of careers after earning their degrees in this field of study.

What is interdisciplinary studies?

Whether you are unsure of your career goals or you’re looking for a degree path that can take you many directions, an interdisciplinary studies program may be the option you’ve been seeking.

Many jobs require a bachelor’s degree but don’t pinpoint a specified field of study. Rather than being pigeonholed into one specific career path, an interdisciplinary studies degree can qualify you to pursue a variety of different career goals, such as managerial careers, government positions, social work professions and even careers in technology. An interdisciplinary studies program can also serve as a great first step for those who already know they’ll be pursuing advanced degrees, such as students with law school in their sights.

The courses offered in an interdisciplinary studies program like the one at Hodges University are grouped and designed with interconnectivity in mind — that is to say, rather than focusing on the separate disciplines covered, professors focus on the integration of the concepts. Students learn to apply those concepts to solve complex real-world problems.

The philosophy of programs like this is to provide students with a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and marketplace skills. As a result, students learn to think expansively and apply their knowledge to analyze complex social, business and global issues across industries.

Students may also consider beginning their collegiate experiences in an interdisciplinary studies program and later continuing to obtain a career-specific graduate degree or professional certifications.

What are interdisciplinary studies graduates doing with the degrees today?

As mentioned above, your opportunities as an interdisciplinary studies degree holder are limited only by how far you want to take them. Hodges University has a number of inspiring and successful alumni who have gone on to do great things with their interdisciplinary studies degrees. Consider the three success stories below.

The student advocate

Barbara Key-Ramos spent 15 years working as a receptionist, customer service representative and tax preparer before changing directions and committing her professional life to Family Network on Disabilities for nearly a decade. After a series of life-changing opportunities — such as presenting her platform at the White House for increasing the number of vocational counselors for students with disabilities — she made the decision to go back to school.

Earning her degree in interdisciplinary studies from Hodges University allowed her to advance in her work with the Family Network on Disabilities before eventually transitioning to her current position as program coordinator with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and The Able Trust. Read more about Barbara’s story here.

The creative entrepreneur

Upon receiving his high school diploma, Ty Belford was also a certified dental assistant and licensed cosmetologist. Unable to afford college and confident that he wasn’t interested in working in a hair salon or dental office, Belford enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a combat photographer. When his time with the military came to an end, he found himself bouncing between various jobs and college programs, desperate to break through the career roadblocks he was facing — but nothing stuck. That’s when he decided to pursue an interdisciplinary studies degree at Hodges.

Since graduating in 2011, Belford has participated in award-winning business ventures and partnered in launching a web-based design and marketing business called 4 Corners Creative LLC. Read more about Ty’s story here.

The motivated business owner

Ana Alonso spent many of her formative years growing up in Puerto Rico where she graduated high school and attended her first year of college before moving to Miami in 1990. In Miami, she entered the automotive industry, spending a decade working in a number of different positions, from warranty administrator to finance manager. Alonso eventually realized, however, that her long-term goals did not include remaining on that track.

She enrolled at Hodges in 2000 with her sights set on a business degree, but she soon learned that enrolling in the interdisciplinary studies program would allow her to enhance her business acumen with perspectives from social issues, ethics, philosophy and cultural education. After graduating with her degree in 2004, Alonso quickly launched her own business, now called Ana J Alonso & Associates LLC, which focuses on accounting for small businesses. She has since gone on to earn a master’s in accounting, but she still credits her educational experience at Hodges for helping her achieve her status as a successful businesswoman. Read more about Ana’s story here.

Are you ready to carve your own path?

These inspiring success stories of interdisciplinary studies graduates are a mere sampling of the many things you can go on to achieve with an integrated degree program like this one. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, multifaceted college education that can lead you down a variety of different successful career paths, it may be time to turn your sights toward interdisciplinary studies.

Are you curious to learn more about your options? Head over to Hodges University’s Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies program page for more information about the curriculum, the various careers this degree path could lead to, and the unique benefits this program could afford you on your own path to success.