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General Education

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General Education Major

29,301 yearly degrees
#40 in popularity
$74,000 median salary

General education is a major that typically falls into the Education category.

There are 164 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in education, 286 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 405 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 105 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Education Degree?

General education is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #83 in popularity. About 4,300 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 82.6% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of education majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 5.5%
  • Black or African American: 8.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 12.9%
  • White: 61.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 5%
  • Other Races: 6.7%
General Education Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in education. About 5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending education majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as a General Education Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to education to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Education Majors

Education majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for General Education Majors

Skills for Education Majors

A major in education prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for General Education Majors

Abilities for Education Majors

Education majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for education Majors

What Can You Do With an Education Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with education:

Careers Related to General Education
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Education Professors



General Education Major Salary

Average salaries range from $74,000 to $74,000 for careers related to education. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Education Major  ( 74000 to 74000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for General Education Major Jobs

Some careers associated with education may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to education have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With General Education
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online General Education Programs

There are 286 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in general education, with 24 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a General Education Major Worth It?

The median salary for an education grad is $74,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 89% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $695,600 after 20 years!

general education salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: KOKUYO via License

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