How Interdisciplinary Studies Offers a Solid Foundation for Almost Every Career

Mar 13, 2022

Interdisciplinary studies comprise a fairly popular category in university education. However, they’re often somewhat misunderstood also. Over time, “interdisciplianary studies” has become a label that some use almost disparagingly to refer to subjects that don’t lead to career paths in fields like math, science, or engineering, where direct career paths are often apparent early on.

To that point, a perception has actually developed over the years that liberal arts or interdisciplinary studies majors are underemployed. This is largely based on a pure assumption that these fields of study simply don’t lead to lucrative careers; where another student might become a doctor or investment banker, a liberal studies major might become a teacher or struggling journalist, and so on. The reality though is that this field is more significant and more valuable than it’s sometimes given credit for. The data shows that it is not interdisciplinary studies majors who are most underemployed — and not by a wide margin. And when you look a little bit closer, it becomes clear that interdisciplinary studies can offer a solid foundation for a wide range of interesting career opportunities.

To understand how, you first have to consider what exactly a degree of this nature entails. Putting it simply, pursuing a interdisciplinary studies degree can involve subjects such as philosophy, literature, history, or even religion and natural sciences. But amongst these subjects, it also means personalizing your approach to focus on what interests you, and what fits your career aspirations. The idea is in part that through these studies, you will pick up soft skills such as: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills that can truly make you an asset in just about any line of work. These are skills that are always in demand, and if you can back them up with a degree and hard work, you may be surprised at the opportunities that come your way.

More specifically, opportunities stemming from an online liberal studies degree or a traditional one can include work in finance, IT, journalism, education, government, management, and public service, to name a handful of fields. Specific careers can range from “communications director” (for virtually any sort of company or entity), to “public relations director,” to “policy research and development specialist,” and so on. Some interdisciplinary studies students will even go on to become lawyers, or found their own companies. As you can see, the possibilities are wide-ranging. The simplest way to look at it is that the range of subjects involved in liberal or interdisciplinary studies, and the broad utility of the related skills lead to myriad of opportunities across industries.

So, why the discrepancy? Why do some assume the interdisciplinary studies path doesn’t lead to strong careers when the data and specifics say otherwise? It may ultimately come down to the difference between starting salaries and long-term careers. An article exploring the value of a liberal arts degree made the interesting observation that “first-job salaries tend to be lower” for liberal arts graduates than for, say, people with vocational degrees. However, the same piece went on to assert that “over time, liberal arts graduates’ earnings often surge.” This can be chalked up to numerous factors, including the fact that some pursue advanced degrees. But to some extent it speaks to value. Because of the actual skills taught to liberal arts students, these graduates are often able to offer value that goes beyond a degree or qualification. This ultimately leads to career (and salary) advancement.

Considering all of the above, it’s clear that interdisciplinary studies still makes for a strong foundation. The breadth of subjects involved and the significance of the skills students learn lead to interesting and fruitful careers across virtually limitless industries.

—Written by Anne Fairchild for William Peace University |

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 


Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.


Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.


Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.


Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.


Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.


Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students


If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 


Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU


Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.


WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 


Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.