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A majority of employers believe that having both a field-specific knowledge and a broad range of skills is most important for continuing career success, according to a study conducted by The Association of American Colleges and Universities.

May 8, 2017
Writer: Alex Brown

A majority of employers believe that having both a field-specific knowledge and a broad range of skills is most important for continuing career success, according to a study conducted by The Association of American Colleges and Universities.

In her book, Becoming Interdisciplinary: An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, author Tanya Ausburg explains the benefits employers find in interdisciplinary studies majors.

An interdisciplinary studies degree creates options for students with diverse interests and provide the versatility that more employers are looking for.

Not all jobs are as specialized as most might think, however according to Ausburg, "specialized backgrounds that are interdisciplinary" are liked by employers.

Ninety-one percent of employers say that they ask employees to take on more responsibilities that require the use of a broader set of skills than in the past, according to the same study.

Employers are interested in hiring interdisciplinary studies majors because of their conceptual thinking skills and problem solving skills, according to Ausburg.

Paul Erdahl, Vice President of Global Leadership and Talent Development at Medtronic said "We look for people who have been exposed to a broad way of thinking and who can view things from different angles and perspectives," according to an interview with Minnesota's Private Colleges.

Ausburg also says that the ability to identify, understand, and evaluate alternatives, then decide on a course of action are other favorable benefits that interdisciplinary studies majors have.

Many students discover the Interdisciplinary Studies major after choosing one that doesn't fit their needs. By customizing their degree with Interdisciplinary Studies, students become more desireable to the growing demand of employers who seek versatility and a broad skillset.