Careers in Sociology
What you can do with a degree in sociology?
Graduates with a sociology degree can choose to pursue a variety of careers:
Human Rights Officer
Human Services Professional
Law Enforcement Officer
Public Relations Specialist
Substance Abuse Counselor
Sociology Careers may require additional
education or experience.
Career Skills developed with a Sociology
Investigative skills (survey construction,
participant observations, content analysis)
Analytical skills (e.g., statistics,
Focus on behavior in groups (e.g., formal
organizations, families, communities) and the impact of diversity in groups.
Understanding of how people function as/in
groups (team dynamics, leadership)
Recognizing impact of context in which
decisions are made (political, social, economic).
JOBS FOR SOCIOLOGY MAJORS -
Earlier, there were limited career opportunities in sociology. There are 15,000
professional sociologists in the United States.
Sociologists are employed as researchers, administrators and consultants by private
organizations and government agencies at federal, state and local levels. Those
sociologist who become researchers and consultants may be involved in such areas as
community development, urban planning, health care delivery, criminological research,
planning social welfare programs, and various aspects of program evaluation.
Yet there are reasons to study sociology even if you do not intend to become a
sociologist. Sociology provides many distinctive ways of looking at the world so as to
generate new ideas and assess the old. Thus, sociology offers valuable preparation for a
variety of careers and is a popular major for students planning futures in such
professions as law, business, education, medicine, and city planning...not to mention
social work, politics, and public administration.
Sociology majors might consider the possibility of graduate school, either in sociology or
in a related field, since a master's or doctor's degree widens the range of career
options. If you are thinking of pursuing graduate study in sociology, you are urged to
discuss your interests and career plans as soon as possible with faculty members who may
be able to offer advice.
State University of New York College at
Geneseo - Sociology BA provides you with a useful background for some specific jobs. For
example, employers in fields such as criminal justice, human services, or personnel and
industrial relations often employ sociology majors in a variety of capacities in their
organizations. Students who pursue graduate training in sociology and related fields can
also expect to find employment in fields such as teaching, research, planning, social
work, and public policy. - http://www.geneseo.edu/~soc/careers.html
Society for Applied Sociology (SAS)
35 Things to Think About if You're Considering Sociology - Some "unofficial
encouraging" thoughts for people planning a career in sociology...
By Stephen F. Steele - Anne Arundel Community College - http://www.appliedsoc.org/
The B.A. degree prepares a person for entry level positions in juvenile probation,
juvenile detention and rehabilitation facilities, or for work with dependent and abused
children who become wards of the court. It may also prepare persons for entry level
positions in adult parole systems.
American Sociological Association's Careers in
Sociology - Preface - What can I do with a degree in sociology? This question can be
answered in a multitude of ways, as you will discover in this new edition of the American
Sociological Association's Careers in Sociology. The booklet includes a fresh definition
of sociology as a discipline and profession, and profiles of students who talk about how
sociology led to their current employment. It also outlines possible career paths and
offers tips for how to apply to graduate school.
Careers in Sociology reflects the collaboration of a number of sociologists. The original
version was prepared by Raymond W. Mack in the 1970s. A subsequent version was written by
George K. Hesslink, Pomona College, with contributions from Al Gollin, Newspaper
Advertising Bureau, Kiyoshi Ikeda, University of Hawaii, Thomas E. Lasswell, University of
Southern California, N.J. Demerath III, University of Massachusetts, John W. Riley, Jr.,
consultant, Washington, DC, and Matilda White Riley, National Institute of Aging. -
[Career] Jobs for Sociology Majors, 2nd Ed. - by Stephen Lambert
The first step toward the rest of your life starts with that question, and the answer is
right here. Get on the right path now for a satisfying and rewarding career in sociology
by learning to match your skills and interests with exciting employment opportunities.
Great Jobs for Sociology Majors will help you:
- Assess your strengths and interests
- Choose the ideal location
- Establish your standard of living
- Explore unusual career paths
- Identify the best employers
- Set a strategy for getting the job you want
Answers the question, "What can I do with a major in . . . ?"
Students can explore their career options within their field of study using the Great Jobs
series as their guide. From assessing individual talents and skills to taking the
necessary steps to land a job, every aspect of identifying and getting started in a career
choice is covered. Readers learn to explore their options, target an ideal career, present
a major as an asset to a job, perfect a job search, and follow through and get results.
Careers in Sociology - W. Richard Stephens, Jr. - This book answers the
often-asked question, "What can I do with a degree in sociology?" It provides
meaningful answers to a specific, targeted audience: typical students, 18 to 20 year-olds,
taking their first sociology courses. The book presents a series of biographies,
"Character Profiles," which serve as a template for career development on the
basis of a degree in sociology. They include discussions of what can be done with a B.A.,
M.A., and Ph.D., or a combination of degrees (e.g. Sociology and Business). An appendix,
"A Workbook for Job Seekers in Sociology" takes students step by step through
job search tactics and career development strategies. -
CAREER-ORIENTED FOCUS AREAS WITHIN THE SOCIOLOGY MAJOR AT ASU
From the booklet "The Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Employment
Opportunities" prepared by Dr. Laner. This booklet is available in the Department of
Sociology (SS321) - http://www.public.asu.edu/~zeyno217/career/career.html
Midwest Sociological Society - Opportunities, grants, conferences, honors and
awards - http://www.themss.org/opps.shtml
Using Sociology in the Workplace
David Francis, Senior Manager of Strategy and Research, The Toro Co.
I'm an SCSU Applied Sociology and Mathematics graduate from the late 80's. Currently I
work for the Toro Company the people that made your childhood miserable by
manufacturing lawn mowers that wouldn't break down and give you a break from your chores.
I work in the marketing department of Toro's consumer division. I'm responsible for
helping plot the strategic direction for the company, monitoring market conditions,
monitoring our competition, understanding the consumer, marketing research, and managing
the division's E-commerce activity. This is a somewhat different job than what most
sociology students think about when considering a degree or career in sociology.
I love the sociological thought process and the sociological way of looking at the world
which is why I pursued a degree in sociology. However, when I was preparing for life in
the "real world," I had difficulty applying this into something that I could
actually make a living from until I realized that there is really very little difference
between sociology and marketing. Obviously, they seek very different outcomes - some type
of social intervention, policy, or understanding, versus selling a product or service. The
methods and techniques through which we arrive at these different endings, however, are
the same. Both sociology and marketing seek to understand human behavior and the variables
that influence that behavior so that we may intervene. Both require heavy levels of
empirical research and observation. Both make use of scientific practices. They are
essentially the same. (I'm sure Comte is rolling in his grave.) Given this, I find it
difficult to itemize how I use sociology in my day-to-day work environment, because what I
do is sociology. http://www.thundercom.net/som/student2.html
Soar to New Heights with a Career in Sociology
The sociology major studies social life, social change, and social causes and
consequences of human behavior in various cultural contexts. Sociologists examine social
behavior in families, groups, organizations, communities, and whole societies.
Sociologists also study the increasing complexities of connections among cultures and
societies today. Sociological knowledge and methods of study can be applied toward
understanding many issues and in many work and civic environments. Whether as a paid
employee, a volunteer or a citizen activist, the sociological perspective is valued in
business, health, social service, criminal justice, law, media, and government sectors of
The sociology major prepares graduates for entry-level positions in social service
agencies, government, business, and industry. Graduates may also enter master's degree
programs in social work, counseling, business administration, health care, or other
disciplines. They may also choose to enter law school. -
Other Sources of Information - Career Information Center. Public & Community
Services. Mission Hills, CA: Glencoe/Macmillan, 1990.
Careers in Sociology (pamphlet). American Sociological Association, Washington, 1995.
Damp, Dennis V. Health Care Job Explosion. Corapolis, PA: D-Amp Publications, 1993.
Eberts, Marjorie & Gisler, Margaret. Careers for Good Samaritans and Other
Humanitarian Types. VGM Career Series, 1994.
Garner, Geraldine O. Careers in Social & Rehabilitation Services. VGM Career Series,
Nadler, Burton J. Liberal Arts Jobs. Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides, 1986.
Snelling, Robert O. & Snelling, Anne M. Jobs! New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Careers in Education and Teaching
A major in Sociology is sound preparation for teaching in either elementary or secondary
school. To teach at either level, students must complete the teaching credential program
in the School of Education. Students may be admitted to the credential program beginning
with the first quarter of their junior year and at anytime thereafter. Students are urged
to see an advisor in the School of Education as early in their educational program as
Careers Working for Social Change
Some students are critical of social arrangements in America and would like to see them
altered. Sociology can help them to acquire the tools to develop a critical analysis and
understanding of problems in American society. In turn, such an understanding may be
applied to certain careers such as community organizing, legal aid to the poor, working
with the media, and some branches of research.
Students who are interested in building a career in law will benefit from a cooperative
major in Sociology and the Law and Society Program, or simply a major in Sociology.
Race and Ethnic Relations
There are a growing number of positions for persons who wish to build careers in
developing better relations among diverse race and ethnic groups. They need to understand
the roots of social conflict and be skilled in dealing with racial and ethnic issues.
Social Welfare - Sociological Research
The UCR Sociology faculty is especially strong in research methods, and can prepare you
for a job collecting and analyzing social data for government or academic research.
Competence in research is a difficult skill to acquire; consequently, it tends to be in
Sociology as a Career
Some Sociology majors plan to continue into graduate school and to become professional
sociologists. Although not essential, it is recommended that students who plan to attend
graduate school obtain the Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, since its requirements
are more rigorous and will better prepare them for graduate school.
Apart from requirements, students planning to do graduate work in Sociology should take as
many upper-division courses in the discipline as possible. Certain courses, however, are
considered central to sociology and are recommended as part of such a program.
URBAN PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
In our highly urbanized society there are many careers for persons who have an
understanding of urban society and wish to be involved in programs to develop urban