Sociology Index

Careers in Sociology

What you can do with a sociology degree? Graduates with a sociology degree can choose to pursue a variety of careers in sociology. Degree in sociology provides you with a useful background for some specific job careers in sociology. Fields such as criminal justice, human services, or personnel and industrial relations provide options for a career in sociology.

Sociology career options include, Anthropologist, Professor, Public Relations Specialist, Corrections Professional, Criminologist, Human Rights Officer, Human Services Professional, Counselor, Teacher and Warden.

Degree programs for a career in sociology are designed for students interested in understanding global and local human society. Includes courses designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in sociology in non-profit, government and business organizations.

Sociology degree holders have a very flexible skill set. Sociology graduates go on to work in many diverse fields with great sociology career options. Sociologists are employed as researchers and consultants by organizations and government agencies at federal, state and local levels.

Great Career/Jobs for Sociology Majors, 2nd Ed. - by Stephen Lambert

Career Skills developed with a Sociology Degree 

  • Critical Thinking

  • Investigative skills (survey construction, participant observations, content analysis

  • Analytical skills (e.g., statistics, unitization). 

  • Problem Solving 

  • 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).

Earlier, there were limited career opportunities in sociology. There are 15,000 professional sociologists in the United States. 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.

American Sociological Association's Careers in Sociology - 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 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 sociology?"

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.

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)

Midwest Sociological Society - Opportunities, grants, conferences, honors and awards.

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.

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 society.
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.
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, 1994.
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 possible.

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.

Legal Career with Sociology Major
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 high demand.

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.

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 communities.

Sociology as a Career

Sociology and Career Prospects: Sociology graduates develop careers in many fields including migrant and ethnic affairs, market research, services for the aged, community development, welfare policy and administration, women's issues, staff training and development, youth and family services, workforce research and health services. -

Social Science Careers in U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics
Social scientists study all aspects of society, human achievements, human behavior and relationships among groups, providing insights that help us understand different ways in which individuals and groups make decisions and respond to change. Social scientists suggest solutions to social, business, personal, governmental, and environmental problems.

What can I do with a sociology degree from Pikeville College?
Students with degrees in sociology have combined their study with work with other “people-related” professions. Many exciting career possibilities are emerging in applied sociology in such areas as social research, impact assessment in the formulation and evaluation of pubic policy and programming. career possibilities include conflict intervention in such diverse settings as racial struggles, community justice and law enforcement programs. Mass communication provides a broad spectrum of career opportunities dealing with connections between the media and society. The demand for sociologists is expected to grow as societies are increasingly committed to humane and rational planning and governance.