Thinking of studying sociology? These famous people did and then pursued diverse career paths. Take this quiz to see how many you know.
Many programs of study equate directly to their corresponding career fields.
A major in sociology, however, provides an ideal background to pursue a range of careers.
If you are enrolled in an online sociology degree program, you could certainly obtain a position with the title of sociologist. It would require an advanced degree and could lead to a career conducting research for a university or government agency.
A more common direction for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology is an applied sociology position – a career where you take the skills and knowledge you gained studying sociology and apply it in fields as diverse as business, politics, education, human services and criminal justice.
Education: You could pursue a career in student services, alumni relations or administration. You could teach in a public health setting or become a social science teacher in a middle school or high school.
Criminal Justice: You could enter the criminal justice field as a probation or police officer, work in corrections or rehabilitation, or prepare for law school.
Business: The business world needs the research, analytical, and problem-solving skills sociology grads have earned. A sociology degree can open doors to careers in marketing, advertising, human resources, management or sales.
Human Services: Hungry for careers where they can facilitate change and make a difference in society, many sociology majors pursue human services-related positions in counseling, case management, advocacy, fundraising, program management, and nonprofit administration.
Politics: Another popular path for sociology majors is politics or government positions in public administration, policy analysis or city planning. People interested in social policy and issues including health, education and housing and how they affect groups such women, children, the elderly, and the disabled often have studied sociology.
Famous sociology majors
Politics. Entertainment. Business. Ministry. Education. The opportunities are vast for sociology grads.
Here are some famous people who majored in sociology. They represent many of the diverse career paths where you can apply your online sociology degree.
1. A U.S. president who double majored in sociology and economics.
2. A Baptist minister and social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death in 1968.
3. First African-American to earn election to Congress who started out as a teacher.
4. This Roman Catholic priest earned a Ph.D. in sociology and became Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
5. A former Washington Redskins quarterback and sports commentator whose professional football career ended with a gruesome injury in a Monday Night Football game.
6. An original Saturday Night Live actor known for his impersonations of Jimmy Carter and Julia Child.
7. This wife of a U.S. president earned a sociology degree as an undergrad and then a law degree from Harvard University.
8. This musician graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in sociology and philosophy. He is best known for his work on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
9. An Emmy Award winner who has been hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s.
10. An American romance novelist who has written 19 New York Times bestsellers.
11. U.S. Secretary of Education for seven years and a former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools.
12. This U.S. senator and former mayor of Newark, New Jersey earned a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University.
13. An American civil rights activist, Baptist minister and politician who was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.
14. This sociology major is not a household name but his Fortune 500 Company, Sherwin-Williams, is. He started as advertising director and became chairman and CEO and now is executive chairman.
15. This sociology major has the same name as a famous comedian. He was a sociologist known for his analysis of American culture and values and served as president of the American Sociological Association.
- Ronald Regan
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Shirley Chisholm
- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
- Joe Theismann
- Dan Aykroyd
- Michelle Obama
- Paul Shaffer
- Regis Philbin
- Barbara Delinsky
- Arne Duncan
- Cory Booker
- Jesse Jackson
- Chris Connor
- Robin M. Williams, Jr.
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