Maybe it started at Saint Leo with your first sociology class, “The McDonaldization of Society,” or “From Colorblind to the Multiracial Society.”
You studied how the social environment influences our behavior. Our attitudes. Our daily interactions. How society changes and the effects it has on our decisions and the paths we choose in life.
Perhaps it began when you took a basic Introduction to Sociology class as an elective.
Either way, you were hooked.
According to the American Sociological Association (ASA), the top reasons students decide to major in sociology is they are fascinated by the concepts they learn in an introductory class, or they loved their first sociology course.
So you studied qualitative and quantitative social research methods – conducting interviews and surveys, analyzing statistics, and learning how to make field observations.
You developed critical thinking and analytical skills. Honed your written communication skills. And gained a global perspective on cultures and societies.
Now what can you do with a sociology degree?
Who Hires Sociology Majors?
The good news is that the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for sociologists to increase by 18 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Even better news is that sociology is a discipline of such broad scope that it can lead to employment in just about any field: social services, business, government, education, law enforcement, marketing, health care, and religion.
Here are some examples.
Social Services/Non-Profit Agencies
Sociology provides an excellent foundation for anyone who is passionate about advocating for a cause. Child welfare. Homelessness. Poverty. The elderly. Immigration. The disabled.
ASA research shows that about 25 percent of sociology majors work in social service and counseling occupations. They are found mostly in non-profit organizations designed to make people’s lives better – mental health services, adoption, child care, and youth services. They serve as case workers, grant writers, fundraisers, program managers, and community organizers.
Because they have the skills to gather, analyze, and communicate information, sociology majors work in a wide variety of businesses and industries. Real estate. Media, communications, and advertising. Public relations. International consulting. Financial services.
They are human resource specialists, quality control managers, labor relations workers, merchandisers, project managers, recruiters, sales reps, trainers, and consumer relations staffers.
They could serve as an immigration specialist for a large company. Or they could use their research skills to develop marketing strategies, determining why people buy what they do based on ethnicity, gender or location, or contribute to the development of new products.
Many sociology majors enter the judicial system as criminal investigators, juvenile court workers, police officers, parole officers, and corrections staffers.
They work for the federal government for the Census Bureau, Homeland Security, and other agencies.
On state and local levels, they do urban planning. Run social service programs and do policy analysis. Some enter international service, such as the Peace Corps.
Sociologists can be found in public and private school and at colleges and universities as admissions counselors, affirmative action specialists, alumni relations managers, teachers, placement officers, and student services administrators.
An Exciting World of Possibilities
The world is always changing. Society, institutions, and social processes continue to evolve. That means for sociologists, there will always be something new and exciting to investigate. So where can a sociology degree take you?
Just about anywhere your heart and mind lead you.
What would you like to do with your sociology degree? Tell us in comments.
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Image credit: lwr on Flickr/Creative Commons