Careers and Sociology

What Do Sociologists with BA’s Do?

  • Social services– in rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration.
  • Community work– in fund-raising for social service organizations, nonprofits, child-care or community development agencies, or environmental groups.
  • Corrections– in probation, parole, or other criminal justice work.
  • Business– in advertising, marketing and consumer research, insurance, real estate, personnel work, training, or sales. College settings- in admissions, alumni relations, or placement offices.
  • Health services– in family planning, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, health planning, hospital admissions, and insurance companies.
  • Publishing, journalism, and public relations– in writing, research, and editing.
  • Government services– in federal, state, and local government jobs in such areas as transportation, housing, agriculture, and labor.
  • Teaching– in elementary and secondary schools, in conjunction with appropriate teacher certification.

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What Do Sociologists with MA’s Do?

Three activities form the common core of most sociological work: teaching, research, and practice. MA and PhD graduates, especially professors, may engage in all three simultaneously or at different times in their careers.

  • Teaching – Despite the broad applicability of sociology at the BA level, a substantial majority of graduate-level sociologists teach, whether in high schools, two-year colleges, four-year colleges, or universities. **Extremely competitive & credentialized
  • Research – Sociology graduates can conduct research in a variety of employment settings, whether in a university; a public agency at the federal, state, or local level; a business or industrial firm; a research institute; or a non-profit or advocacy sector organization. Some self-employed sociologists researchers direct their own research and consulting firms. 
Research follows teaching as the most common career option within sociology.
  • Sociological Practice – Given the usefulness of their methods and perspectives, sociologists have developed many career paths that take research into the realm of intervention or “sociological practice.” This broad category refers to positions that involve “applied” or “clinical” sociology–using sociology to affect positive change among individuals, families, organizations, communities, and societies.

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Typical Practice (Applied) Settings

  • Policy-Making and Administration – Sociologists help others make more informed policy decisions and administer programs more effectively; design research projects that others will conduct, cooperate with full-time staff researchers or outside consultants. Apply the developing knowledge of sociology and the social sciences to problems that involve housing, transportation, education, control of the AIDS epidemic, corporate downsizing, health, welfare, law enforcement, or other major issues.
  • Opportunities in Government
 – Sociologists conduct research and evaluation projects, others manage programs, and some are engaged in policy analysis or problem solving for their agency, urban planning, health planning, criminal justice, education, and social service administration.
  • Opportunities in Business – Using demography and forecasting to plan for the future; using training techniques to deal with organizational change; finding out what consumers want through market analysis and focus groups; increasing productivity and efficiency through team-building and work reorganization.

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Careers and Internships

The only legitimate reason for including internships in a sociology curriculum is that they provide students with a significant learning experience…most of the literature, however, touts their merits and value in providing for careers. Three career related claims:

  • Internships offer students the opportunity to explore their future careers.
  • They provide students with job-related skills and knowledge.
  • They help students get hired after graduation.

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Career Search Engines

DC Job Source The Washington D.C. Job Source provides information on Federal Government careers around the United States and the world.

State Government Jobs provides information on State Government careers throughout the United States.

Government Jobs provides information on local, county, and state Government careers.

Yahoo Careers provides a wide range of career opportunities and information.

College Grad provides information on diverse career opportunities and additional information.

Social Service Jobs provides information on social service careers throughout the United States.

Human Service Careers provides information on a variety of human and social services careers throughout the United States.

Idealist Careers provides information on a variety of issues where career opportunities and activism converge.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research provides a variety of information for professional women and researchers to understand the dynamics of the workforce for women.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides information on careers and other issues surrounding domestic violence.

Police Employment provides information on Federal, State, and City police officer openings, as well as Deputy Sheriff and other law enforcement career opportunities.

SalaryList.Com Salaries are always important in your career plans. This link will assist you in understanding the pay scales.

Salary Calculator Enables you to perform a salary data search for the occupation and region in which you are seeking employment.

Students that plan to continue their education in graduate or professional school can benefit from a Sociology major. Professional programs such as Law, Business and Management, and the Ministry recognize the value of an education in Sociology. Finally, graduate students in Sociology can find employment in applied positions such as government service, market research and data analysis, as well as the more traditional position of university professor.

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