5 Employment Options for Those with a Sociology Degree

Sociology is one of the most popular college majors, especially for women. In 2015, 37,257 students completing sociology majors; of that total, 69% were female and 31% were male. A sociology degree challenges students to think critically about the ways people live and interact with each other within various social and cultural conditions, and in both rural and urban environments. It helps them to understand the complicated factors that contribute to the visible and invisible social hierarchies existing across racial, class, and gender lines. A sociology degree also prepares students for a variety of career fields. While social work is one of the most popular career fields sociology students enter, there are also opportunities for sociology graduates in academia, law, business, and health services. Ahead, learn about five different employment options for those with a sociology degree.

Business: Public Relations Specialist

Sociology students study the differences in human relationships and the shape of society, including social norms and institutions. They learn about social theory, and typically also take an analytical or quantitative reasoning class in the junior or senior year (depending on the program). This is excellent preparation for a career in public relations, where analyzing numbers and discerning patterns is critical for professional success. These analytical skills can also be transferred to other fields within public relations, like marketing. According to the BLS, the job growth rate for public relations specialists is 6%, and the average salary is $58,000.

Law: Attorney

The critical thinking and communication skills, reasoning, and ethics sociology students learn in their degree are a good fit for the practice of law. Becoming an attorney requires an additional three years of school in a J.D. program at an accredited university, and completion of a state’s bar exam. Admissions to law programs are competitive, but your sociology professors and advisor can help you with the application process by writing letters of recommendation and reviewing drafts of your personal statement. According to the BLS, career growth in law is 6% and the average salary is $118,000.

Academia: Sociologist or Sociology Professor

A common career path after graduating with an undergraduate degree in sociology is pursuing a master’s or PhD in sociology. This prepares students for the advanced thinking and critical research required of sociologists and sociology professors. A sociologist designs research projects that examine theories related to social issues. A sociology professor will deliver introductory and advanced courses in sociology, preparing lectures, grading student work, and maintaining syllabi. In a survey conducted by OwlGuru, 83% of sociology professors reported job satisfaction.

Publishing: Journalist

In their undergraduate curriculums, sociology students encounter tight deadlines, group projects, and research projects that require them to demonstrate mastery of the subject. All of these experiences are well-suited to a career in journalism, where journalists must write thoughtful, well-written pieces quickly and thoroughly. Journalists must also work in a team with others in the newsroom, especially for group assignments like hard-hitting investigative pieces. While many major newspapers are encountering difficulties in maintaining staff, smaller, independent outlets are entering a golden age. According to the BLS, journalism overall is experiencing a 9% decline. The average salary for a reporter or correspondent is roughly $39,000 per year.

Social Work: Child Development Specialist

Sociology teaches students not only to understand human differences, but also to respect that diversity. Social workers who are child development specialists regularly interact with all different kinds of family situations and needs. Social work is also a field where women actually earn more than their male counterparts: on average, women in social work earn $1.08 for every $1.00 men earn. Five years into their careers, women in social work are earning $40,640, while men are earning $37,500.

Employment options for people with a sociology degree are nearly limitless. A liberal arts education provides students with many of the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, and a sociology degree is no exception. Because sociology is directly focused on understanding how society has evolved over time, students with a sociology degree are well prepared to handle many different workplace and academic environments after they graduate.

Related Resource: Best Top 10 Online Sociology Degree Programs