What Can I Do with a Degree in Sociology?

What Can I Do with a Degree in Sociology?There are many exciting careers available with a degree in sociology. This discipline has interesting jobs available with hands-on opportunities for career growth. 

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the scientific study of collective behaviors. Sociology integrates theories and information from history, economics, psychology and political science. Modern social scientific theories delve into complex concepts, such as culture, education and even the Internet. There are fundamental reasons why students choose to study sociology. They may be passionate about history and want to scientifically understand society. Perhaps they are interested in economic processes and business organizations. They may also find law and politics fascinating. They may want to understand how science and technology impacts people’s lives. Culture, religion or anthropology may be of interest to them. Regardless of the reason, sociology students will generally need the same education.

What Education is Required?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sociologists normally have a master’s degree in two specializations. A traditional program will prepare the graduate to obtain their Ph.D. in advanced research. These graduates will go on to work as researchers for non-profits or the government. This degree will provide the student with research, communication and quantitative analysis skills. The other specialization is an applied or professional program. This degree is more common because most students want to enter popular fields, such as applied academia, business research or criminal justice.


Academic sociologists, in colleges and research organizations, study a wide array of social phenomenon. They may conduct research to support contemporary theories concerning standard topics, such as health, gender, aging and poverty. They may explore how cross-cultural backgrounds influence attitudes towards education or the family unit. On the other hand, they may may develop their own theory regarding certain newer forms of social behaviors. For example, they may focus on Internet related behaviors, such as cyber-bullying or social media stalking. The factual data obtained from this research will support advocates and lawmakers as they attempt to pass innovative legislation to control these social problems.

Customer Insight Manager

Many sociologists work in university-based research labs. However, demand is growing for sociology-trained business professionals. For example, a customer insight manager is tasked with providing marketing managers in-depth customer intelligence. A customer insight manager combines the jobs of sociologist and market research analyst. Core responsibilities include coordinating collection processes, supervising local consumer campaigns and conducting field studies. This is where the sociologists will apply their analytical and qualitative skills learned from their degree coursework. They must translate raw customer data into intuitive recommendations and actionable strategies. Students interested in business and sociology can also pursue careers in sales and advertising research.

Research Criminologist

Research criminologists are sociologists with a passion for criminal justice. They are tasked with studying why people commit crimes and engage in socially deviant behavior. Criminologists analyze criminal patterns based on target categories, such as social, biographical and psychological factors. Their goal is to aid law enforcement in assessing potential and current criminals. Ideally, the research will be used to identify and prevent crimes. Criminologists review collective, historical criminal acts in order to establish consistent motivations, demographics and patterns of action. They are usually tasked with completing lengthy reports about specific crime patterns. Therefore, they must have excellent organizational, communication and project management skills.

To review, sociologists are scientifically trained researchers who work in academic or business related positions. A sociology degree empowers the student with a broad liberal arts background that will help them explore the world and secure a satisfying career. There are endless job opportunities for students with a degree in sociology.

For more information on sociology degrees, please see: Best Top 10 Online Sociology Degree Programs.