5 Types of Degrees That Can Lead to a Career in Sociology

Social science majors learn about social life in different types of communities and human interactions in our ever-changing world. With a scientific foundation to solve complex social problems, earning one of these five social science-related degrees can launch you into several worthwhile sociology careers.

1. Sociology

A degree in sociology provides a broad foundation in social science. Sociology looks at how people are affected by external influences and human behavior. You will also study how people interact within social, legal and religious parameters. Most likely, you will have classes in:

• Introduction to Sociology
• Race and Ethnicity
• Social Stratification and Class
• Sociology of Culture
• Sociology of Religion

Graduates with a sociology degree can work in a variety of careers including counseling, corrections, education, research or investigation agencies like the FBI.

2. Behavioral Science

Behavioral science majors study how human behavior affects decision-making processes and relationships. For a sociology career, you might focus on social communication or neural processes that make a significant impact on individuals and society. Some of the general classes you might take include:

• Introduction to Psychology
• Introduction to Sociology
• Human Anatomy and Physiology
• Abnormal Psychology
• Statistics

Behavioral scientists often find careers in social work to help individuals, families and communities better their lives. From working in hospitals, community care centers and clinics, behavioral science graduates often help victims of domestic violence or child abuse.

3. Human Services

A degree in human services covers the philosophy, history, theory and practice of social welfare. You will be exposed to a wide range of social work including psychiatric, correctional, medical, community and elderly services. A few of your college courses could be:

• Introduction to Psychology
• Introduction to Human Services
• Group Dynamics
• Multicultural Issues in Human Services
• Crisis Intervention & Treatment Approaches

Graduates with a human services degree can find work in group homes, mental health care facilities, substance abuse treatment centers and elderly care homes. You can also choose to work with child welfare agencies to help abused or neglected children.

4. Social Work

Social work majors learn how to provide assistance to children, families and individuals with their financial, medical and social concerns. Social workers often coordinate group therapy sessions as well as help their clients with Medicare and welfare programs. In college, you may be required to take classes in:

• Behavior and the Social Environment
• Child Welfare
• Development of the Social Welfare System
• Human Diversity
• Social Welfare Policy

As graduates, social work majors can enter the workforce in nursing homes, governmental agencies, hospitals and health care facilities. Most social work majors earn their bachelor’s degree, but are still required to be licensed in their respective state.

5. Women’s Studies

Women’s studies majors learn about the factors that shape the lives of women throughout the world. By studying the cultural and geopolitical influences that impact women’s roles throughout history, graduates can apply this perspective and understanding to current issues for women. Some of the liberal arts courses for this major usually include:

• Introduction to Women’s Studies
• Women and the Media
• International Women’s Voices
• Women in History
• Theories of Feminism

Some of the sociology careers for women’s studies graduates include counseling, clinical social worker and health clinic coordinator.

With any of these social science-related degree programs, you will be setting yourself up for a rewarding and challenging career. Especially with social concerns continuing to be a major issue in our complex world, gaining essential skills in critical thinking and problem solving will help you tremendously in a sociological vocation.