Social scientists, including sociologists, have one of the highest education levels of all professions. Approximately 50% of professionals with a career in sociology work for federal, state, and local governments. A student entering a career with a sociology degree may help governments solve social problems and develop public policy or may alternately choose to pursue a career in management, sales, or teaching. The potential for a career with a degree in sociology is as wide as the discipline itself.
The Discipline of Sociology
Sociology is the study of society and human social interaction. It is concerned with social dynamics and the effects of groups on individuals. Professionals with a career in sociology focus on groups as small as the family and as large as the global population. The following several specializations are possible with a sociology career: Education Family Social Psychology Political Sociology Gender Relations Gerontology Criminology Demography. Career Options with an Undergraduate Sociology Degree
According to the American Sociological Association, students entering a career with a sociology degree have increased competitiveness over other liberal arts majors pursuing similar positions. Possible entry-level jobs include research assistant, administrative aide, and management or sales trainee. Students may also pursue a teaching career with a sociology major at the elementary or secondary school level. Additional education classes are necessary for students who wish to enter teaching as a career.
Some students who wish to pursue a career with a degree in sociology choose to attend programs such as Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management with a specialization in Sociology. Ashford University boasts that its graduates are prepared to enter sales, retail, small business management, government, and nonprofit jobs.
Career Options with an Advanced Sociology Degree
A graduate degree in sociology allows a student to further specialize in a career in sociology. Graduate degree alumni may be able to teach at a community college. A sociology career in a higher academic setting usually requires a PhD in sociology, which allows a professional to pursue a sociology career in research and teaching at the university level. The majority of a specialized career in sociology involves academic research and writing within a university setting. The results of professionals’ sociology career research serve to assist government agencies, lawmakers, and educators in solving social problems and forming public policies.
Job Outlook for Sociologists
For the professional who chooses a specialized career in sociology, job growth is expected to be only as high as 8% through the year 2018. This is, in large part, due to the limited employment options outside of the government and university setting. Professionals pursuing a specialized career in sociology are expected to find the most opportunities in policy and research positions.
For professionals who choose to pursue an alternate career with a sociology degree, job prospects are expected to grow faster. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers will experience an 18 – 26% increase in employment through the year 2018. Other specific management careers may also be viewed at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Students interested in pursuing a career in sociology may contact Ashford University. College-Pages.com is another valuable source of information with an extensive list of available programs, as well as education and career resources.