Learners who are interested in exploring the complex forces that keep civilisation in balance determined by various factors such as cultural, political, religious and other ecological factors might find careers in sociology interesting. This blog tells about the sociology careers and sociology jobs one can do with a sociology degree.
What is sociology?
Wikipedia says, ‘Sociology is the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that sounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods and empirical investigation and critical analysis’. Sociology can also be said as the general science of society.
In simple terms, sociology is the study of human values, beliefs, and relationships with society. The subject matter is diverse beginning from state to family, understanding the social divisions of race, social class, caste, religion to the understanding of shared beliefs of a common culture, etc.
What can you do with a sociology degree?
As a sociology student, you would study the relationship of a human with society in all and detailed aspects. But after your graduation, your work won’t be the same as what exactly you studied during your sociology degree. While learning sociology, you add skill sets like critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, organising, communication, analysis. Some of the other skills you acquire while pursuing psychology are data collection, research, interpersonal, cross-cultural, computer literacy. Hence, sociology jobs would be a place where you would be exhibiting all the skills acquired while pursuing a sociology degree. A detailed note on what can you do with a sociology degree is as follows.
1. Policy analyst
Policy analysis involves identifying and evaluate the potential policy options that could address the problem and comparing the available options to choose the most effective, efficient and feasible one. This process of policy analysis is also used in the administration of large organisations facing complex issues. Knowledge of sociology helps to analyse the impact of legislation on social problems. Policy analyst is one of the best sociology major jobs.
Sociology majors have a good understanding of how to analyse societal issues like poverty, substance use, improving education and healthcare, same-sex marriage, etc. Broadly, this kind of analysis tries to explain the role and the influence of the stakeholders with the policy process. The stakeholders include a citizen, community groups, government and non-governmental organisation, businesses and political parties. In relation to this field, policy analysts like sociologists rely on strong communication and observation skills to represent the findings of their research and communicate it to the legislators and the public about the feasibility of their proposed policy. Policy analysis is the main preference of many sociologist graduates.
2. Market research
The process of analysing the business market for a particular product or service can be broadly defined as the work of a market research analyst. Market research analysts test the products and services and understand the feasibility of a particular product or service in the target market. They use a variety of researching techniques like primary research, secondary research. Other social science techniques including data collected through interviews, surveys, opinion polls, government authenticated data, monitoring other business trends to gather data about a particular market segment. Ultimately, a market research analyst works for a business that would target a specific consumer group. Working as a market research analyst is one of the best sociology major jobs.
A sociologists’ knowledge of customers’ patterns of preferences would help them in the assessments. The analyst also works as a consultant monitoring and analysing the sales trend and measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategise market-entry support for foreign companies. Monitoring the consumer trends, competitor’s performance and continuous update on the market conditions is the routine work of market research analysts. A good understanding of the functioning of a specific country’s businesses, observing skills, writing and communication skills help a sociology major to thrive in this kind of job.
Providing legal advice, researching and gathering evidence information, drafting legal documents and prosecuting or defending in a court. These are the responsibilities of a lawyer. Lawyers use critical thinking and analytical skills to research and litigate cases. Many areas of legal practice such as child custody, adoption, divorce, criminal law, worker compensation and employment law benefit are directly or indirectly related to sociology. Though, lawyers as sociology careers require additional qualification.
A field called ‘sociology of law’ became a recognised speciality course within sociology at the beginning of the 20th century. This subspecialty course is also known as socio-legal studies. A sociology graduate can engage himself/herself in subspecialty course to be recognised by a particular law council body to participate in this kind of legal work. There are other many legal careers available like engaging with law firms, the criminal justice system, local state and central government agencies. Law firms, government legal offices and private organisations employ lawyers, paralegals, legal sectaries and private investigators. Research and writing skills help them to conduct their work. Just how sociology majors do with their position papers, the lawyers or legal practitioners must gather evidence to support a thesis.
4. Management consultant
Management consultants are experts who deal with business issues, researching remedies, improve the financial and operational health of client’s organisations, and evaluate strategies to analyse best outcomings. They are trained to solve complex problems and help their clients solve specific business issues. Most companies hire management consultants for their knowledge of the particular industry, problem-solving abilities and to analyse the logical objectivity. They apply research, analyse the internal data, interview people and prepare and present reports. Fresh sociology graduates begin their career in this field in positions like research analyst and junior consultant. Consultancy is one of the best sociology degree jobs.
Sociology majors develop quantitative and qualitative research skills to understand a business problem. Their problem-solving skills help them to generate solutions to solve complex problems. Writing and communicating skills are essential in constructing reports and presenting solutions to the senior management of the organisation.
Tips: Among all sociology jobs, market research analysts, policy analysts and junior consultants are a few perfect entrant level jobs for sociology majors. Pursuing a career as a legal consultant or a lawyer might require additional qualifications. But the analysts and consultant jobs are suitable for entry-level as a certain skill set and quick understanding capacity is what expected for these kinds of profiles.
5. Social worker
Social workers work with a specific group of people, including children, family members, elderly, and adults in crisis and help them to resolve the problems they are facing. As a social worker, you will serve the community that they have a presence in by assisting the clients that are affected due to issues such as neglect, domestic violence, child abuse, mental health and substance use by parents or children. The work of a social worker includes collecting the relevant information about the case, to provide crisis intervention and help them overcome the issue mentally. Generally, social workers specialise in adult or child care. In this job, the clients may be vulnerable, hence the social worker must be able to work under pressure and understand the different people’s viewpoints.
The knowledge of social dynamics and social institutions learned by sociology majors helps to assess the clients and help them to resolve their problems. Active listening and communication skills are essential in assessing the clients’ problems and advising them on ways to improve their lives.
Graduates in sociology can pursue options as postsecondary educators. The responsibility of these professionals is to plan lessons and collaborate with the department members to assess the learning of the students and design the curricula accordingly. The work involves closely monitoring the students and their response towards the teaching style of the professors or teachers. This job is also intended to monitor the primary and secondary education levels as the learning pattern is subjected to many questions these days. At times, sociologists directly engage themselves to teach at different levels.
The education sector is the best sociology degree jobs for students pursuing their masters’ degree. This kind of job is relevant as assessing or analysing the students also help them to conduct their research. Sociology majors have a foundation to analyse the perspective of humans from different societies and different backgrounds and its overall impact as a member of society. Graduates with good observation skills, innovative ideas to overcome the issues, interactive skills, analysing and policy suggesting skills would be an ideal candidate for this career.
7. Human resource representative
As you study sociology, you would have a broad idea about how race, culture, gender, and religion come into play in society and in the workplace. The work of a Human Resource would not limit with processing resumes and application material, manage people’s information, and optimise team for a particular project, etc. The work of an HR is also to connect a good touch with the customers and help employees to solve problem-related works. Human resource representatives also need to show fineness in their interactions in a broad range of groups and individuals. They must also be equipped to analyse the work roles and access the practical suitability for jobs.
Sociologist majors learn the interviewing skills which are crucial for such evaluation. HR staff members use problem-solving skills to mediate conflicts and resolve personal issues. Analytical and decision-making skills help to evaluate the market alternative structures for current employees.
8. Media planner
A media planner is a brand strategist who works at advertising agencies and creates ad campaigns for various clients. Media planners associate themselves with the clients and work with them regularly to help them make decisions about how a certain media campaign will unfurl. The main focus of the media planner is to place their clients’ advertising copy into various media venues into various media platforms that would maximise the advertising reach towards the target audience.
Television, radio, billboards, print, direct mail, and other social media platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Media planners also track the performance of the advertising and try to understand the behaviour of the customers towards the advertisement. Post-performance analysis, a media planner, updates the client regarding the return on investment and the value they have received for their advertising. Media planners as careers in sociology are gaining traction these days.
Sociology majors are good at interpreting research and analyse the preferences of their target population. Sociology majors have a good understanding of the characteristics of various groups to select the best media to advertise their product and optimise sales to different demographic groups.
Journalists assemble information, write news articles and present the news in an honest, balanced and proper manner. A journalist should gather information from different authenticated sources ensuring that they have presented a clear and exact view. They should also need to aware of the events happening around their locality, country and even world. Every piece of news is valuable and important for journalists. A journalist should also be a fearless person to investigate an article to dig out the real stories to reveal the truth to the general public. Their job typically involves in writing and editing news, interview sources, attending events, researching articles, establishing and maintaining contacts, attending a press conference, proofreading, verifying statements and facts, etc.
Journalism career can be a great fit for sociology majors. Sociology gives exposure to various societal problems, and this can help a journalist to figure out the right focus. For instance, if you have taken up some criminal justice courses, writing for a crime beat is quite familiar. Good written and oral communication, observing skills and analytical skills is much needed for this profession.
10. Guidance counsellor
Jobs for sociology majors include working as a guidance counsellor. Guidance counsellors are certified professionals employed by schools and other academic institutions to assist and guide students about academic decisions. After assessing the ability and the potential in students, a guidance counsellor provides counselling to the students privately. The goal of a guidance counsellor is to ensure that the students reach their fullest potential in their life. Assistance in academics, career goals and social life issues are for what students can rely on the guidance counsellors. Counsellors often conduct a one-to-one meeting, group meetings, presentations and workshops to enhance students.
Guidance counsellors use the knowledge on sociology to help students to navigate the academic world. They also remain in touch with the family members to devise strategies to support student achievement. Interview, group sessions and private counselling are the techniques guidance counsellors use to help students make their academic and career choices. These counsellors also apply problem-solving skills to mediate and resolve social problems within the school. They also facilitate group sessions and instruct students about social issues like bullying and substance use.
1. What are the best jobs for sociologists?
A: Policy analyst, market research analyst, consultant, lawyers, journalism, media planner, guidance counsellor, human resource representative are the best jobs for sociologists.
2. Is sociology a good major?
A: If you are thinking to work into fields such as education, social work, law, research, public policy, sociology is a great major.
3. What is the main preference among all sociology jobs?
A: Policy analysis is the main preference of sociologist graduates among all the sociology jobs.
4. What does a sociologist do?
A: Sociology jobs are gaining traction these days. Sociologists study social institution, cultures, groups and the interaction of humans with such elements. Sociologists also help test theories concerning social issues conducting and designing related research projects.
5. Is sociology a difficult major?
A: The sociology major is not a difficult major to get into. The subject and the course is vast, covering all the topics such as cultures, traditions, history, political science, economics, etc. Hence, the course is vast, and it is also not a difficult course as concerned for BA.
6. What can I do after BA in sociology?
A: Law, training advisor, social critic, market research survey, community service worker, other sociology jobs, etc. are the sociology careers one can think of after completion of BA in sociology.