A sociology degree can be a great springboard for any number of career paths – from the ability to think abstractly to understanding group dynamics and processes.
The knowledge acquired from earning a sociology degree can be transferable. Research expertise, both qualitative and quantitative, and the ability to use statistical tools are key for gaining insights on social issues. Problem solving is another area. The graduate also comes away with polished writing and expository skills to communicate insights into people’s attitudes, values and behaviors. Familiarity and comfort with technology is an added bonus, as tools like analytics, and database interface and query software are instrumental to getting work done.
The perspectives sociology majors develop may prove valuable to employers in any sector as our working and living environments grow increasingly multicultural and globally oriented. A primary need in this environment is to grow social capital; professionals with a sociology background have the knowledge and education to help make this happen.
Any number of sectors can provide good career possibilities for sociologists, who earned an average annual wage of $86,840 as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries may be dependent on several factors, including education levels, professional experience and regional market conditions, so prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research.
In the nonprofit arena sociologists can be involved in various roles, from research to case management to counseling. Government is another field worth considering, where a sociologist’s skills and mindset can equip the individual to do everything from park ranger to public policy analysis.
Ready to embark on your career path? Here are some things to think about.
First, it’s worth a conversation with your school’s career services specialist for guidance on where to look and how to best position your credentials. Second, consider any must-haves for certain career possibilities. If you want to go into academia, for example, you may want to start attending academic conferences.
Finally, always channel the skills you acquired with your degree, from your critical thinking skills to your writing expertise to your research prowess. The most innovative companies have a big need for your ability to think laterally.