Social science is a broad academic category offering numerous career opportunities to those who earn a degree in this discipline. Students of social sciences examine the relationships among individuals in a society, including global and local economics, the environment, discrimination and criminal justice, anthropology and sociology.
A bachelor’s degree in social sciences also offers a solid academic foundation of in-demand skills such as interpersonal communication, critical thinking, problem solving, team building and organization – all of which may be extremely valuable to anyone who strives to improve society’s infrastructure and make a difference throughout their career.
4 Career Paths With the Potential to Transform Society’s Infrastructure
Take a look at these four fields based in the social sciences:
- Economics: Economists study and analyze economic issues to solve everyday societal challenges, such as balancing government budgets, keeping businesses profitable and getting vital services to those who need them. History’s most famous economists crafted theories on free trade, financial policies to promote the greater good, government intervention when necessary, capitalism and free markets. Becoming an economist offers diverse career paths in the private and public sectors with opportunities to help create a better society.
- Political Science: Political scientists study how political systems, ideas, trends, policies and governments affect society. They conduct research and analyze data to develop their theories of how political systems can affect favorable or adverse outcomes. Political scientists often work for think tanks, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, helping to set public policies to improve society.
- Public Administration: Public administrators also do a lot of research and planning. They work in government agencies, nonprofits and other organizations that seek to improve societal structures by creating and implementing beneficial policies. They also see that new laws, initiatives and regulations create the effects intended by the public and lawmakers. In these ways, public administrators can have a huge impact on society.
- Social Work: Social workers help people in a number of ways. Their work includes everything from helping a family apply for food assistance, to intervening in child abuse cases to promoting social development in schools. Social workers help people during what are often the most challenging parts of their lives, such as medical emergencies or during a personal crisis.
How Social Science Careers Can Improve Society
The four fields illustrate different ways that social sciences careers have the potential to improve society from the inside out. Here is some additional food for thought:
- How can economists improve society? Economists help us understand how complex financial issues can affect our everyday lives. They teach people worldwide how to improve their living conditions and to efficiently use scarce resources to create necessities such as food, shelter and safe drinking water.
- How can political scientists improve society? Political scientists influence public policy and advise policymakers on best practices and courses of action. Using their research and forecasting skills, they can determine the needs of a particular social group and predict the impact of new policies. Because of their work, evidence-based policymaking is possible.
- How can public administrators improve society? Public administrators increase awareness of new laws and help agencies properly implement them – often improving public health, welfare and safety in the process. They also ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and with accountability.
- How can social workers improve society? Social workers make it possible for many individuals and families to become productive members of society by helping them get the services they need. For example, they may provide support so a child can get to school, help a veteran land a job or an elderly person get proper nutrition or housing. Social workers improve the very fabric of society, which makes it stronger and beneficial for everyone.