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What Can I Do With A Major In Sociology?

A field that is broad enough to encompass all various interests in fields as diverse as criminology, poverty, aging, urban development, media, medicine, science, race and gender, you may find that the sociology major is right for you. Sociology not only provides individuals with training in contemporary human inquiry, but also allows them to develop the critical thinking, analytical, writing, research and fieldwork skills essential for professional success. Students are well-prepared for graduate school, the human services field, development work, and social and academic research and civic leadership.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Anthropologist
Caseworker
Clinical Social Worker
Community Relations Director
Community Resource Coordinator
Community Service Agency Worker
Corrections Officer
Counselor:
   Abortion & Alternatives
   Adoption
   Battered Spouse
   Children’s Services
   Chronic Disease Services
   Employee Assistance
   Pregnancy
   Rape/Crisis Intervention
   Rehabilitation
   School
   Senior Citizen/Elderly
   Services Worker
   Substance Abuse
Crime Victim Criminologist
Customer Service Representative
Elder Care/Recreation Worker
Gerontologist
Human Resources Administrator
Infant Mental Health Specialist
Labor Relations Specialist
Market Research Analyst
Men’s Services Worker
Minority and Race Relations Specialist
Missionary
Peace Corps/VISTA Worker
Penologist
Political Systems Researcher
Population Studies Researcher
Probation/Parole Officer
Psychotherapist
Public Health Statistician
Seminary Director
Social Services Agency Director
Social Worker
Urban/Regional Planner
Vocational Services Worker
Women’s Service Worker
Youth Services Worker

Types of Employers

Private & Non-Profit Organizations

Adoption and Child Care Agencies
Advertising Agencies
Banks
Correctional Institutions
Education Institutions
Financial Service Companies
Hospitals
Labor Unions
Management Consulting Firms
Market Research Firms
Mental Health Institutions
Newspapers/ Magazines
Personnel Agencies
Publishing Companies
Radio and TV Stations
Real Estate Agencies
Religious Organizations
Resort Hotels
Retail Stores
Social Service Agencies
Substance Abuse Clinics

Government Agencies

Civil Rights Commission
Consumer Affairs Office
County Probation Department
Division of Youth and Family Services
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Communications Commission
Foreign Service
Health and Human Services
Labor Department
National Science Foundation
Peace Corps/VISTA
Veterans Administration

Transferrable Skills

General Skills
Possesses proficiency in interpersonal communication and networking
Conducts and explains sociological research clearly
Establishes and maintains rapport
Knows community resources
Maintains composure in stressful situations
Displays sensitivity to and understanding of human development and behavior
Understand socio-cultural forces impacting human behavior
Possesses awareness of the processes involved in dynamic person-environment interactions

Research Skills
Operates and uses information derived from computers
Evaluates, integrates and applies knowledge
Observes and analyzes introspectively
Develops strong quantitative and statistical skills

Problem Solving Skills
Evaluates problems and makes appropriate decisions
Analyzes concepts, definitions, arguments and complex problems
Organizes ideas, deals with questions of value, and extracts information
Distinguishes fine differences between views and discovers common ground
Generates ideas and formulates solutions

Communication Skills
Interprets and clearly explains psychological research and tests of all types
Presents ideas through well-constructed, systematic arguments
Listens and responds to others objectively
Expresses a distinctive view and explains difficult material
Eliminates ambiguities and vagueness in communication
Establishes and maintains rapport through interpersonal communication skills
Articulates problem solving and goal oriented results

 

Experiential Education

Answering a crisis hotline and providing support to callers

Serving on mission trips to foreign countries

Organizing, planning and implementing activities for senior citizens

Working as a supervisor at a juvenile detention center

Leading units of campers at a summer camp

Serving as an advocate for rape victims

Professional Associations

American Sociological Association,
asanet.org

International Sociological Association,
isa-sociology.org

Rural Sociological Society,
ruralsociology.org

Social Science Research Council,
ssrc.org

Society for the Study of Social Problems,
sssp1.org

Enhancing Your Employability

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Add a minor or double major

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Plan on a graduate degree for advancement

Take part in mock interview opportunities

Source: Rutgers University, Ashland University