Sociology

Liberal Arts Overview

Many majors, such as Sociology and Anthropology, give students experiences they need to succeed in a variety of areas. Our Sociology major can give students many skills to thrive in other fields. Students from our Sociology major have also gone into the fields of social work, government agencies, and non-profit business. Their courses, projects, and involvement have given them “transferable skills,” which are skills that can be used for most careers. Some transferable skills learned by Sociology majors are communication, problem solving, and empathy. The core of Sociology is to better the students’ understanding of human interaction. In turn, this helps students feel comfortable working with others who may not have the same values, beliefs, and vision, and helps them to appreciate those with differing views. Students in Sociology will gain and understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Sociology

What is Sociology?

“Sociology is the study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions and development of human society. It is an analysis of a social institution or societal segment as a self-contained entity or in relation to society as a whole.” (from http://uncw.edu/career/sociology.html)

“Perhaps the most comprehensive of the social sciences, sociology is concerned with the analysis and explanation of social phenomena. These phenomena, which range from the socialization of the child to criminal behavior and cultural change, are studied and investigated using a wide variety of research techniques. Through formalized standards of inquiry, sociologists focus on the relationships between the parts of social systems and how the systems are formulated, how they function, and how they are related to the everyday lives of human beings.” (from http://www.albright.edu/catalog/sociology.html)

What is this career like? (from http://www.bls.gov)

“Sociologists study human behavior, interaction, and organization within the context of larger social, political, and economic forces. They observe the activity of social, religious, political, and economic groups, organizations, and institutions. They examine the effect of social influences, including organizations and institutions, on different individuals and groups. They also trace the origin and growth of these groups and interactions.”

Related Career Titles (Some may require education beyond bachelor’s degree)(from http://uncw.edu/career/sociology.html)

Admissions CounselorData AnalystMental Health Worker
Adoption AgentDay Care WorkerNews Correspondent
Advertising AssistantDelinquency CounselorParole/Probation Officer
Aging SpecialistFamily Guidance ClinicPeace Corps/VISTA
Alcohol/Drug Case WorkerFoster Care WorkerPersonnel Interviewer
Case Aid WorkerFundraiserPersonnel Specialist
Child Welfare OfficerHuman ResourcesProgram Assistant
Community Service AgencyIndependent Living Train.Public Relations Spec.
Compensation/BenefitsInsurance Agent/BrokerReporter
Congressional AidJob AnalystResearch Assistant
Consumer AdvocateLabor Relations Rep.Public Opinion Surveyor
Consumer Survey AdvisorMarketing Research AnalystRecreation Therapist
Convention OrganizerShipping OperationsClaims Representative
Cooperative Extension AgentSocial Movements Org.Veterans Affairs Spec.
Correctional Case WorkerSocial ScientistWelfare Counselor
Corrections OfficerSocial Welfare ExaminerWriter/Author
Cottage ParentSocial WorkerSales Representative
Secret Service AgentTeacherTechnical Writer
Career Services CounselorCity PlannerClergy
ResearcherSocial ScientistTrainer
Resident AssistantRehabilitation CounselorRecreation Director
School CounselorSocial WorkerUrban Planner
Marriage and Family TherapistMedical Social WorkerVeterans Affairs Specialist
ProfessorNutritionistWelfare Counselor
Financial Aid DirectorDietitianPublic Administrator
Public Health EducatorCommunity RelationsGerontologist

How do you get ready? (from http://career.utk.edu/students/majors/pdf/sociology.pdf)

  • Many transferable skills, such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork and oral/written communication, are associated with the sociology degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs and/or volunteer experiences are critical.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business, industry and government. However, a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market.
  • An undergraduate degree in sociology is great preparation for graduate or professional education in sociology, law, counseling, psychology, social work, medicine, education, college student personnel, higher education administration and other related fields. Research prerequisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside the classroom through work, internship, volunteer and research opportunities.
  • A Ph.D. is required for teaching at the four-year university level.
  • For human or social service positions, gain experience with a population of interest (i.e., children, college students, elderly adults) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding.
  • Talk with professionals working in areas of interest.

Related Major Skills (from http://uncw.edu/career/sociology.html)

Analyze, synthesize & interpret InformationKnowledge of social structures and change
Interpersonal communication (oral & written)Interact well with diverse cultures/groups
Knowledge of community resourcesResearch and planning (sociological)
Statistical abilitiesCritical thinking
Ability to understand & improve human relationshipsResolve conflicts/counseling
Insight into group dynamicsWork well under pressure
Computer skills (data processing & analysis)

What about the future?

For additional job outlook information, refer to www.bls.gov/

“Employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is projected due to a growing elderly population and rising demand for healthcare and social services.”

“Employment of rehabilitation counselors is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow with the increase in the elderly population and with the continued rehabilitation needs of other groups, such as veterans and people with disabilities.”

Available at Albright College Career Development Center’s Resource Library

  • Great Jobs for Sociology Majors, by Stephen Lambert
  • Careers for Caring People and Other Sensitive Types, Adrian Paradis
  • Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types, by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler
  • Careers for Kids At Heart and Others Who Adore Children, by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler
  • Careers for Legal Eagles and Other Law-and-Order Types, by Blythe Camenson
  • Careers for Mystery Buffs and Other Snoops and Sleuths, by Blythe Camenson
  • Careers for Number Crunchers and Other Quantitative Types, by Rebecca Burnett
  • Careers for Scholars and Other Deep Thinkers, by Blythe Camenson
  • Careers in Criminology, by Marilyn Morgan
  • Careers in Sociology, by W. Richard Stephens, Jr.
  • Opportunities in Child Care Careers, by Renee Wittenberg
  • Opportunities in Federal Government Careers, by Neale Baxter
  • Opportunities in Gerontology and Aging Services Careers, by Ellen Williams
  • Opportunities in Hospital Administration Careers, by I. Donald Snook, Jr.
  • Opportunities in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Careers, by James Stinchcomb
  • Opportunities in Social Science Careers, by Rosanne J. Marek
  • Opportunities in Social Work Careers, by Renee Wittenberg
  • Opportunities in State and Local Government Careers, by Neale Baxter

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