There are so many career options for graduates with an advanced degree in this fascinating subject.
As outlined by The Princeton Review, sociology is essentially the study of human relations. We are social creatures and our lives are shaped, to varying degrees, by institutions, groups, identity categories and power structures. For example, a sociologist may examine the impact of the church on a child's development, or racial tensions within a given city at a certain time. Students studying sociology will be required to conduct surveys, experiments and other forms of research to build hypotheses and present conclusions, replete with nuanced analysis. Sociology, as a discipline, is wide in scope, and consequently students will often tailor their studies to a topic that interests them significantly – urban poverty, for example, or LGBT oppression.
Although a number of undergraduate students major in sociology and find great career success after, there remains the stubborn impression that pursuing sociology at the advanced degree level will lead to a professional dead end. In actuality, this notion couldn't be further from the truth. The broadness of a sociology degree is mirrored in the job prospects post-graduation – there are so many things that advanced degree students in this fascinating subject can do with their professional lives. If you are considering enrolling in a sociology program, check out the list of careers you could be eligible for below.;
Many who choose to pursue sociology at the advanced degree level are working toward a career in academia. As outlined by the Houston Chronicle, sociology is a rich and complex humanities-based subject, and the deeper knowledge necessary for a college teaching career can only be gained by enrolling in a master's and/or PhD program. Indeed, to qualify for a tenure-track professor position at a four-year university you will almost certainly need a PhD, while a master's may suffice if you wish to teach at the high school or community college level. Salaries range considerably, contingent on level of experience, the institution and so on. The Houston Chronicle reported that the average national wage for a sociology professor is a little over $73,000 per year, with assistant professors earning less and tenured professors sometimes earning considerably more.
"The average wage for a sociology professor is around $73,000 per year."
2. Government worker
Sociologists are well-trained for government roles, particularly those that involve large amounts of research and data collection, the University of California Los Angeles detailed. Examples of government agencies well-suited to sociology graduates, according to Black Hills State University, include the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services. As a sociology graduate you could qualify for a number of roles within these types of governing bodies, with jobs pertaining to policy development and research offering the most promise. Given the wide scope of potential roles in this field, it is difficult to offer a typical salary range. Note, however, that senior government officials can earn high salaries in excess of six figures.
3. Writer or journalist
Sociology graduates are proficient at written communication and analysis, meaning that you are likely well-equipped for a writing career. Whether it's for a newspaper, magazine or online publication, this kind of creative occupation can be challenging and rewarding. As Black Hills State University pointed out, it's also possible to pursue a writing career in a more structured and corporate environment. For example, you could work in public relations or as a copywriter in a marketing firm. Such pursuits can afford you the chance to keep writing every day while enjoying the stability afforded by a higher income. According to Payscale, copywriters earn an average salary of around $47,000 per year, while public relations specialists take home, on average, around $56,000 yearly, U.S. News & World Report detailed.
4. Charity or advocacy worker
Sociology is first and foremost the study of people, particularly those who are marginalized or oppressed, so a role within a charitable organization or a group that advocates on behalf of others is a natural career path, particularly if you have a passion for helping people. This kind of work can involve any number of issues or topics. As Black Hills State University elaborated, examples of advocacy work include working for a union or labor rights organization. In the charitable sector fundraising or communications positions are ideal. Salaries will vary, dependent on the kind of organization you enter and the occupation you choose to pursue.
5. Market research analyst
UCLA pointed out that, for sociology majors with more corporate ambitions, a career as a market research analyst could be rewarding. The United States Department of Labor explained that market research analysts will study public interest in, and demand for, certain products or services. Market research analysts are typically enlisted by companies before the launch of a new store, product or campaigning initiative. As a sociology major you could excel in this position because it combines both data analysis and research, and necessitates a deeper understanding of how people and groups behave as consumers. The United States Department of Labor noted that the average salary for this kind of role nationwide stands at a little over $62,000 per year, although it is possible to make considerably more than this figure, particularly with experience.
6. Medical sociologist
The healthcare field is in many ways shaped by broader sociological factors, and patient access to treatment and the level of care received can vary, contingent on factors such as race, class, gender, sexuality and so on. A medical sociologist will dedicate his or her career to examining these factors and will conduct research to present strategies for improvement and positive change, the Houston Chronicle explained. Indeed, the overarching purpose of this kind of career is to improve access to healthcare and bolster positive treatment outcomes. As the Houston Chronicle noted, if you decide to pursue a career as a medical sociologist you will typically work in a university and in most cases, given the specialized nature of the profession, you will need to have a PhD. In terms of salary, medical sociologists can expect to earn roughly the same amount as a college professor – around $72,000 per year.