Sociology has been one of the most popular fields of study for students for years. It’s a fascinating subject that attempts to inform of how and why people interact with others the way they do. The topic is a basket of areas with the objective of educating students to think critically about a whole host of social issues, including family, human interaction, sexuality and public policy.
While some students want to stay in the classroom once they graduate, sociology plays a crucial role in many industries, whether it’s in business or in the criminal justice system. From problem-solving skills to creativity for resolving problems, many different types of companies and organisations are on the hunt for talents with sociology degrees.
Be it an interest in a great salary, a little bit of meaning in your career or some tips on choosing the right degree, we’ve compiled a list of careers jobs you can pursue with a sociology degree hanging on your wall.
1. Social worker
Average salary: $50,470 (£39,980)
After university, many graduates typically go into social work, such as child welfare, community advocacy, mental health and non-profit administration.
This is a career choice that makes sense since a sociology degree is about understanding and advancing social dynamics and institutions, requiring a finesse of active listening and verbal communication.
Social workers will use the various resources at their disposal, whether it’s inside a government agency or at a charitable organisation, to improve the wellbeing of individuals and families.
2. HR representative
Average salary: $61,920 (£49,060)
The role of an HR representative is to interact with all types of people and organisations. In addition to face-to-face communication, HR experts need to assess the suitability of candidates for positions, analyse the work roles of present employees and come up with proposals to improve workflows and productivity levels.
From problem-solving skills to decision-making abilities, HR experts will mediate conflicts, resolve personnel disputes and evaluate corporate structures to enhance the workplace.
3. Policy analyst
Average salary: $59,310 (£46,990)
Policy analysts are deeply involved in the legislative process from the very beginning. They are integral in researching subjects that affect the public and help put together public policy proposals that attempt to address those problems.
This is usually one of the top sociology jobs for graduates because majors have acquired the analytical abilities and skillset to tackle all types of issues, such as healthcare, education, poverty and job training. With stellar writing skills and a knack for research, a policy analyst will try to get policymakers and voters to comprehend their findings and recommendations.
4. PR specialist
Average salary: $61,150 (£48,440)
When a sociology major is searching for some of the highest-paying jobs, then the role of a PR specialist is something to consider. While you might not consider it a serious career as compared to your other options, there’s still a science behind PR.
By using everything you attained from studying sociology in university or college, you can learn about an audience and its attitudes and desires to develop advertising campaigns and fascinating press releases and convey messages to your colleagues and clients. This, of course, also demands superb interpersonal and communication skills.
Average salary: $78,470 (£62,170)
Many sociology students dream of becoming a professor in the years after graduation. When graduate students want to gain more work experience, they will apply for teaching assistant positions, enrol in continuing education courses and attain additional accreditation to improve their chances of being accepted as a sociology professor.
The main hurdle in this occupation is the level of competition, since many other students are searching for some of the same careers in higher education. That said, once you can receive employment as a professor, you can apply your knowledge to help educate the next generation of students who may want to use their education for another field.
Average salary: $57,970 (£45,930)
The role of a fundraiser is imperative since the job is mainly to generate money for worthwhile causes, whether it’s a cancer charity or the local hospital.
The position entails plenty of interpersonal and communication endeavours that go hand in hand with sociology studies. A fundraise will approach businesses, local authorities and individuals to generate funding, requiring the person to organise activities or come up with the next campaign to attract eyeballs to the charity.
7. Guidance counsellor
Average salary: $57,040 (£45,190)
When a professorship is not possible once you graduate, you can still be involved in the world of education by becoming a guidance counsellor.
The responsibilities of this job consist of navigating academia, collaborating with families to come up with a plan, supporting academic achievement and working with young people to make responsible career choices. This is also a good job for sociology majors since you will also play an integral role in addressing social functions of the school, such as substance abuse, bullying and violence.
8. Market research analyst
Average salary: $63,790 (£50,540)
During any academic year, you will spend plenty of hours mastering statistical methods to analyse data. What industry could possibly require such skills? Market research!
Market research analysts use many social science tactics in surveys, focus groups and interviews to gather data and enhance the amount of information the firm may already possess. Moreover, market research analysts will spend a large part of their time tracking and monitoring consumer preferences and then divide the data into different subgroups, like gender, age, social class and ethnicity.
9. Management consultant
Average salary: $85,260 (£67,550)
By now, you might be starting to notice a theme with a lot of these top sociology-related jobs: analysis. Management consultant is no different.
This position focuses on analysing business issues, performing internal and market-wide research, and presenting your findings to your team and clients. But while you might not immediately serve in this high-level position as soon as you finish school, a lot of new graduates will begin taking baby steps as junior consultants or research assistants.
Sociology may not usually be associated with business, but it’s quite imperative since you likely possess qualitative and quantitative research abilities to both understand a business problem and resolve the issue.
10. Legislative assistant
Average salary: $40,630 (£32,190)
Like a policy analyst, a legislative assistant will perform a lot of legwork by performing legal research, conducting surveys with constituents, and write and prepare reports for briefings for public policymakers.
Essentially, the job consists of keeping elected officials (a legislative aide's boss) up to date on pressing issues of the day, their constituents' thoughts on these subjects and the progress of bills. Also, like a policy analyst, a legislative assistant must have an understanding on crucial modern-day subjects, including healthcare, education and economics.
11. Probation officer
Average salary: $54,290 (£43,010)
It’s safe to say that most sociology majors don’t think of becoming a probation officer when they first enrol in a university or college programme. But sociology plays a critical part for probation officers since they work one-on-one with offenders from the beginning of their release from prison.
One of the main roles for probation officers is monitoring those who have been released from jail to ensure they do not commit more crimes. This could consist of helping them find a job or ensuring they have a place to live.
That said, probation officers also need to analyse the individual and determine if they are a high-risk case and would require more frequent visits. Therefore, critical thinking, communication and emotional intelligence are important skills to have in this career.
It’s only normal for sociology students to wonder what they could do with their degree after they complete postsecondary study. The deeper you go into your studies, the more you learn that you can use this newfound knowledge and these newly attained skills for a wide variety of careers.
At this point, do you stay in university and build upon your extensive education or go out into the real world? Before someone says that you will be confined to working at your local coffee shop, consider this statistic: employment of sociologists is forecast to grow 9% until 2028, which is faster than the average for most occupations. That’s pretty impressive.
Can you think of any other careers you can pursue with a sociology degree? Have you taken your first steps into one of the careers we listed as a sociology major? Join the conversation down below and let us know!