Sociology Major Career Options


…as a sociology BA, you have a competitive advantage in today’s information society.”
— ASA’s Careers in Sociology

Many graduates of the sociology program have gone to graduate school.
Below is a sampling:

SUNY – Albany
Texas A&M
University of Wisconsin
Minnesota State at Mankato
Eastern Illinois
University of Iowa
Notre Dame
University of Northern Illinois
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Illinois State University

Graduates in sociology may enter a wide range of (see list at bottom of this page). These fields include corrections, child welfare, environmental planning, geriatrics, industrial relations, employee assistance, medical social work, public welfare, research, family service, probation, urban planning, and community services. State, county and city government agencies employ about two-thirds of all social service workers. Most of the remaining third work for volunteer or private agencies, schools, hospitals, or other medical establishments. The federal government and the United Nations employ a small number.

Sociologists who hold advanced degrees frequently work directly with research-related projects involving poverty, rural sociology, social organization, public assistance, population policy, social rehabilitation, community development, public opinion analysis, and environmental impact studies. Colleges and universities employ about four-fifths of all sociologists with advanced degrees. Other potential employers include the government, research organizations, and consulting firms.

Skill Sets
The study of sociology in the context of a well-rounded liberal arts education develops these skills

  • Human Service Skills: investigating living conditions; determining financial, medical, or mental health needs; making referrals; knowing crisis intervention methods; planning and arranging crisis solutions.
  • Analyzing Individual/Group Behaviors: recognizing and distinguishing normal and abnormal behaviors; recognizing factors which influence behavior; interpreting historical data; recognizing and analyzing majority/minority tensions, causes, processes and solutions; recognizing and analyzing criminal behavior and motivation; understanding family/group dynamics.
  • Group Management Skills: cooperation; planning; scheduling; supervising and conducting meetings; establishing limits, rules, and regulations; setting goals; conducting meaningful discussions.
  • Communications Skills: listening; reading, interpreting and summarizing social research reports, government policies and regulations; reporting; recording; conflict management; evaluating; controlling and sharing emotions; providing verbal and non-verbal feedback.
  • Research Skills: interviewing clients; using libraries and reference materials; reading, evaluating and designing statistical tables and charts; retaining and organizing information; gathering and analyzing data; comparing social organizations.

Potential Employers

  • Corporations: personnel, marketing and research, advertising and public relations departments…
  • Media and Communications: newspapers; magazines; trade and technical journals; film companies; publishing companies…
  • Organizations and Programs: adoption agencies, child care programs and intervention programs; senior citizens programs…
  • Public Services: transportation systems and services; hotels; resorts; convention centers; research and polling centers; hospitals, medical and dental clinics…
  • Business: financial institutions, banks; insurance companies; public relations offices…
  • Education: secondary schools, community colleges, vocational schools, liberal arts colleges, universities…
  • Cities and Counties: welfare, probation and parole departments, personnel; administrative services; law enforcement; planning departments; juvenile halls…
  • State: Highway Patrol; Department of Health; Department of Education; Veterans Affairs…
  • Federal Government: Bureau of Indian Affairs; Bureau of Prisons; Civil Service Commission; General Services Administration; Veterans Hospitals, Outpatient Clinics and Regional Offices; Peace Corps; Housing and Urban Development; Foreign Service; Vista…

Related Job Titles
The following list is not all inclusive; many other job titles and alternatives exist.  This list is provided to help you look at possible job areas and to aid you in thinking about additional employment, certifications or graduate school possibilities.

Sales Manager
Foster Home Coordinator
Vocational Counselor
Management Trainee
Clergy Member
Recreation Director
Market Research Assistant
Director of Social Services
Statistician Lawyer
Case Aide
Parole Officer
Consultant on Aging
Social Insurance Representative
Employment Interviewer
Public Relations Advisor
Corrections Worker
Community Planner
Legal Assistance Claims Examiner
Drug Abuse Counselor
Teacher / Educator
Labor-relations Representative
Safety Manager
Residence Counselor
Abuse Counselor
Urban Planner