Five Career Options for Sociology Majors (That Aren’t a Social Worker)
If you choose to major in sociology, you’ll learn about how society is structured, including its triumphs and its challenges. Although sociology is considered a soft science, you’ll also learn to use statistical software and analyze data.
But if you’re thinking about life after college, you might be wondering about your career options.
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Statistician ($84,760 per year)
You might think that you need a degree in math to become a statistician. Maybe in the past, but not now. Thanks to data analyzing software and some undergraduate math classes, your sociology degree can land you a job as a statistician.
Statisticians analyze data to improve business decisions. They also design polls, experiments, and surveys to collect data, and interpret the data that they collect.
To be successful, you should have strong analytical, problem solving, and communication skills.
Should you choose this career path, you should consider getting an advanced degree. You might travel a little for conferences, but it’s not usually a huge component of the job.
Most statisticians are employed by the federal government.
Sociologist ($79,650 per year)
A sociologist studies what keeps society functioning and how to improve those processes. As a sociologist, responsibilities might include:
- Designing experiments and research projects to test hypotheses about social issues,
- Analyzing, interpreting, and translating your findings
- Collaborating with policy makers and other groups create and implement solutions that tackle social issues
If you like researching, writing, and explaining your results, this might be the perfect career for you.
Most sociologists work in an office (unless traveling for in-person interviews) and work a full 40-hour week.
A potential downside to working as a sociologist that most applicants usually have a master’s degree or a PhD.
Market Research Analyst ($63,230 per year)
As a market research analyst, you’ll be expected to analyze and translate complex data, as well as collect the data. Since almost every industry employs market researchers, it’s not necessary for you to specialize in one particular area.
Most analysts work a traditional work schedule, and sometimes overtime is required during periods with tight deadlines. This position requires strong math and analytical skills, but your math and statistics class requirements should sufficiently prepare you.
You also want to make sure you’re taking lots of courses that help you analyze and interpret human behavior. These are generally required to earn a degree in sociology. However, if your program doesn’t require them, it’s highly recommended that you add them to your course selection.
This is also job that prizes strong communication skills, so make sure to hone your writing and speaking skills.
Fundraiser ($55,640 per year)
Money makes the world go ‘round, and it’s a fundraiser’s job to find it. A fundraiser’s job starts with finding donors and continues until the organization’s financial needs are met.
Significant aspects of a fundraiser’s duties include:
Researching and contacting potential donors,
- Fostering relationships with donors before and after they’ve donated
- Evaluating current and previous fundraising strategies
To be a good fundraiser, you also have to be comfortable talking to people, both one on one and in groups.
Some nontraditional hours are required, particularly if events are held at night and on weekends. You might even have to travel to some fundraising event locations or to meet with potential donors.
Survey Researcher ($54,270 per year)
The goal of a survey researcher is pretty simple: make surveys as clear and effective as possible. Duties might include:
- Testing particular questions for clarity
- Analyzing the methods and effectiveness of the surveys being used
- Summarizing survey results and data
If you choose this career, you can work almost anywhere. Everyone from small nonprofits to a large corporations need survey researchers.
You’ll have frequent contact with other people, including stakeholders, other researchers, and the public, so it’s a plus if you’re comfortable with public speaking.
A bachelor’s degree is fine for some entry level positions, but to move to higher-level (and higher paying) jobs, you’ll need an advanced degree.
Is a degree in sociology useful? Depending on what you want to as a career, absolutely!
Social work isn’t your only career choice if you obtain a degree in sociology. With the right internships, coursework, and extracurricular activities, there are plenty of other options.
*All salaries taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Human Resources Specialists, on the internet at https://www.bls/gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm (visited February 27, 2019).
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