Careers in Sociology
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.
What can you do with a BA in sociology?
The undergraduate degree provides a strong liberal arts preparation for entry level positions throughout the business, social service, and government worlds. Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides.
Since its subject matter is intrinsically fascinating, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration-fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups.
Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.
The following list of possibilities is only illustrative-many other paths may be open to you. Employment sectors include:
social services-in rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration
community work-in fund-raising for social service organizations, nonprofits, child-care or community development agencies, or environmental groups
corrections-in probation, parole, or other criminal justice work
business-in advertising, marketing and consumer research, insurance, real estate, personnel work, human resources, training, or sales
college settings-in admissions, alumni relations, or placement offices
health services-in family planning, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, health planning, hospital admissions, and insurance companies
Julius A. Roth (1924-2002) was Professor of Sociology at University of California, Davis. He is best known for his 1963 groundbreaking work in medical sociology, Timetables: Structuring the Passage of Time in Hospital Treatment and Other Careers, based in part on his own experience as a tuberculosis (TB) patient. Excerpts from Timetables were...