Sociology is a popular career choice that involves the study of people and culture. It prepares students for a range of career options in the private and public sector. It has a great median salary with a positive career outlook.
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of humans and how they interact with each other. It evaluates different cultures and how culture affects human relationships. It involves many of today's prominent issues: immigration, inequality, globalization, and environmental changes. It includes a close study of various political, ethnic, religious, social, economi, and business groups and organizations.
Students who are interested in majoring in sociology should posess analytical skills, as well as, good communication skills, critical thinking capabilities, and well-developed problem-solving strategies. Nearly all universities and colleges in the country require students to have a high school diploma. Depending on the educational institution, students may also be required to submit their high school transcript and SAT or ACT test scores. In addition, some schools may have a minimum GPA (grade point average) or testing score requirements.
Type of Degrees
Students right out of high school begin their sociology career path by obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, otherwise simply referred to as a B.A. degree. This degree typically requires four years to complete and students will be required to take classes in a variety of different subject. Students graduating with a B.A. degree can expect to find an entry-level job upon graduation. However, the majority of sociology majors continue on with their education to complete their Masters of Art degree, or M.A degree in Sociology1. Students who wish to obtain an even higher level of education, go on to earn the Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D., in Sociology.
Jobs Available in the Sociology Field
The type of job students qualify for will directly depend on the level of education they have completed. Those with a B.A. are eligible for an entry-level job in a variety of job fields: such as social work, politics, criminal justice, the service industry, teaching, sales and research. Those who continue on to obtain a M.A. would qualify for a supervisor position in any of the industries listed above, as well as management positions and counseling. Those with a Ph.D. would also be able to provide counseling services and direct research. These graduates would likely lead research teams, run social service organizations, teach at the university level, or hold top management positions.
Even though this is a very popular career choice among students, is has a great career outlook. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Labor has projected an 18% increase in sociology careers2 over the next seven years. This increase may be due to the large number of career options that students are provided with after graduating with a degree in sociology.
The potential salary one can expect to receive with a career in sociology depends greatly on the type of degree a person holds. According to the labor results reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for sociology workers was just over $72,000 in March of 2010. It is important to note that the majority of sociology workers has a M.A. degree or higher. Predictions show that as the demand for workers in this career field rise, so may the salaries for these workers.
2 http:// ww.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Social-workers.htm#tab-6