What Can I Do with a Sociology Degree?

by Joseph Cohen

Choosing a major can be a difficult decision.  You might choose a sociology as a major because you are interested in it and feel that you have the capacity to do good work in your sociology classes.  Alternatively, you might choose sociology because you feel that it provides a good path towards a particular career.  In either case, you probably want to know which types of careers are typically pursued by sociology majors.

A national survey commissioned by the American Sociological Association found that sociology graduates most often find themselves employed in these fields, among others:

  • Teachers and librarians
  • Social services, counseling, psychology
  • Sales and marketing
  • Business administration and management
  • Social science research
  • Policing and corrections

QC Sociology graduates often find work in these fields.  Of course, your career prospects are not limited to these fields.  DePaul University’s Career Center offers a much more comprehensive list of careers that sociology graduates often pursue.   A simple Google search can provide you with many pages that discuss this topic.  There are a wide range of careers open to people who can understand, work with, and work across cultures.

Using career aspirations as a basis for choosing a major or minor

While it can be a good idea to set your sights on particular careers, remember that things can change.  Careers with abundant job opportunities today can have severely diminished job prospects later.  You will also change as a person over the course of your studies.  Also, young people often find that the day-to-day experience of particular careers is very different than what they imagined while they were in college.  For some people, it can be a mistake to get too fixated on a particular job before they fully understood what that job involves and whether it will be what they imagine.

Perhaps the best reason to choose sociology as a major is that you feel that you can achieve some level of excellence in this subject matter.  In some respects, it is better to deliver high-quality work in a topic that you like than struggle to stay engaged in a topic that you dislike because you think that it will help you get a particular job.

If you don’t enjoy the tasks involved in studying a particular topic, you will probably not like the day-to-day experience of a job that relies on skills that you hated studying.  Moreover, if you don’t like the day-to-day experience of your work, it is hard to stay engaged on the job.  Staying engaged with your work is important for developing as a professional once you leave school.

In my personal opinion, the best reason to pursue a degree in sociology is that  you love the topic and feel that you have some aptitude for it.