People often assume that sociology majors will end up working in social services or counseling. While these are viable career paths for graduates of a bachelor's in sociology program, many overlook the numerous other career pursuits sociology majors might follow.
Having studied the intersection of society and individuals, both at the macro and micro level, sociologists are uniquely suited to work in many fields aimed at analyzing, researching and problem-solving. Sociology is not merely a soft science. Sociologists conduct extensive research using both qualitative and quantitative parameters — they do both social research through interviews, polls, and the like, as well as statistical research and data analysis. They demonstrate their findings both orally and in position papers, backed by statistical data and personal accounts.
Academic degree programs like the University of Texas of the Permian Basin's online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology help students develop comprehensive knowledge and skills that they can apply in a variety of careers, in the public and private sectors. The following are seven examples of such jobs, including related salaries.
Sociologist or Social Scientist
Although many sociology majors enter the workforce directly after graduating, graduate education in either sociology or related social sciences is another logical path. Graduate-level sociologists and social scientists delve further into their respective disciplines and end up working in a variety of fields. But, correlating with their higher level of education, they often work in more advanced social research and analysis positions in the federal government or at universities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay for sociologists in 2017 was $79,650. FederalPay.org reports that social scientists working for the federal government made an average salary of $86,346 in 2017.
Another interesting career path for sociologists is criminology. Criminologists perform the same functions as sociologists but work for law enforcement agencies, analyzing crimes from a sociological perspective to find out why they happened and how to prevent and deter future crimes of a similar nature.
Communications Manager or Analyst
The sociological skillset based in the synthesis of human-related research, analysis and problem-solving lends itself to business communications functions. Sociology majors may pursue work in communications management or analysis for businesses, marketing firms and consultancy. In fact, UTPB's BA in sociology program highlights this connection offering a minor option in communication.
Social Media Analyst
With the digital savvy of today's collegiate population, sociology majors may choose to apply their social research skills to the ever-growing world of social media analysis and marketing. Target market analysis and data collection and analysis with the intent of devising effective social media marketing strategy could be described as social media sociology.
Salary.com reports that social media analysts made an average annual salary of $62,165 in 2018.
Management Analyst or Human Resources Consultant
Applying both social research and data analysis to organizational problem-solving and strategic planning within organizational management analysis and human resources consulting is another logical application of sociology skills.
Public Policy Analyst
Sociologists are well-suited to work in public policy for both private organizations and public institutions. Sociologists have the ability to integrate qualitative and quantitative research and analysis of social impact and response in matters ranging from legislation to company policy. They are well-positioned to make objective judgements and recommendations on public policy.
PayScale reports the average annual salary for public policy analysts in 2019 to be $54,792. As an example from the private sector, Google's public policy analysts average $132,762 annually, according to Paysa.
Political Advisor or Analyst
Although these careers are associated more with the study of political science, many in this field come from the social sciences. Sociology majors may in fact choose to study political science at the graduate level in order to ascend to high-level agency positions in the field.
In essence, political advisors and analysts research political matters from a number of sociopolitical lenses — historical and current. This research concerns the macro level of political systems and movements domestically and internationally as well as the micro level of effects within diverse individuals and communities. Polling and election results are just a couple of examples. Political advisors and analysts work for governmental agencies, think tanks and non-governmental organizations as well as in advisory roles for political candidates and other private entities.
Clearly, sociology majors have many possible career paths to pursue after graduation. Graduates can apply the broad spectrum sociological skills for in-depth social research, analysis and communication to a range of fields or to further graduate education and the fascinating careers that follow.
Learn more about the UTPB online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology online program.
Sources:SalaryExpert: Political Advisor
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