Sociology

Main Content

student
What can I do with this major?
Area Employers Strategies

Human Services

  • Counseling

  • Case Management

  • Advocacy

  • Mental Health Services

  • Programming

  • Administration

Community service agencies

Advocacy groups

Federal, state, and local government

United Way agencies

Local branches of national non-profit organizations

Religiously-affiliated service organizations

Private foundations

Adoption and child care agencies Nursing homes and retirement communities 

Hospitals and wellness centers

Halfway houses

Vocational services

Educational information services

Insurance companies

Gain experience and develop helping skills through volunteer positions. Spend summers working at camps, YMCA’s, or other social service agencies. Gain experience working with diverse populations. Develop excellent communication skills. Concentrate course work in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty. Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability. Serve as a peer mentor, resident assistant, or other student leader. Earn a master’s degree in social work, counseling, or other related field to increase employment opportunities. Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.

Criminal Justice

  • Corrections

  • Rehabilitation

  • Law Enforcement

  • Judiciary

Correctional institutions

Court systems

Federal, state, and local government (especially law enforcement agencies)

Gain practical experience via part-time or summer jobs, internships, or volunteer work. Volunteer to work with troubled youth. Obtain a graduate or law degree for advancement. Consider obtaining experience in a branch of the military.

Education

  • Teaching

    Research

Public and private schools Colleges and universities

Adult education providers

Obtain certification/licensure to teach grades K-12. Become certified to teach multiple subjects and age groups for increased job opportunities. Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching opportunities. Assist a professor with research. Take extra courses in research and statistics. Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills. Volunteer as a tutor. Secure strong personal recommendations, particularly from professors.

Government

  • Social Statistics

  • Demography

  • Public Administration

  • Policy Analysis

  • Research

  • Program Development

  • Human Services

  • City Planning

  • Law Enforcement

Universities

Government agencies

Research institutes

Non-profit agencies

Community organizations

Private industries

Advertising and marketing firms

Consulting organizations

Information brokers

Newspapers, magazines, news agencies

Public opinion research polls

Develop exceptional quantitative, statistical, and writing skills. Learn to use statistics software packages as well as database, spreadsheet, and desktop publishing programs. Volunteer to help a professor with a research project. Obtain an advanced degree in sociology for research administration positions. 

Earn certification in applied social research by The American Sociological Association. Network with professionals working in areas of interest. Gain experience working on teams.

Environment and Society

Waste management firms

Health agencies

Local planning agencies

Environmental advocacy groups

Environmental periodicals

Federal government

Regional, state, and local agencies

Consulting firms

Private industry

Enhance curriculum with courses in ecology, environmental science, and statistics. Join environment-related student organizations. Volunteer to work on environmental clean-up projects. Find a related internship, part-time, or summer job. Obtain a graduate degree for advancement.

Business

  • Human Resources: Training and Development, Recruiting

  • Management

  • Sales

  • Marketing

  • Public Relations

  • Office Administration

Insurance firms

Retail stores

Banks

Staffing agencies

Manufacturing companies

Service industries

Non-profit organizations

Healthcare organizations

Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with courses in general business, accounting, and finance. Gain business experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships. Develop excellent computer skills. Learn to use software applications such as spreadsheets, databases, and word processing. Hone written and oral communication skills. Join related professional associations. Seek leadership roles in student organizations.

Strategies for placement in Sociology

  • Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the sociology degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experiences are critical.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business, industry, and government; however, a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market.
  • An undergraduate degree in sociology is great preparation for graduate or professional education in sociology, law, counseling, psychology, social work, medicine, education, college student personnel, higher education administration, and other related fields. Research pre-requisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities.
  • A Ph.D. is required for teaching at the four-year university level.
  • For human or social service positions, gain experience with a population of interest (i.e., children, college students, elderly adults) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding.
  • Talk with professionals working in areas of interest.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.

Links

American Sociological Association Resources for Students
Environmental Careers Resource Guide from the EPA 
American Counseling Association 
National Board for Certified Counselors 
Social Scientists, Other from the Occupational Outlook Handbook




Criminal Justice

Law Enforcement Jobs 
Copnet for Criminal Justice Careers
Federal Law Enforcement