Sociology Career Planning Resources
Many students often ask what Sociology is. Most perhaps remember it as a social studies class in high school or maybe they heard the term “sociologist” in the news before. Simply put, Sociology is the study of human behavior, social groups, social institutions, and societies. Like psychology, Sociology is concerned with understanding why people behave a certain way. However, sociologists generally explain human behavior by focusing on social forces, those factors outside of the individual. While individual factors are important to recognize, social forces like economic changes, religious influences, political policies, and cultural shifts can have a profound impact on human behavior. So, if you have ever wondered why some people commit crime and others do not, why many women continue to be paid less than men for the same work, or why some people get divorced while others never marry, then Sociology might be the major for you.
The subject matter within Sociology is very broad, ranging from understanding the interactions between two people to understanding how societies change over time. Beyond the individual level, sociologists might be concerned with how social groups function and change over time. Other sociologists are interested in how social institutions function and change over time, such as the economy, politics, education, religion, and the mass media. Lastly, sociologists also try to understand how societies change over time, whether by revolution or some peaceful manner.
What Do Sociologists Learn?
Sociology students learn numerous skills related to a variety of jobs and personal development. Below are just some of these skills:
1. Collect and analyze data
2. Design research projects
3. Understand diversity
4. Understand how groups function
5. Understand how social institutions impact individuals
6. Develop strategies to solve social problems
Cameron University’s Sociology Program has several required courses that teach students many of the skills listed above, while many elective courses tend to focus on particular sociological topics like social work/welfare, family, crime and delinquency, religion, race and ethnicity, gender, and social movements, etc.
Another common question among college students centers on what they can do with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. One of the strengths of Sociology as a college major is its applicability to a wide range of careers. Sociologists are trained to collect, analyze, and interpret social data, allowing them to work in a variety of research-based professions. Below are just some of the careers that many of our graduates have pursued:
|Social Work/Welfare||Law, Law Enforcement, Corrections|
|Counseling||Social Science Researcher (Government or Private Sector Company)|
|Secondary School Teaching||Religious Work (Ministerial)|
|Management||Civil Service (including the Military)|
Sociology students are typically very socially conscious people, often concerned about the consequences of social problems on individuals and the larger society. Many desire to make a difference in the world, either through working with people as a social worker or counselor, or possibly working for an aid organization that helps to alleviate problems around the country or world.
One of the strengths of Sociology as a major is the wide range of possible career choices you have. One of the downsides to a very specific major is that if you end up not liking the work, your options might be limited. That isn’t the case with Sociology. If you end up not liking law enforcement, then you can work as a secondary school teacher. If you don’t like either of those, then you can work as a social worker, etc. Our Sociology Program offers students an opportunity to take an Internship course that allows them the chance to try out a particular profession prior to graduation (and receive college credit for it as well). So, if you don’t like a particular profession mentioned above, you have skills that transfer to another occupation.
Where can I find additional information about Sociology?