Careers in Sociology
This is an exciting time to become a sociologist. The expected job growth for sociologists & political scientists between 2008 and 2018 is 21%, which is a faster growth than average for all occupations! The American Sociological Association has more information on degree trends and employment trends.
Why is this?
Many other fields are recognizing the importance of sociology and incorporating it. Sociologists receive training which gives them analytical, methodological, and conceptual ability along with quantitative and qualitative analysis and research abilities. These skills are necessary in a variety of occupations, ranging from market analysts to research assistants. The expected growth will be in social, political and business associations/organizations (including nonprofit organizations). Learn more from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.
What kind of pay do sociologists receive?
In May 2008, the median annual wage for a sociologist was $68,570. Individuals within the middle range make between $51,110 and $92,220. The highest 10% of individuals made more than $122,130. For sociologists in scientific research and development services, the median annual wage was $72,170. For Federal Government sociologists, in March 2009 the average salary was $100,824.
How Liberal Arts Majors Fare Over the Long Haul - The Chronicle of Higher Education
What else can I do with a BA in sociology?
For those not interested in the more analytical side, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration--fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups. Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.
(From "Careers with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology," published by the American Sociological Association).
Career Services, located in the University Center, has information on their website to see what you can do with a sociology degree, as well as links to other career services. In addition, the American Sociological Association has career resources for undergraduates.
UNC Career Services
Our UNC Career Services has many resources to help you on your job search. These vary from learning how to write a resume, job fairs and events, as well as a job search board.
Job Search Sites
Here are some tips that you might find helpful (many taken from your SOC 231 book):
- College Career Services: Search for all jobs in all fields with related expectations and skill levels.
- Internet Job Search: Search by job titles relevant to the field of interest. Make sure to search regularly to learn job titles and descriptions.
- Classified Ads: Look for jobs with skills relevant to your repertoire. Again, look regularly.
- Networking: Tell everyone about your job search, including family, friends, coworkers, clergy, neighbors, and professors. Join professional organizations such as the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, or regional associations.
- Working part-time in a related company while attending college. This can provide not only a possible future full-time job at that company, but also networking opportunities and references (the CANPO and Regis Nonprofit Job Bank below lists many part-time positions).
- Your internship can also provide a future full-time job within that organization, as well as networking opportunities and references.
The following are some job search locations you can use in your hunt for a job. Keep in mind these are not the only locations by any means! And the list will continue to grow (if you come across a good one, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org).