Are you a social scientist, or a prospective social science student, do you want to know what you can do with a social science degree? Then, you’re at the right place at the right time.
Social sciences are generally degree programs that help graduates understand human behaviour. As a graduate of social science, you can pursue a career in different industries of life. A social science degree helps you build strong reasoning, analytical, communication and problem-solving skills.
What is Social Science?
Social science are generally degree programs that examine society’s institutions—their structures, theoretical foundations, evolution, and interrelationships—and how they affect and are affected by human behaviour.
The social science disciplines include anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, sociology, social work, and some other areas. Social science graduates have a variety of career options.
Skills Gained in Social Science Programs
As well as their subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in Social Sciences will typically:
- Have research skills
- Be able to analyse and evaluate problems and issues
- Be able to collect and interpret statistical data
- Have an awareness and sensitivity of the needs and values of others
- Communicate, debate and develop logical arguments
- Have planning and time management skills
- Have group-work skills
This is not an exhaustive list of skills – you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience.
Social Science Careers
The occupations listed below are a selection of those which may interest Social Sciences students and graduates.
Advice Worker: Advice Workers provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics depending on the role. These topics may include housing, employment, welfare, education, finance and law.
Civil Service Careers: The Civil Service delivers public services according to government policies. There are a large number of different departments and so a huge variety of different roles.
Charity Officer: There are a variety of different roles within charities including project management, volunteer coordination and fundraising.
Community Development Worker: Working in communities and liaising with different agencies to bring about change and improvements. Some work may be targeted towards certain groups of people e.g. the unemployed or the homeless.
Community Education Officer: Promoting and coordinating a range of educational options to members of a local community.
Equality and Diversity Officer: Equality Officers promote diversity and work to ensure that people are treated fairly and not discriminated against for characteristics including race, gender, age or disability.
Family Support Worker: Working with families facing a variety of difficulties and helping them to solve problems and move forward.
Housing Officer: Housing Officers work for local authorities or housing associations to manage rented accommodation including solving problems raised by tenants, organising maintenance, allocating properties and dealing with payment issues. Housing Policy Officers develop policies for local authorities or housing associations.
Human Resources Officer: Human Resources Officers aim to ensure that organisations have a skilled and efficient workforce. They are involved in recruitment and selection, training and development, grievance and discipline and provide advice on employment law.
Immigration, Customs and Border Roles: There are a variety of roles involving monitoring people, banned substances and other goods leaving and entering the country to ensure safety and security and to maintain the law.
Intelligence Analyst: Analysing and assessing intelligence data largely for the purposes of security and crime prevention.
International Aid/Development Worker: Working to improve the lives of people in developing countries.
Legal Careers: Providing legal services to clients.
Local Government Careers: Developing policies and delivering local services. There are a huge variety of roles within local government including roles in social care, housing and education to name just a few.
Mediator: Working with people to help them solve conflicts and disagreements.
Police Officer: Police Officers work to make communities safer by maintaining the law and preventing crime.
Prison Officer: Prison Officers are responsible for maintaining security in prisons and supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners.
Probation Officer: Probation Officers work with offenders and aim to reduce rates of re-offending and protect the public.
Psychologist: There is a range of different psychologist roles but broadly they help clients to improve their psychological wellbeing.
Psychotherapy, Counselling and Mental Health Roles: Supporting people to overcome a range of psychological or emotional difficulties.
Social Researcher: Social Researchers could work for universities or research/market research organisations. Social research covers a wide range of topics including crime, transport and education. Social Researchers manage research projects including collecting and analysing data and presenting the results.
Social Worker: Social Workers work with people in the community who need support, for example, the elderly, children who are at risk, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties.
Substance Misuse Worker: Supporting clients to overcome their problems with drug, alcohol or solvent misuse.
Teacher/Lecturer/Education Roles: There are a variety of opportunities within education from primary schools to universities.
Victim Care Officer: Providing help to people who have been victims of crime, including supporting them during court proceedings.
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Managing the recruitment, training, placement and retention of volunteers.
Youth Offending Team Officer: Working with young offenders with the aim of reducing rates of re-offending and supporting young people to achieve positive outcomes.
Youth Worker: Working with young people to provide support, raise aspirations and break down barriers to achieving. This is done in a variety of ways including through recreational activities, organising projects, mentoring and liaising with other agencies.
Importantly, some of these careers may require further study. Some Social Science graduates go on to further study. Some do professional training for a particular career path. Others, on the other hand, go on to postgraduate courses to specialise in a particular area so that they can move into research and academics.