Pursuing a career in sociology can be very promising. In fact, there is a wide range of job opportunities once you complete your studies at university. Career opportunities abound both in the private and public sector of the economy. A career in Sociology can lead you to prolific job opportunities.
In fact, being a sociologist opens a wide door of opportunities for you. If you are thinking of studying sociology or you’re a graduate of sociology, I think you should take your time to read this post. But before we go fully into careers in sociology, let’s, first of all, understand what sociology is all about.
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the scientific study of human behaviour and his interactions with society. The study of sociology is very diverse ranging from crime to religion, from family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies.
During your study, you’ll be exposed to research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare. You’ll also focus on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
Branches of Sociology
Sociology has so many branches. As an undergraduate, you can only do the general sociology. However, if you want to further, you can specialize in any of the branches of sociology.
- Theoretical Sociologist
- Historical Sociology
- Sociology of Knowledge
- Sociology of Religion
- Sociology of Economy
- Rural Sociology
- Urban Sociology
- Political Sociology
- Sociology of Demography
- Sociology of Law
- Industrial Sociology
- Education Sociology
Besides the above-mentioned branches of sociology, other different branches are emerging by the day as sociology is a very broad social science.
Job Opportunities for a Sociologist
A sociologist can work in any of the fields listed below.
- Advice worker
- Community development worker
- Further education teacher
- Higher education lecturer
- International aid/development worker
- Policy analyst
- Secondary school teacher
- Social researcher
- Social worker
- Youth worker
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Charity officer
- Civil Service administrator
- Family support worker
- Housing manager/officer
- Human resources officer
- Life coach
- Newspaper journalist
- Police officer
- Probation officer
- Public relations officer
Importantly, many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject. So you don’t have to limit your job search to the ones listed on this page.
Industries Where a Sociologist Can Work
As a sociologist, you can work both in government or private industry. The main industries that employ sociology graduates in the public sector are:
- Media companies
- Law firms
- Marketing and PR firms
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Social and market research organisations
- Counselling organisations
Work Experience with Sociology Jobs
You can gain some work experience by seeking volunteering job opportunities with organizations and businesses that you’re interested in working for. This will help you develop the relevant skills for your career interest.
For example, volunteering opportunities exist in schools, community education and social work departments, or with groups including young people, victims of crime or homeless people.
If you’re looking for a career in an area such as law or the Civil Service, internships offer the chance for more structured work experience. Competition for places is strong so research the company well before applying. Think about the group or environment you’re interested in. Narrowing down your preferences allows you to focus your approach to specific employers.
Skills to Include in Your CV for Sociology Jobs
During your degree, you develop specific skills that employers look for including analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills. Besides, you can also learn some other skills like:
- Develop a cross-cultural understanding of the world
- Conflict management abilities
- Develop opinions and new ideas on societal issues
- Work collaboratively as part of a team on projects
- Relate sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy
- Apply different research methods, analysis and statistical techniques
- Organise your work and meeting deadlines.
- Appreciate the complexity and diversity of social situations
- Research, judge and evaluate complex information
- Make reasoned arguments
You can demonstrate your experience in these areas by giving examples from the practical work and group projects included in your degree course.
Some graduates of sociology go on to further their studies at Masters. This gives them the opportunity of specializing in an area of sociology that interests them, such as political sociology, social policy or social research. Going further to a PhD level opens a wide range of opportunities to work in research.
Besides, there are also opportunities to take further study and/or vocational training to get into specific areas of work such as:
- Community education
- Social work
- Information management
If you want to become a social worker, you’ll need an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social work.