Careers for the B.A. in Sociology

Students who graduate with a B.A. in sociology and enter the job market directly will find themselves competing with other liberal arts students, but with an advantage–knowledge of key social factors and a firm grasp on research design and methods. This advantage of the B.A. sociology program provides breadth and the potential for adaptability.

Although few occupations include “sociologist” in their title at the bachelor’s level, the sociological perspective is excellent preparation for a wide variety of occupations in social and public services, management, education, government, and business. Students should look for entry-level jobs, gain experience through internships, and watch for opportunities of specialized training or advanced education.

What Can I Do With a Sociology Degree?

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Sociology majors who are interested in crime and deviance gravitate toward careers in law, law enforcement, and victim advocacy. Students who especially enjoy research design, statistics, and data analysis seek positions in marketing, assessment, public relations, and organizational research. Courses in race/ethnicity, social stratification, and global studies can lead to positions in international business. Students interested in social justice often find meaningful employment is social work.

Regardless of students’ career path, the breadth of their preparation as liberal arts majors is very important. Click here for more ideas about what you can do with a sociology degree.

What skills can I gain with a sociology degree?

Conduct Research and Analyze Data: Learn both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This will allow you to recognize trends and patterns and produce social statistics such as those used in market research, opinion polling, sales, and countless other applications.

Communicate Skillfully: Learn how to convey your ideas effectively in writing and presentations.

Practice Critical Thinking: Lean to look beyond the surface of issues to discover the “why”. Build your analytical skills. Solve problems and identify opportunities.

Gain a Global Perspective: Learn about different cultures and how to analyze the interactions of groups and societies through a global and historical perspective.

Prepare for Graduate School: An undergraduate major in sociology provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in a wide range of fields including law, business, social work, public health, public administration and, of course, sociology.

Employer's Perspective

Corporate interviewers are looking for applicants who display purpose and commitment to their future occupation. This does not mean that B.A. graduates will be hired as industrial sociologists, but that applicants may be considered for entry-level positions in corporate research, human resources, management, sales, or public relations.

Interviewers will seek to determine if applicants can easily adapt to organizational life in the private sector. In particular, this means the ability to work well with others as part of a team. Employers value graduates who have a keen understanding of the impact of cultural, racial, and gender diversity in the workplace, and who comprehend the global nature of business and industry.

During the job search, B.A. sociology graduates should stress their work and internship experience, analytical skills, oral and written communication skills, computer literacy, and knowledge of statistics and research design.

Material adapted from the American Sociological Association.