If you are interested in studying sociology, you likely want to understand how people interact, why they make their choices, and how to help them solve any associated challenges. However, you might wonder what your career path might look like if you choose to earn a bachelor of arts degree in sociology.
The great news is that you can take the information and skills you learn as a sociology major and apply them to many meaningful and rewarding career choices. You can directly use your degree and experience to study society and human behavior in an academic or research setting.
We want to share a diverse sampling of the unique professional possibilities that this discipline allows you to pursue once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree.
WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY?
Understanding sociology’s core definition and intentions will help you understand why it leads to a diverse range of career choices.
Sociology examines society and how humans interact within it and with each other. In this degree program, you will study society at the macro and micro levels; patterns of social relationships; familial and other social interactions; divisions based on culture, ethnicity, and race; and several other vital factors of our times.
In a broader sense, sociology also touches on how gender, social class, religion, law, economics, the internet, social capital, and social mobility affect society and human interactions.
14 JOBS YOU CAN GET WITH A SOCIOLOGY DEGREE
With the knowledge and skills you will gain once you have earned your sociology degree, you can pursue a broad range of careers. Let’s look at 15 of the many professional opportunities available to you.
1. Social Worker
Becoming a social worker is probably the most clear-cut career choice for a sociology major. If you choose to become a professional in this field, you could work with:
- Vulnerable children
- Families in crisis
- Individuals with substance abuse or mental health challenges
- Senior citizens
- Developmentally disabled persons
Within these groups, you will help them work through, cope with, and navigate life’s daily issues and challenges, including:
- Domestic conflict
- Child welfare
- Elder well-being
You might find employment through hospitals, local public and private agencies, senior centers, and schools that serve people in the community who need help.
Many jobs in this field require only a bachelor’s degree, but you will eventually need to earn a master’s degree and a professional license to progress.
Average Annual Salary: $52,522
2. Human Resources Coordinator
A human resources (HR) coordinator works with their organization’s employees, filling a similar role to a social worker on a professionally focused micro-level. They deal with issues that affect the workforce, including:
- Scheduling interviews
- Compensation and benefits
- Onboarding and training
- Workplace safety
- Maintaining employee records
- Company policy compliance
Average Annual Salary: $49,894
3. Public Relations Specialist
You might find it surprising that a sociology graduate could work as a public relations specialist, but your work will serve as the company’s voice, providing its public image. That means you get to know the organization’s mission, values, and people and share various external communication that shapes the public image. In addition to social science skills, you will need strong writing and communication abilities in this profession to perform the following tasks:
- Draft press releases
- Write and deliver speeches
- Respond to media requests
- Compose social media posts
If you decide to work as a PR specialist in the public sector, the job titles are often called communications or media specialists.
Average Annual Salary: $53,992
4. Consumer Relations Specialist
In this career, you might work in the customer service department for a private company or government agency fielding questions, complaints, and other feedback from the public. As a consumer relations specialist, you can apply the skills you learned during your sociology studies to handle disputes, assess customer needs, and develop better customer support strategies and processes.
Average Annual Salary: $46,033
5. Market Researcher
Market researchers, or market research analysts, help organizations learn and understand the products and services people want and are willing to buy. They research the market to understand demographics and customer personas to determine their pain points and deliver solutions at a price they are willing to pay.
In this profession, you can evaluate data regarding consumer behavior collected through questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, market analysis surveys, and public opinion polls to predict future trends.
Average Annual Salary: $58,924
6. Career Counselor
If you want to help motivate and support job seekers, working as a career counselor is a great way to apply your sociological skills. You will help individuals choose a career and succeed in their vocational goals. In this field, you might work with professionals entering the workforce, those changing careers, or those looking for new employment opportunities. You might seek work in private businesses, recruitment firms, schools, or government agencies.
Average Annual Salary: $49,362
7. Legislative Aide
As a legislative aide, you will help elected officials serve their constituents in various ways, including:
- Composing correspondence, press releases, social media posts, and other communications to update constituents about essential matters
- Fielding phone calls, monitoring social media, and scheduling meetings to listen to constituents’ questions, concerns, and complaints on important issues
- Serving as a problem-solver for the elected official’s constituents
Average Annual Salary: $44,869
8. Admissions Counselor
An admissions counselor might work in a high school or university to help students navigate the registration or admissions process. In high school settings, you might work to help students determine their next step at the post-secondary level, while college admissions counselors work to recruit suitable applicants by improving the school’s visibility. In this profession, you will also work to inform prospective and registered students about scholarships, financial aid, and degree programs.
Finally, your work with your students doesn’t end once they’re enrolled and attending classes. Here are some additional tasks you will perform as an admissions counselor:
- Organize and lead campus tours
- Review applications and run the interview process with prospective students
- Maintain relationships via networking with active alumni to ensure ongoing funding and to uncover new opportunities for students
Average Annual Salary: $46,763
9. Environmental Organizer
As an environmental organizer, you might work in various environments, such as urban or rural areas, focusing on sustainability. In this role, you will analyze potential environmental impacts, human and otherwise, and propose projects and initiatives to ensure the community meets all environmental regulations. You will study and ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations, help minimize impacts, facilitate environmental permits, and write environmental documents and reports.
Average Annual Salary: $45,097
10. Human Rights Officer
A human rights officer (HRO) is typically employed by the United Nations or another government organization. If you pursue this career, you will be responsible for investigating, observing, and monitoring human rights issues, including discrimination, violence and torture, and religious intolerance. Since the UN employs about 900 international HROs, available jobs in this area are limited but could take you to locations such as:
- Geneva, Switzerland
- New York City, New York
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Average Annual Salary: $67,436
11. Alumni Relations Officer
Working in alumni relations entails supporting university advancement through the support of university graduates. Alumni are a vital part of the ongoing health of colleges and universities, so fostering and maintaining strong bonds with this community is worthy of a team of professionals. In this position, you will prepare communications, meetings, and events to solidify those bonds and raise money.
Average Annual Salary: $61,250
12. Quality Control Manager
Quality control managers focus on complying with quality, reliability, and performance standards for manufactured products. In this role, you will set and implement various internal and external quality requirements that enable you to ensure your company’s products and services meet customer expectations.
Average Annual Salary: $120,973
13. Policy Analyst
Policy analysts examine existing policies to ensure efficacy and determine how to make improvements. Professionals in this field also lay the groundwork for new programs and legislation to help meet short-term and long-term objectives.
In this role, you will likely:
- Review and amend policy drafts
- Propose suggestions to improve existing policies
- Work with stakeholders to determine the goals and objectives of policies
- Assemble and manage a financial plan for the available and anticipated future budget
Average Annual Salary: $64,147
14. Survey Researcher
Survey researchers develop and design surveys and analyze them. The surveys you develop as a survey researcher are intended to collect factual data, such as salary and employment information, or to ask respondents about beliefs, opinions, preferences, or desires. Organizations that hire survey researchers include hospitals, health organizations, research facilities, universities, and government agencies.
Basic duties of this role include:
- Conducting background research on survey subjects
- Testing surveys to ensure respondents will understand the questions
- Coordinating the work between the survey interviewers, data collectors, and data analysts
- Analyzing collected data using statistical software and techniques
Average Annual Salary: $57,840
ABOUT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 8,000 graduate, undergraduate, and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings.
If you are interested in learning more information about earning your degree with Johnson & Wales University’s College of Professional Studies, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].