What does a sociologist do?
Sociologists study concepts tied to society including cultures, interactions and relationships. Specifically, the American Sociological Association said professionals utilize science and research methods to find verifiable answers to many detailed and involved questions related to society.
Sociologists may take on these specific tasks throughout their day:
- Analyze data and results from research findings.
- Create questions for interviews and focus groups.
- Create, distribute and analyze surveys.
- Lead meetings where such questions related to society are asked.
- Mentor, counsel and provide social services.
- Report and provide recommendations based on their knowledge of society.
These abilities can be put to use in many career fields across the modern economy.
What’s the difference between a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in sociology?
A Bachelor of Science in sociology helps you develop a strong understanding of human interaction and social structures through sociological theory and research. This program also offers a specific focus on gender and race inequality, health, aging and technology.
Master of Arts in sociology curriculum involves a deeper dive into theory and practice. With a greater emphasis on research, critical thinking and interpretation of existing research and theories, a master’s degree prepares you to compete for more advanced careers connected to this discipline following graduation. An advanced degree such as this one is often needed or recommended for senior roles and leadership positions.
What industries can you work in with a degree in sociology?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the four fields in which sociologists are most commonly employed as of May 2021:
- Scientific research and development services.
- State governments, excluding schools and hospitals.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools.
- Local government, excluding schools and hospitals.
Sociologists can apply their social science aptitude and familiarity with research methods to a variety of fields. The need to understand societies, groups and individuals spans across nonprofits, government agencies and businesses.
What can you do with a master’s in sociology?
As a graduate with a master's degree, you’ll be equipped to compete for managerial, research and supervisory roles in many fields. You’ll develop research skills, analytical talents and social science aptitude skills transferable to many professional roles.
The context in which graduates use these capabilities can differ. For example, a human resources professional at a for-profit business and a nonprofit leader will have varying tasks and objectives. Since this degree lends itself to so many fields and opportunities, choosing the path you want to follow is important for targeted learning and positive outcomes.
Potential employment growth areas related to sociology include:
- Counseling and support for incarcerated and released individuals from prison.
- Health services and research, stemming in part from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Human services related to elder care, due to the aging population.