Career Paths

You won’t find “sociologist with undergraduate degree” on any ‘help wanted’ list. And this page is no different. But read on to learn how you can begin now to re-conceptualize your sociology courses as more than grades and requirements to graduate. You’ll learn you have a wealth of skills that are under demand for a wide range of jobs. And you’ll learn to think about the job market beyond the ‘Help Wanted’ column in the newspaper.


Potential Career Areas and Job Titles

(adapted from the American Sociological Society Careers webpage below)

  • social services--in rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration

  • community work--in fund-raising for social service organizations, nonprofits, child-care or community development agencies, or environmental groups

  • corrections--in probation, parole, or other criminal justice work

  • business--in advertising, marketing and consumer research, insurance, real estate, personnel work, training, or sales

  • college settings--in admissions, alumni relations, or placement offices

  • health services--in family planning, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, health planning, hospital admissions, and insurance companies

  • publishing, journalism, and public relations--in writing, research, and editing

  • government services--in federal, provincial, and local government jobs in such areas as transportation, housing, agriculture, and labor

  • teaching--in elementary and secondary schools, in conjunction with appropriate teacher certification.

Sample Job Titles

  • Professor
  • Social Policy Researcher
  • Public Information Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Public Relations Director/Representative
  • Urban Planner/City Planner
  • Child Care Worker
  • Columnist/Journalist/Reporter
  • Advertising Executive
  • Social Worker/Caseworker
  • Writer/Critic/Reviewer
  • Program Co-ordinator/Manager
  • Account Executive/Representative
  • Fund-Raiser/Special Events Planner
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Retail Sales Supervisor/Manager
  • Economist
  • Development Coordinator
  • Office Administrator
  • Job Analyst
  • Credits/Loan Manager/Personal Banker
  • Law Enforcement
  • Statistician
  • Lawyer/Attorney
  • Personnel Recruiter
  • Demographer
  • Policy Analyst/Advisor
  • Project Coordinator
  • School Teacher
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Sales/Service Representative
  • Mediator
  • Labour Relation Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Public Administrator
  • Management Trainee
  • (from the Wilfred Laurier Careers for Sociology Majors website below)

     

    Skills of Sociology Graduates

    To get you started thinking about careers, here’s a list of some of the practical skills you’ll acquire across your St. Thomas University education. Keep them in mind in all your classrooms. Stay aware that you’re learning more than the content of the course. Here’s a list of the qualities that a very wide range of potential employers look for. Which have you developed in your classes today?

    1. Effectively communicates: Clearly explains self both orally and in writing.
    2. Demonstrates ability to think critically: Points out potential problems, expands issues by asking questions.
    3. Demonstrates problem-solving skills: Realizes consequences, finds alternative solutions and makes decisions.
    4. Demonstrates an ability to make decisions: Doing things without constantly being told.
    5. Shows a capacity for growth: Seeks out new experiences or responsibilities.
    6. Shows a capacity for growth: Reflects confidence in responding to the unexpected.
    7. Takes advantage of opportunities to contribute ideas, information, etc.: Offers ideas, opinion, solutions when asked.
    8. Demonstrates leadership skills: Can influence others, develops ideas and delegates or coordinates responsibilities.
    9. Can articulate a personal point of view: Demonstrates viewpoint has been thought through.
    10. Is responsible and dependable: Shows up when expected and carries out given tasks.
    11. Gets along well with others: Demonstrates a positive working relationship with fellow workers.
    12. Reflects self-confidence: Volunteers for new assignments, hesitates little when deciding.
    13. Shows an ability to gain the confidence of others: Others seek opinions.

    (Adapted from Watkins, Ed. Occupational Literacy Exam as cited in Stephen Cobb, "So You Want a Job: Sociology, Liberating Skills and Experiential Learning" as presented on The Careers in Sociology website developed by Barb Keating at Minnesota State University, Mankato.)

     

    More Information...

     

    “35 Things to Think About if You're Considering Sociology"
    by Stephen Steele

    Here you’ll find suggestions for how to keep career planning alive during your Sociology education. Don’t wait till after the Graduation party!

    http://www.techsociety.com/asa/resources/35things.html

     

    A Checklist for Job Hunting and Launching a Career in Applied Sociology
    by Catherine Mobley

    This is a short list to help you get your job search started.

    http://www.techsociety.com/asa/resources/m_jobs1.htm

     

    AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (The ASA is the major professional association for sociology in the U.S.)

    "What can I do with a BA in sociology?" This site has a wealth of information to help you find answers to that question.

    http://www.asanet.org/

     

    CAREERS FOR SOCIOLOGY MAJORS (Wilfred Laurier)

    This site reminds us that ‘employers hire people, not degrees’. Information here helps you think about the sort personal qualities you’ll develop across your Sociology courses so you can display them, and not your diploma, when you meet potential employers.

    http://info.wlu.ca/~wwwarts/careers/programs/sociology.shtml

     

    IDEALIST.ORG (a project of Action Without Borders)

    Idealist.org is "a global coalition ... working to build a world where all people can live free, dignified and productive lives." Check out its Career Center for information on jobs, internships, and fellowships, as well as links to other non-profit job sites.

    http://www.idealist.org/