Why Choose a Sociology Major?

The methods and concepts of sociology yield powerful insights into the social processes shaping lives, experiences, problems and possibilities in the contemporary world. The ability to identify and understand these processes, or what C.W. Mills called the "sociological imagination," is valuable preparation for personal and professional participation in a changing and complex society.

The well-educated sociology BA graduate acquires a sense of history, other cultures and times, the interconnectedness of social life, and different frameworks of thought. He or she is proficient at gathering information and putting it into perspective. Sociological training helps students bring breadth and depth of understanding to the workplace. A sociology graduate learns to think abstractly, formulate problems, ask appropriate questions, search for answers, analyze situations and data, organize material, write well, and make oral presentations that help others develop insight and make decisions.

Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs. Sociologists understand social inequality, patterns of behavior, forces for social change and resistance, and the workings of social systems. Sociology is an exciting discipline with expanding opportunities for a wide range of career paths.

Over 3000 colleges and universities in the United States offer sociology courses. A bachelor's degree in sociology provides an excellent liberal arts foundation from which graduates embark on a wide range of career paths. A BA in sociology is excellent preparation for future graduate work in sociology in order to become a professor, researcher, or applied sociologist. But while teaching and conducting research remain common careers held by the thousands of professional sociologists today, other forms of employment are growing both in number and significance.

Graduate Preparation – in any of the social sciences; in medicine, as doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants; in counseling and therapy, as practitioners and professionals

Social Services – in rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration

Community Work – in fundraising for social service organizations, nonprofit, childcare or community development agencies, or environmental groups

Teaching – in elementary and secondary schools, in conjunction with appropriate teacher certification

College Settings – in admissions, alumni relations, or placement offices

Medicine & Health Services – in family planning, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, health planning, hospital admissions, and insurance companies

Government, Government Services, & Law – in federal, state, and local government jobs in such areas as transportation, housing, agriculture, and labor; in policy making and policy analysis; in law firms as case managers or research specialists

Publishing, Journalism, and Public Relations – in writing, research, and editing

Business – in advertising, marketing and consumer research, insurance, real estate, personnel work, training, or sales

Criminal Justice Work – in probation, parole, or other criminal justice work

There are really no limits to what a degree in sociology enables one to pursue in their careers.