What To Do With A Sociology Degree: 10 Practical Uses for Your Degree

What should you do with a sociology degree? If you’re like me, that’s a question you’ve asked yourself. Gone are the days of sociology jobs in public service and social work. Now, you probably picture sociologists crunching numbers in an office somewhere. 

Or even worse, is there a picture of your neighbor—a sociologist? Yes, that lanky guy in the cardigan who lives next door and never talks to anyone. It’s time to clear up the notion that all sociologists have boring desk jobs. There are plenty of other things you can do with a sociology degree.

This post would benefit recent sociology grads, undergraduate or graduate sociology students, or anyone considering a career in sociology. There is much more to sociology than analyzing case studies and writing essays. Sociology provides you with a set of skills that make you the perfect candidate for many careers. 

1. Work as a Community Development Worker

Community development workers help people within a community to improve their lives and living conditions, as well as involve them in the processes that affect them. If you’re motivated to improve your local community, there are a variety of development roles available. 

For example, a community development worker will help strengthen communities by promoting social justice and equality. They’ll create practical, positive solutions to problems like poverty, poor housing, and substance abuse. They often work with local schools, councils, businesses, and organizations, so you’ll need to be an effective communicator.

Community development workers typically make $7 to $30 an hour. The average annual wage for this position is $65,000. There are many types of organizations that offer positions as community development workers, which gives you a wide range of options. 

SEE: Understand professional learning communities 

2. Become a Guidance Counselor

A college sociology degree has a great transferrable skillset, so you can be just as successful doing something outside of psychology. A guidance counselor provides support to students, parents, and teachers. A career as a guidance counselor is rewarding and satisfying, in part because of the interpersonal nature of the job. 

Guided counselors also must be able to look at all sides of an issue as they work with people who sometimes have goals that are not always straightforward or easily attainable. The amount of money you can make as a guidance counselor depends on the region of the United States where you live. 

In major metropolitan areas, your salary can be upwards of $70,000 a year. In smaller areas, a counselor can make anywhere from $31,000 to $51,000. Furthermore, the career outlook for guidance counselors is good, with employment opportunities expected to increase by 24 percent over the next decade.

SEE: Learn how to make money as a guidance counselor

3. Consider Working as a Housing Manager or Officer

If you’re organized and a people person, a career as a housing manager or housing officer might be for you. Housing managers or officers often work for local authorities, housing associations, and charities. They provide advice and support on housing issues and are responsible for making sure that homes are of good quality, safe, and meet official standards. 

You will also help people to understand their rights and responsibilities as tenants, such as anti-social behavior and homelessness. A good housing manager takes care to communicate well with tenants, make sure their units are in good condition, and respond promptly to complaints.

You can make around $60,000 depending on the company you work for. You can get paid a salary and a bonus depending on your management skills. 

SEE: Here are ways to make money with general home inspection services 

4. Become a Marketing Executive

A sociology degree can be a helpful tool for marketing executives because it gives insight into how social values affect consumer buying patterns. A marketing executive is a person who has experience in the field of marketing.

It’s a career that requires regular education and continuous learning. As per salary.com, marketing executives make an average of $100,000 a year, with many earning more than $199,000 annually.

It is also estimated that 4 out of 10 of the wealthiest people in this country are marketing executives. The field is going to keep growing as the companies expand and the marketing executives have to find new ways to market to consumers.

SEE: Here’s how to get an entry-level digital marketing job

5. Become a Police Officer

Look no further than the police force for a position where you can openly demonstrate your leadership potential and dedication to order and justice. A lot of police officers have backgrounds in sociology, which is one of the most popular fields for graduates. 

In addition to giving you the chance to put your sociology knowledge into practice, it offers other benefits, such as opportunities for training and development. Throughout your career as an officer, you will regularly participate in courses such as incident response, forensics, and management training to maintain your skills.

Police officers can make a range of salaries depending on the city and state that they work in. City police officers tend to earn much more than their rural counterparts.  The average salary of a police officer is $56,890 per year, although some police officers may earn much more than this.

SEE: Discover business ideas for police officers

6. Work as a Policy Officer

If you’ve got a social conscience and want to do something worthwhile for the world, this is the ultimate goal. Working as a policy officer requires an understanding of current research, writing skills, and interpersonal skills. As a policy officer, you’d deal with diverse client groups, diagnose social issues and develop policy proposals in response to these issues.

Policy officers work behind the scenes consulting on policy and then implementing change throughout our communities and organizations. Many policy officers work in state or local governments where they make decisions about how should laws and resources are spread around in society.

Earnings potential will depend on the type of policies you work with. However, the median salary for a policy officer is $62,890, with the top 10% making more than $110,000.

7. Considering Becoming a Social Researcher

Among the reasons people choose to pursue sociology is the desire to gain valuable insights into the world around them and how people respond to their environment. A job as a social researcher allows you to do just that by studying social behavior, structures, and interactions.

A social researcher uses their social science research skills to investigate different questions such as who, what, why, and how. Social researchers must be able to communicate their findings to their audience effectively. 

As a social researcher, you can expect to earn an annual salary of $90,000 to $93,500. This is true for various jobs that you can surely find in social research agencies or in government agencies. 

8. Work as an HR specialist

Human resources specialist: If you have a degree in sociology, you could find yourself working as a human resources specialist. HR specialists are responsible for the recruitment, development, and retention of employees. They also play a vital role in employee relations and the creation of training programs. 

What’s great about this career is that there are many different positions you could pursue within this field. However, this role requires good communication skills as working with people is a key element of HR jobs.

Depending on your location, your industry, and your education, you can earn an average of about $71,000.

SEE: Understand what human resources do

9. Be an Urban Planner

Urban planning is a great job. It may be a little weird but it can be very rewarding. New things are happening every day in the city, and they won’t come up with solutions unless people are looking at things from different perspectives. 

You can make a lot of money by becoming an urban planner. The average salary for urban planners is around $71,500 per year. However, some urban planners earn more than $100,000 per year. The biggest benefit of becoming an urban planner is that you can choose from many different job opportunities. 

Some urban planners work for private companies, while others work for local and state governments. These planners also work with federal governments, non-profit organizations, and more.

10. Become a Public Relations Analyst 

Students in sociology build skills in observation, analysis, and planning, as well as working with diverse populations. These all make for great public relations analysts, handling marketing and advertising for their clients and ensuring the public image of organizations and companies. 

If you’re passionate about what sociology is and how it has the potential to positively change the world, then a career in public relations could be for you. Various crises can arise involving issues of diversity, misogyny, and other complex sociological themes, and PR analysts are responsible for anticipating these possibilities.

Indeed, earning a degree in sociology can open doors to this desirable career. Public relations analysts make an average median wage of $60,500.

FAQs

Will earning a sociology degree increase my income?

Not always. In fact, earning a graduate or doctoral degree in sociology does not guarantee higher pay. The type of employment you seek often has a major impact on your salary. The income potential of this degree will depend on what job you take. 

People who only want to work in an occupation that pays well will not earn much more money if they only have a sociology degree. However, people who earn a sociology degree can have a tremendous impact on their local community and improve the lives of many people.

What skills do sociology majors learn?

Sociology majors learn a variety of skills, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, critical thinking, and written and verbal communication. These are highly marketable skills that can prepare you for a variety of careers after graduation.

What’s the difference between a sociology degree and a psychology degree?

Many students get confused between a sociology degree and a psychology degree. This is because they both deal with humanity and human nature. But there are clear differences between the two degrees that make one more suitable for you than the other. 

A sociology degree is aimed at learning about human and group interactions, while a psychology degree is focused on individual behavior. Sociology is concerned with cultural frameworks, whereas psychology is concerned with processes that occur within an individual.

What sectors fit sociologists well?

The best sectors for sociology careers are those that require someone to be able to communicate well with people, such as social services, human resources, and healthcare.

Additionally, being a sociologist will come in handy when interacting with other people on social media and while conducting business negotiations. Sociology can also help you understand the trends of your customers or make more educated choices in life. 

Final Thoughts 

If you have a sociology degree, congratulations. You have likely gained valuable skills that can be applied to many jobs and different careers. There are many things that you can do with a sociology degree.

Often, it is not the length of time spent studying a subject that can be most important, but rather the experiences one has throughout those years in college. 

To get a true sense of what major is best for you, personally, you will need to sit down and think about what your goals are after college. That way, it’s easier to find a major that will lead you towards those goals.

Besides information on your career prospects after graduating from a specific course, you can also find information on other courses on the website, if you plan to pursue another degree. You can find more information on the degrees page. I am confident that you and a few of your friends will find it useful. Please pass it along to them.