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A bachelor of science in sociology is a degree focused on educating students on the human behavior of organizing into societies—groups that can be composed of members of families, organizations, cultures, races, and institutions. Sociologists seek to understand why these groups form, get a grasp of the dynamics within groups and between members, and learn to influence different social group behaviors.
What is a Degree in Sociology?
Sociology majors study society and societies—groups of individuals as small as two-person married couples to entire countries of people. By applying the methods of scientific observation, analysis, and research to different societies, sociologists can better understand the common behaviors, group dynamics, and methods of influence for these groups. Students study the philosophies of Karl Marx and Émile Durkheim, among others, and take courses in psychology, statistics, and political science.
While commonly thought of as a degree for individuals interested in nonprofit and government assistance roles, sociology is a more appropriate degree for business roles in marketing, market research, public relations, and other careers that require individuals to influence others. Sociologists apply the scientific method to gather insights about groups of individuals, and personalize communications and interactions with those groups to influence, engage, and attract desired audiences.
What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Sociology?
- Introduction to Sociology
- Social Problems
- Research Methods and Statistics
- Industrial Psychology
- Racial and Ethnic Relations
- History of Social Thought
- Political Sociology
- Economic Sociology
What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Sociology?
Historically, sociologists worked mostly in research roles, but changes in business has shifted this in recent years. Roles for careers with the title sociologist are in decline, but that doesn’t mean sociology majors are pursuing a worthless degree. A degree in sociology prepares students for many careers with thriving demands—such as public relations representative, human resources specialist, market researcher, and marketing manager—so there should be many career opportunities for graduates.
How Long does it take?
A bachelors in Sociology will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.
Online Sociology Degree
Online sociology degree programs are offered by many universities. Some of these programs are offered completely online while others require completing an internship at verified institutes. Students are required to complete 120 credit hours to earn the bachelor degree. There are also a number of online sociology master’s degree programs.
What Can You Do With a Sociology Degree?
Sociology is the study of social relationships, interactions and patterns and how these affect culture and everyday life. It also deals with studying the reasons behind social problems. Sociology is viewed as the general science of the society. Sociology uses empirical investigations and critical analysis to establish a vision regarding social change, acceptance, order or evolution. Sociology can be divided into major concentrations including social stratification, social mobility, religion, law, sexuality, gender and deviance. The demand for sociologists is growing in the recent years in an attempt to control or correct the social changes occurring due to the technological advances or other factors.
What does a sociology student learn?
Students in sociology academic programs learn a variety of liberal arts courses that provide the basis for establishing the concepts of sociology and research methods.
- Social science: this provides an introduction to the science including the definitions and different divisions of the science.
- Kinesiology: the scientific study of the human and non-human body movement. This includes studying the physiological, psychology and biomechanical aspects
- Economic sociology: this focuses on the effect of economy on the structure of the society.
- Organization, stratification and race: this deals with the divisions and groups of the society and the relations between them.
- Personality and social systems: studying the role of the individual and the differences between people in the formation of the society.
- Ethnicity which refers to grouping people based on having common national or cultural traditions as being Indian, Jewish or Asian.
- Social movements: they have a pivotal role in forming the current communities. Major social movements can be classified into alternative, redemptive, reformative, and revolutionary social movements. Civil rights movements and the feminist movement are examples for the major movements in the 20th century.
- Sociology of culture and religion: this focuses on the effect of the cultural and religious background of people on the structure and behavior of the society.
Now I have the sociology degree…where can I work after graduating?
Sociology graduates have better understanding of the society as a whole and the main factors affecting the behavior of communities. This can be considered very important and beneficial skill for a variety of jobs.
- Guidance counselor: they use their deep knowledge in sociology to provide counseling to students and their families in the academic field. They can organize group sessions to the students about social issues as drug abuse, safe sex and bullying.
- Human resources representative: studying sociology provides the skills needed to understand the employees’ needs, interactions and capabilities. You will have better ability to choose the right people for the job and to help the employee’s with their concerns.
- Management consultant: a company can also be viewed as a community that is managed by similar behavioral and social principles that are applied on higher levels.
- Media planner: studying the structure and behavior of a society helps you determine the best way to reach out to this society and market your values, services or products in the most effective way.
- Policy analyst: studying sociology is an advantage to evaluate the policies that can serve individuals and the community.
- Public relation specialist: all institutes or companies currently care about developing their public relations by responding in the most proper way to the community. Studying sociology can significantly improve your response.
- Social worker: studying sociology prepares the students in a suitable way to provide informed advices to clients.
- Research or social surveys: some of the students may choose to work in the academic field or social surveys which help develop good understanding of the society and the undergoing social changes.
Should I choose a sociology degree?
Studying sociology may not be very popular and it may be viewed by many people as an easy field of study. However, you should note that studying sociology is not as easy as it seems. It requires developing a set of skills that are essential for success:
- Critical thinking and problem solving: data and problems in sociology may be unclear compared to other sciences. Accordingly, students should have a critical mind that can determine the problem and analyze the data in a proper way.
- Communication skills: much of the sociology studies are related to dealing with people from the various levels and locations of the society. Accordingly, you are expected to have good communication skills for this purpose.
- Leadership: if you are going to provide advice to the people or set the social policies, then you should have leadership skills that can help you make your advice or decision effective and acceptable.
- Research and data analysis skills: most of the social studies are based on statistical survey of the society. This requires having critical analysis of the provided data to reach valid conclusions.
Best Jobs for Sociology Degrees
The advantage of a bachelor’s degree in sociology is its flexibility. Sociology program graduates can work their way into careers in many industries and are qualified for any role that requires an understanding of human and group behavior. Some work in marketing departments for startups or corporations, some earn graduate degrees in industrial psychology, and some work with individuals as HR specialists.
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