Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Like most humanities and social sciences courses, sociology degrees do not prepare students for a clearly defined career. However, a degree in sociology does provide a broad set of transferrable skills valued by employers across many different employment sectors. For those who do want to put their sociology background to more specific use, popular jobs for sociology majors include:

Social work jobs
Social work refers to a fairly broad group of roles all focused on trying to improve the quality of life for those classed as ‘disadvantaged’ in some way within a society. Social work jobs are typically found within governments and local authorities, community groups and charities. Roles may be based on research, organization and management, administration, or direct contact with individuals and groups. Key issues for social workers include: drug abuse, mental health problems, physical and learning disabilities, homelessness, child protection and school attendance.

Counselling jobs
Sociology graduates may also consider counselling jobs, which typically involve providing one-on-one (or group) consultations, allowing clients to talk through problems and challenges. Many counsellors specialize in offering help for a particular type of problem (such as relationship counselling or addiction counselling), and also in a particular style of counselling provision. Employers include charities, government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and independent counselling services.

Probation and prison service jobs
Sociology graduates with an interest in crime and punishment may pursue probation and prison service jobs. Roles here may be administration-based, or centred on direct contact with offenders. Prison officers work within prisons to supervise daily activities, while probation officers work with offenders serving non-custodial sentences or recently released from prison. Tasks could include assessing the risk of re-offence, providing training and advice, and maintaining regular records and reviews.

Community development jobs
Whereas social work roles focus more on supporting individuals and families, community development jobs aim to improve quality of life for larger groups. This could mean focusing on a specific geographical area, or on a group of people within that area, and running projects to bring about positive changes. Examples could include projects to overcome problems relating to unemployment, social tension, or access to resources. Typical tasks include fundraising and managing a budget, organizing events, mediating between different groups, providing training and coordinating various activities and stakeholders.

These are just a few of the many sectors in which sociology graduates may put their skills and knowledge to use. Others may enter careers in politics, local government, law or media, or perhaps put their strong numerical skills to use in the financial sector or a role based on statistical research. With a broad skill set, there’s certainly plenty of choice.