Sociologists are concerned primarily with the study of social behavior and social interactions. A degree in sociology can lead to a number of different career paths, including positions in the criminal justice system, the education system, employment with state and federal agencies or positions with private businesses and corporations. The knowledge and insight into human nature and social structure that a sociology degree provides can be utilized in many different fields.
Criminal Justice Professional
A degree in sociology provides an understanding of how humans behave and interact in social settings and this can be useful in pursuing a career in the criminal justice system. A background in sociology can be used to launch a career as a corrections officer, probation and parole agent, criminal investigator, police officer, FBI or CIA agent, Homeland Security worker, clerk of court, legal assistant, magistrate or bail agent.
Human Resources Specialist
Sociology majors can use their knowledge and skills as human resources professionals working for public or private agencies or corporations. Many companies employ human resources personnel as job recruiters, hiring and training specialists, conflict resolution specialists, administrative and support technicians and in managerial roles.
Human and Social Services Professional
A sociology background is highly useful to an individual who plans to pursue a career in a human services or social services field. Graduates can find employment with government and private agencies as mental health counselors, youth counselors, substance abuse rehabilitation specialists, advocates for special needs groups, social workers, child or adult services caseworkers and recreational therapists.
Sociology requires an understanding of group dynamics and thought and this can translate to a career as a research analyst for government agencies, private corporations, marketing and public relations firms, labor unions, political lobbies, non-profit and religious organizations and private research firms. Individuals employed in these positions may be asked to conduct social research, compile and analyze data and develop marketing and public relations schemes.
Sociology majors who are interested in environmental causes should also consider careers working with non-profit organizations and private environmental organizations. Graduates should consider positions as public health specialists, environmental research analysts, environmental advocates and community relations specialists.
Students with advanced degrees in sociology may consider positions as educators, either at the K through 12 level or as college instructors or professors. A sociology background may also equip students for careers as admissions specialists working in colleges or universities or administrative positions in local school systems.