What Can I Do with My Sociology Major?

Overview

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since almost all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges greatly. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge (American Sociological Association, 1999).

Social and cultural perspectives are crucial for success in today’s multicultural and multinational work environments. Because of this, a background in sociology is valuable preparation for careers in virtually every modern organizational setting. Graduates apply their knowledge and skills across a wide variety of occupations and professions; they are also prepared for graduate and professional school programs in areas such as law, public policy, business, government, social work, or psychology.

Skills

The study of sociology allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.

Research

  • Planning projects
  • Applying theoretical approaches to research problems
  • Establishing hypotheses
  • Working with research subjects
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Examining electronic data sources

Critical Thinking

  • Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
  • Avoiding simplistic conclusions
  • Perceiving patterns and structures
  • Understanding components of complex problems

Communication

  • Writing effectively
  • Reading critically
  • Conveying complex information
  • Speaking to groups
  • Presenting research findings
  • Training others

Social and Cultural Relations

  • Understanding human relationships
  • Appreciating relationships between groups and individuals
  • Identifying cultural and social forces
  • Understanding diversity

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • Communications (e.g., library work, information management, journalism, and public relations)
  • Criminal Justice (e.g., police service, corrections, services to courts, public defender’s office)
  • Education (e.g., teaching, educational research, and administration)
  • Government (e.g., U.S. Census Bureau, Library of Congress, Congress, Department of Justice)
  • Human Services (e.g., social work, counseling, recreation, community work, public administration, and environmental planning, Friendship Volunteers, American Red Cross)
  • Research and Data Management (e.g., public and private research positions, programming, and systems analysis, Urban Institute, National Research Council)

Where are Georgetown Sociology Majors Now?

  • Policy analyst
  • Lawyer
  • Urban planner
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Community organizer
  • Program manager
  • Career counselor
  • Physician
  • Teacher
  • Training coordinator
  • Human resource manager
  • Market researcher
  • Financial investment analyst
  • Industrial sociologist
  • Government relations associate
  • Survey research scientist
  • Paralegal
  • Statistician
  • Legislative assistant
  • Research analyst
  • Mediation associate
  • Public health researcher
  • Demographer
  • Public health educator
  • Professor
  • Affirmative action officer
  • Student services sdministrator
  • Secret service agent
  • Interior design expert
  • Caseworker
  • Consultant

Relevant Websites and Publications

Professional Organizations

For more information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, contact the Department of Sociology at 597 ICC, (202) 687-3658.