What Can I Do with My Sociology Major?
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Students who decide to major in sociology will develop the critical understanding of the social and cultural forces that shape the human experience. Through the major, students will have the opportunity to explore 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 (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.
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. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:
Critical Thinking Skills
- Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
- Avoiding simplistic conclusions
- Perceiving patterns and structures
- Understanding components of complex problems
Effective Communication Skills
- Writing effectively
- Reading critically
- Conveying complex information
- Speaking to groups
- Presenting research findings
- Training others
- Planning projects
- Applying theoretical approaches to research problems
- Establishing hypotheses
- Working with research subjects
- Evaluating evidence
- Examining electronic data sources
Social and Cultural Relations Skills
- Understanding human relationships
- Appreciating relationships between groups and individuals
- Identifying cultural and social forces
- Understanding diversity
You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).
Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. _____
- Examined processes of urbanization under capitalism, economic restructuring in the transformation of cities, social interactions and conflict in contemporary cities, and the impact of globalization through weekly reflection papers and two analytical essays in SOCI 209 The City: Approaches to Urban Studies.
- Engaged in a service-learning project to (insert goals/achievements) in partnership with (insert organization) to advance environmental and food justice in Washington, D.C. in SOCI 274 CBL: Env/Food Justice Movements course.
- Investigated issues including human trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in illegal items, and other transnational crimes from a sociology and criminology perspective to (insert learning goals from course) in SOCI 597 Transnational Crime course.
Georgetown Alumni have taken their sociology degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in sociology across multiple disciplines.
Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report
“An underrated benefit of studying sociology is the wide range of course offerings. I feel like I was able to gain an understanding of the great variety of ways that sociology is studied through my courses. Also, sociology really emphasizes critical thinking and not taking the world as it is, but really delving deeply into the ways in which the world could change to be better. Additionally, critical reading and writing skills are honed in this major, which are helpful for many jobs.” – 2020 Georgetown College Graduate, Sociology and Psychology
“I would encourage anyone who is unsure about what they are interested in to study either psychology or sociology. I think both majors provide very important practical skills, such as critical thinking, reading, and writing, as well as deepen a person’s understanding of the world in ways that would be beneficial to any career.” – 2020 Georgetown College Graduate, Sociology and Psychology
“What I enjoyed most about my major was the diversity of classes. I felt like all of my interests could be developed within the major. I’ve always been interested in media, culture, social movements and theory and I took classes that covered all of the bases, taught by the best professors too.” – 2015 Georgetown College Graduate, Sociology
“Writing my sociology thesis prepared me for daunting tasks that involved organization and preparation over a course of months like studying and passing two bar exams. Critical reading skills and an understanding of what makes a culture help me be a better entertainment attorney to this day.” – 2015 Georgetown College Graduate, Sociology
Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google.
Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords.
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)
The Georgetown Sociology Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Sociology.
Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of sociology and learn more about what post grad life might look like.
- American Sociological Association
- International Sociological Association
- Association for Humanist Sociology
- Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
- Eastern Sociological Association
Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in Sociology. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field.
Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.
You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major.
Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.
Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate.
You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.
You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path.
Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier.
At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.