What are the Different Sociology Careers?

D. Jeffress

Sociology is the scientific study of present-day human societies, cultures, and group behaviors. Sociologists attempt to explain human activities through careful observation and analysis of behavior. Since sociology is such a broad field, there are many different areas for specialization in terms of subject matter and motives for conducting research. Most sociology careers are found in government and political organizations, crime labs, and universities.

Sociology lecturers may be responsible for tutoring students.
Sociology lecturers may be responsible for tutoring students.

Many sociologists try to understand ongoing political and economic turmoil in hopes of uncovering solutions or better strategies. Sociology careers in the political realm may be found with nonprofit organizations, human rights lobbyist groups, and different levels of government. Experts commonly conduct research about the living conditions of people on a local or national scale. They might take census surveys, conduct personal interviews, or perform extensive historical research using the Internet and public records. Sociologists gather and organize their data to create reports and offer recommendations to lawmakers.

People with a sociology degree may have a career focusing on helping at-risk youths.
People with a sociology degree may have a career focusing on helping at-risk youths.

Law enforcement agencies and crime labs offer several options to people seeking sociology careers. Criminology is a branch of sociology that attempts to explain criminal behavior as it relates to society. Experts in the field analyze criminal activity in order to understand its causes and social impacts. Some professionals aid in investigations, using their knowledge of behavioral patterns to identify offenders and bring them to justice. Additionally, criminologists might study the behaviors of inmates in order to analyze the effectiveness of prison systems.

Sociologists might study the behaviors of inmates in order to analyze the effectiveness of prison systems.
Sociologists might study the behaviors of inmates in order to analyze the effectiveness of prison systems.

Sociology careers at colleges and universities entail teaching courses related to the field. Students majoring in different social sciences can benefit from taking sociology classes, as the principles of the subject apply to several academic disciplines. Sociology studies are especially relevant to people pursuing degrees in psychology, counseling, anthropology, and political science. Professors explain the principles of historical research, ethnography, and ethics as they pertain to understanding different cultures and societies.

Some sociologists might examine and try to help those living in extreme poverty.
Some sociologists might examine and try to help those living in extreme poverty.

Depending on a person's specialty, sociology careers require different levels of education and experience. A professional in a law enforcement, government, or political institution must usually obtain at least a bachelor's degree in sociology. To work as a counselor or social worker, a master's degree is most often required, along with fulfilling certification requirements. Independent researchers and university professors typically hold doctoral degrees.

Most sociology careers are found in government and political organizations, crime labs and universities.
Most sociology careers are found in government and political organizations, crime labs and universities.

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Discussion Comments

visionary

@donbri5--A criminologist can earn upwards of $40,000 annually. It can get as high as $80,000. As with most careers, the more education you have, the higher the salary.

Most sociology careers earn about the same, with it getting higher once you earn a Doctorate degree.

donbri5

Great information! I was trying to figure out what career field I could study and include my interest of people watching!

Does any one know what a sociologist earns? I am especially interested in criminology.

anon129348

This is a perfect article for this time.

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