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.
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.
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.
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.
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.