What kind of jobs can I get with a sociology major?
Common jobs for sociology majors include human resources specialist, government official, educator or teacher, social worker, researcher, and policy analyst. The skills and knowledge students get in sociology classes are transferable to many industries and sectors. Often, the best sociology jobs will depend on your own educational experiences as well as current market demand. Currently, many industries are hiring employees with sociology degrees.
Interviewing Professionals with Sociology Jobs
Applied Worldwide has published profile interviews with top professional sociologists to gather insight into sociology jobs. Thank you to all of our partners who helped us get in touch with these professionals. All of these partners are professional organizations with a focus in applied sociology, so they are all great resources for learning about sociology jobs.
- Sociologists for Women in Society
- Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
- British Sociological Association’s Applied Sociology Group
- Canadian Sociological Association’s Applied and Community Engaged Sociology Cluster
- American Sociological Association’s section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology
In these profiles, professionals discuss their sociology jobs and give advice for students. Learn more about the courses to take, readings to study, and the experiences to pursue in order to find yourself in a sociology job by browsing our collection of Profiles in Applied and Clinical Sociology.
Below we summarize some of these profiles to help answer some common questions like, “what type of sociology jobs exist?” or, “how can I become qualified for different sociology jobs? “
Sociology in the Health Industry
The health industry is vast, made up of a wide variety of organizations, including public health departments, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, advocacy groups, and more. Fortunately for sociology majors, many of these groups hire employees with sociology degrees. Sociological skills are incredibly valuable for conducting health-related research. Also, people with sociology degrees can help in positions designed to improve health outcomes for patients, improve care for marginalized groups, or improve implicit bias in pain medicine.
Applied Worldwide has published a preliminary second-domain analysis of sociology jobs in the healthcare industry that provides a useful introduction to the various roles sociologists play in the healthcare sector. We have also published various profile interviews with professional medical sociologists who work in the health industry.
Common advice from those professionals include gaining exposure to both clinical and community health settings, becoming familiar with health policies in your home country and abroad, and practicing the application of research methods, both qualitative and qualitative, through data collection and analysis.
Peruse the profiles listed below for more advice and insight from our interviews applied sociologists!
- Catherine van de Ruit, PhD: Applied Sociology and Patient Safety
- Austin H Johnson, PhD: Using Sociology to Improve Health Services for LGBTQ People
- Chloe E. Bird, PhD, FAAAS, FAAHB: Using Sociology to Address Sex and Gender Differences in Health Care
- Professor Robert Dingwall: Using Sociology to Offer Strategic Advice and Qualitative Evaluations
- Raeda Anderson, PhD: Using Sociology to Improve Technology and Health Outcomes for People with Disabilities
- Karen Albright, PhD: Using Sociology in Health Services Research
- Lorella Palazzo, PhD: Applying the Sociological Imagination to Improve Patient Outcomes
- Abdulkarim Umar, Mac: Using Sociology to Address Environmental Hazards in the Community
Sociology Jobs in Criminal Justice
The criminal justice system contains a number of organizations, many of which offer sociology jobs. Many sociology departments offer degree specifications or specialized sociology courses related to crime and criminal justice. Courses often focus on crime, deviance, criminology, and law and society. Taking courses on any of these subjects can be valuable for sociology jobs in criminal justice. Sociological skills are valuable to activist and non-profit organizations seeking social justice. Sociologists can also be involved in the legal process as paralegals, victim advocates, or law-makers.
Common advice from sociologists working within the criminal justice system includes working with marginalized communities, seeking out government and justice organization internships, and prioritizing research methods skills such as reporting results.
Browse the profiles listed below for more specific insight based on career paths and trajectories!
- James Frazier, LPC, CSOTP, CCS: Using Sociology in Sex Offender Treatment Programs
- Lauren Gant, MA: Using Sociology to Improve State-Level Criminal Justice Systems in Colorado
- Kate Butler, PhD: Using Sociology to Empower Young People to Realize their Rights
- Jackie Henke, PhD: Identifying and Interpreting Patterns in Data for the Superior Court of California
- Miriam Boeri, PhD: Using Sociology to Improve Services for People who use Drugs
- Johanna P. Bishop, EdD, CPT: Making Communities Resistant to Human Trafficking with Sociology
Sociology Jobs in Business
Business is an interesting sector of the economy for those seeking sociology jobs. As we alluded to in the introduction, sociological skills and knowledge are valuable in human resources, but many other opportunities exist in business for someone with a sociology degree. Sociologists have the skills and knowledge to become entrepreneurial and forge their own consulting practices. For example, sociologists can work in marketing, advertising, and branding.
We’ve interviewed sociologists working in business in a variety of ways, from family business advising to brand strategy. Common advice from those interviews includes seeking out experiences working on research projects for organizations/clients, building a knowledge base on sociology of work by taking courses on organization sociology and workplace studies, and practicing networking in professional settings through internships, jobs, and more.
View the profile interviews listed below for more insight on the ways sociologists are working in business and with businesses.
- Gina M. Finelli, PhD: Sociology and Family Business Advising
- Melissa Scardaville, PhD: Using Sociology in a Contract Research Firm
- Josh Packard, PhD: Using Sociology to Guide Organizational Strategy and Management
- Andrew C Cohen, PhD: Using Sociology in Advertising and Brand Strategy
- Anthony F. Buono, PhD: Using Sociology to Drive Organizational Change
- Gary David, PhD: Using a Systems Approach to Generate Analytical Insights and Design Solutions
Sociology Jobs in Education
There are many sociology jobs in education, partly because many with sociology degrees become teachers. This can range from early childhood education to college-level instruction, but there are also other sociology jobs in education. One example is positions designed to improve equity and inclusion in educational settings. Also, sociological skills are valuable in curriculum and program development.
From interviews with sociologists working in education at a variety of levels, a few pieces of advise stand out: taking interdisciplinary courses, prioritizing professional experiences off-campus with a variety of organizations, and seeking opportunities related to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Visit the profiles listed below for more advise on specific sociological careers in education.
- Mary Virnoche, PhD: Supporting Equity in Higher Education
- Jillian Lain: Using Sociology for Educational Program Development
- Melissa S. Fry, PhD: Using Sociology to Bring University Tools and Resources to her Community
- Teresa Crew, PhD: Applied Sociology and Diversity in Higher Education
- Bruce Ravelli, PhD: Teaching Applied Sociology
Sociology Jobs in Policymaking
Sociology jobs related to policy can be quite common partly because sociology majors are often exposed to different policies as well as techniques to conduct policy analysis.
Of the sociologists we have interviewed for our Profiles in Applied and Clinical Sociology series, three perform policy work. Common advice from those sociologists includes learning the ins and outs of grant-writing, becoming familiar with regional, national, and international policies, and seeking professional opportunities with government institutions.
Check out the profiles listed below for more advise on applying a sociology education to a career in policy!
- Dr. Maro Youssef: Using Sociology to Improve Foreign Policy
- Swakshadip Sarkar, MSc: Using Sociology to Understand how Policies Impact Women and Queer People
- Scott Davies, PhD: Informing Policy Decisions through Sociological Research
Sociology Jobs in the Tech Industry
With the continued advancement of the tech industry, sociological skills and knowledge are increasingly in demand in the tech industry. Tech companies are constantly having to adapt to social changes, which can create numerous job opportunities for people with sociology degrees. Public policy, user experience, corporate social responsibility, and privacy are all areas in tech that are in need of sociological specialization.
Below are a few articles we have published related to sociological careers and the tech industry.
- Sociologists, The Tech Industry Needs You!
- Analysis of Sociology Jobs in the Tech Industry
- From Digital Sociology to Data Science: Bridging the Divide between Social and Technical Sciences
What kind of jobs can a sociology major get?
A sociology major can get a wide variety of jobs! Of course there is room in HR and public service for people with sociology degrees, and those positions are important. But, there are also opportunities in healthcare, criminal justice, business, education, policy, tech, and more. Sociology majors can be entrepreneurial. Sociologists can be advocates. Sociologists can be researchers. Really, there are endless job opportunities for sociology majors and these opportunities will continue to grow as society and its social institutions continue to change.