Careers with a Sociology Degree



The study of sociology is often perceived as a purely academic pursuit, largely because there are so few jobs relevant to this degree outside of teaching and research that are labeled under the category of ‘sociologist’.


This can make it rather difficult to imagine what your other career options are as a student of this field.


The reality is however, that the employable skills you’ll acquire are useful in a wide range of professional contexts. There are many roles outside of academia, such as in business, government, and non-profit work that are suitable for sociology graduates.


If you’re considering sociology as a major, or you’re a current student or recent graduate, you need to have a broad understanding of the different types of career paths that you can pursue with this degree. It’s also helpful to recognize the different skills a degree in this field can enable you to learn.


Below we’ve outlined all of this for you. We will show you what skills it can teach you, what careers you can pursue directly related to your degree, and what careers outside of sociology you can pursue with the general skills you’ll gain. 





Employable Skills for Sociology-Related Careers

Pursuing a degree in sociology will help teach you skills that can be applied to careers directly relevant to the field. These skills include:


• Familiarity with different sociological theories

• Able to recognize and demonstrate the relevance of sociological knowledge to social problems and public policy

• Able to develop and defend evidence based arguments

• Able to evaluate different research methods for specific research topics

• Able to effectively interpret and communicate the results of research reports

• Able to information and evidence, in writing and orally, for a range of audiences

• Training in various computer-based data analysis programs



Relevant Careers for a Sociology Degree

Careers most relevant to your sociology degree are typically those that are concerned with changing the current state of social life for the better.


This can include anything from increasing the health and wellbeing of a disadvantaged community group; working with law enforcement organizations to implement a rehabilitation program for criminal offenders; assisting in planning for natural disasters; and enhancing existing government programs and policies.


So, while many employers may not advertise jobs for ‘sociologists’, they might instead advertise for the various roles identified below:


• Adoption Services Worker

• Animal Rights Coordinator

• Child Care Worker

• Community Education Officer

• Community Involvement Animator

• Community Mobilization Director

• Community Planner

• Community Service Agency Worker

• Community Service Organization Manager

• Community Services Director

• Contractual Researcher

• Crime Victim Specialist

• Criminologist

• Cultural Administrator

• Cultural Advisor

• Cultural Affairs Officer

• Cultural Events Coordinator

• Demographic Researcher

• Discrimination Investigator

• Employee Relations Officer

• Equal Opportunity Officer

• Facilitator

• Family Support Worker

• Gerontologist

• Government Researcher

• Governmental Program Agent

• Group Home Worker

• Human Resources Manager

• Human Rights Activist

• International Aid Worker

• International Student Advisor

• LGBTQ Services Coordinator

• Market Researcher

• Marketing Consultant

• Multicultural Development Officer

• Multiculturalism Liaison Officer

• NGO Area Coordinator

• Penologist

• Political Consultant

• Political Organizer

• Poverty Researcher

• Probation Officer

• Public Opinion Interviewer

• Public Policy Planner

• Readjustment Coordinator

• Research Assistant

• Research Impact Officer

• Sales and Marketing Director

• Sexual Assault Educator

• Social Policy Researcher

• Social Researcher

• Social Scientist

• Social Services Coordinator

• Social Worker

• Sociologist

• Street Outreach Worker

• University Professor

• Urban Planner

• Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator


Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the specific requirements.





Other Skills Sociology Can Teach You

as a result of the general, 'transferable' skills you can gain by studying sociology, you can become a competent employee, or self-employed individual, in almost any industry. After all, for many employers, the skill set you bring to the table is much more important than the specific field your academic major was in.


So, while a sociology degree may not ‘get you a job’ per say, it does provide you with a skill set that makes you a valuable asset for any organization:


Research Abilities

• Conceptualize a sociology research project from start to finish

• Define question or issue to be researched and design a study to answer and understand it

• Collect data and draw conclusions based on the results

• Make recommendations based on conclusions

• Identify ethical issues in research methods


Cross-cultural Awareness and Understanding

• Sensitivity to racial, ethnic and gender differences in values and perceptions

• Ability to operate within the context of cultural and other diversities

• Global perspective and high levels of intercultural awareness


Problem Solving Skills

• Excellent critical thinking abilities

• Ability to view problems from a variety of standpoints

• Ability to discern relationships between individuals and the social processes within which they operate


Communication Skills

• Develop, research and write organized sociological studies and reports

• Use computer programs to create graphs, tables and diagrams

• Excellent passive communications skills in observation and listening

• Ability to express yourself in a clear, concise and effective manner


Success Tip: Be aware, that in a cover letter or an interview, you should be prepared to explain how your skills are a great fit for the job.



Indirectly Relevant Careers

Just because you graduated with a sociology degree does not mean you’re limited to careers that are directly relevant to the field. The general skills you’ll acquire are useful in a wide range of outside professions, including:


• Account Manager

• Airline Customer Service Agent

• Anthropologist

• Assistant Personnel Officer

• Blogger

• Career Counselor

• Collections Manager

• Customer Service Representative

• Department Manager

• Director of University Admissions

• Director of Youth Development

• District Sales Manager

• Education Abroad Counselor

• Election Officer

• Elementary School Teacher

• Event Planner

• Executive Assistant

• Field Service Agent

• Flight Attendant

• Fundraising Administrator

• Funeral Director

• High School Teacher

• Historian

• Journalist

• Lawyer

• Legal Advisor

• Lobbyist

• Marriage Counselor

• Mayor

• Mediator

• Mentoring Coordinator

• Police Officer

• Political Campaign Manager

• Political Campaign Officer

• Project Supervisor

• Public Information Specialist

• Realtor

• Retail Sales Associate

• Sales Representative

• Student Activities Programming Board Director

• Suicide Prevention Services Director

• Surveillance Officer

• Tour Guide

• Tourism Researcher


Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the specific requirements.



Consider an Advanced Degree

An advanced degree (such as a professional, master’s or doctoral degree) enables you develop highly specialized knowledge. This can open the doors to careers that aren’t accessible with only an undergraduate degree, including many research, counseling, consulting and teaching positions.


A Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology serves as excellent preparation for further study in various academic fields. If you are considering a career in the field of sociology, then you should strongly consider further study. This may be in the form of a graduate degree in sociology or a related field, which could include:


• Anthropology

• Criminology

• Gender and Women’s Studies

• International Development Studies

• Political Science

• Public Administration


If you are interested in careers that are more loosely related to sociology, or not related at all, you should consider a professional or graduate degree in one of the following fields:


• Law

• Nursing

• Education

• Psychology

• Business administration

• Journalism






Typical Salary of Sociology Graduates

The salary you could earn as a sociology graduate first entering the workforce is very difficult to determine, and can vary drastically based on a number of factors including (not an inclusive list):


• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued

• Other skills you may have


Sociology Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $43,468 CAD* is the average salary earned by Social Science graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.


*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences, not specifically for sociology graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.



Sociology Scholarships

If you’re looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to your field of study, those for arts students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.



Professional Associations 

To find out more about what you can do with your degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.



Canadian Association of Social Workers

Canadian Council of Child and Youth Care Associations

Canadian Sociological Association


United States

National Association of Social Workers

The American Sociological Association



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