If you are interested in sociology, but you’re not sure how well that translates to a career path, don’t worry! Sociology is an incredibly versatile major — more so than you might think. You learn a great deal about interacting with different kinds of people, and in upper level courses, you’ll also get practice in both the science-research side of things, and the social-humanities side of things.

If you’ve fallen in love with sociology, here are five great career paths for you.  For additional information, visit the American Sociological Association.

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This one comes with a pretty decent salary – around $70,000 in the U.S. — and an average job outlook. Most sociologists are researchers who spend time analyzing society and social behaviors.

They sometimes do field research around the world, but often work at universities and spend time publishing their research in books and articles. This is the perfect path for a lifelong scholar who can imagine being happy with research and writing.

Social Worker

This is the position for the quiet activist within. If you want to make a difference in the world without marching through the streets or sending endless petitions through email, consider becoming  a social worker. You must be strong, because you will see a lot of sad and difficult scenarios.

You won’t be paid handsomely for your service, but you’ll certainly make a difference in many lives. Social work involves removing children from unsafe homes, helping adults with addiction problems enter and complete rehab programs, and lots and lots of paperwork.

Human Resources Manager

HR managers have surprisingly challenging jobs as well, but they normally get compensated accurately for them. While you might have to hire and fire people, you’ll also have the option to work in a wide array of industries, because nearly every company has a human resources department.

Your pay will likely relate to the industry in which you work, but the job outlook for the next 6-7 years is growing above average.

Market Researcher

This is somewhat like behind-the-scenes marketing, and is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or consumers. This skillset translates to obvious industries, such as fashion and food, but also covers things such as the film industry and political campaigns.

A market researcher is the one who does all the work to let businesses and film studios know that X+Y+Z = profits.

Human Service Specialist or Assistant

These are the people who run the groups that come in to save communities in one way or another. In this position, you would work for a public or government agency in a leadership role to formulate plans and policies to rebuild or renovate a community.

Additionally, many involved in public health and safety work for nonprofits, charities, and government organizations to help community members interact with social and health services. You might work with clinics or SNAP EBT organizations. This is for the outgoing type of sociology major — one with excellent people skills and lots of patience! (Also not the best choice for those with hefty loans, as this job is usually a bit lower on the pay scale.)


Image: Joëlle Tahindro