Sociology is a wide subject, which means that students will have opportunities to choose the direction their sociology program takes, and even specialize in a specific field of interest after their first year of study.
Community and Youth Work
Community and youth development work focuses on social welfare among the young and the vulnerable, on both a local and a national level. These roles are closely involved with social politics, such as social care, education, community involvement, poverty, rehabilitation and healthcare. Examples of roles in community and youth work include: community officer, social worker, career youth worker, equality and diversity officer, and sports development officer.
Counseling and Therapy
Counselors and therapists can come from various backgrounds, such as a sociology background, even though a psychology degree is thought of as the more typical route. Counseling and therapy roles can mean working closely with a wide range of individuals – whether it be one-on-one, couples and/or groups – helping them talk, navigate, and overcome problems such as addiction, alcohol and substance abuse, family issues, psycho-social issues, eating disorders, and relationship problems. Note that a medical qualification should be considered for individuals who want to pursue a career in mental health.
For careers in primary and secondary education, a sociology degree can provide individuals who want to pursue the education route with relevant knowledge of education in society, as well as the child development process. A professional teaching qualification is also often required, usually taking one year to complete. For careers in higher education, a master’s degree is often a prerequisite, and often a PhD. Jobs can include being a lecturer, tutor, and researcher, with a focus on writing papers for publication in journals.
Potential public services jobs for sociology graduates could include roles in social and welfare services, public health services, the voluntary sector, criminal justice, probation and prison services, rehabilitation and housing services. Social researchers are also needed to track societal developments across the public service sector.
Individuals that have a degree in sociology typically have the strong analytical skills needed to make it in the business world, as well as the critical thinking skills needed to make connections and find solutions to business issues. Business careers can be found in virtually every industry - for example, marketing, statistics, research, public relations, recruitment, and human resources.
Since marketers focus on targeting messages to different sections of society, having a good knowledge of the complexity of human societies and behaviour is extremely helpful for those pursuing careers in marketing. Also, having an understanding of how to analyze different subsections within society can help create and target marketing campaigns, and identify the needs of different demographics.
Politics, Activism and Charity
Sociologists are able to question the status quo in society, in matters such as race, class and gender equality. For those that have a passion to make society better, careers choices can be within the charity sector, or within local and national politics.