Most people have heard the word sociologist but aren’t sure what it is, which is understandable because it’s one of the smallest occupations in the economy. Sociologists study the ways society affects the everyday decisions made by individuals, such as which foods to eat and which products to buy at the store.
What Do Sociologists Study?
People learn how to make these decisions when they’re growing up in the country they’re born in, and they’re influenced by everyone around them in the formative years of childhood. For example, people usually learn which foods to eat for breakfast from their families, but they receive similar information from their teachers, friends and friends’ families. Society as a whole is sending these messages to individuals, and sociologists study this phenomenon and the impact it has on individuals and groups.
Most sociologists do research for universities, governments and non-profit organizations to collect data that forms the basis for public policy. To do this kind of work, you typically need a PhD, but some jobs may also be available with only a master’s degree. Usually, sociology jobs available with a master’s degree are found in the government. If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you can still find work, but it won’t be in sociology research. Also, finding work won’t be straightforward because you’ll be applying for jobs that normally require a business degree, and you’ll be competing with other candidates who may have degrees in business or liberal arts.
The Benefits of a Sociology Degree
As a sociology graduate, you’ll have an advantage that most other liberal arts majors don’t have, which is experience conducting surveys and analyzing data. You’ll also have specialized knowledge in an area that is important to businesses, which is ethnic and cultural diversity. You can put this training to use immediately after getting a bachelor’s degree by entering the field of social work, but in this case, you won’t be called a sociologist. However, it would be a good beginning to a career if you plan to go to graduate school and research an area that deals with poverty, education, addiction or other social ills.
The academic field of sociology is quite small, consisting of only about 2,600 people, but it contains a lot of diversity in terms of which aspects of society are studied. You can specialize in subjects like health and illness, crime, sexuality, workplace behavior and other issues that affect people and society as a whole.
Growth in this field is strong compared to other occupations, but because it’s one of the smallest fields of research, only about 400 jobs are expected to be added over the next 10 years. That means that if more than 400 people get doctorates in sociology in the next 10 years, some of them will have to compete for positions made vacant by retiring professors. It’s also likely that many of these academic jobs will be part-time, so a lot of sociology professors will have to teach courses at several colleges. The increase in the number of online schools and junior colleges will also increase the number of part-time teaching jobs.
Sociology is an important profession that reveals many of the reasons people make everyday decisions, and it deals with questions that can’t be answered by psychology. If you’re interested in how society affects the lives of individuals, you may want to become a sociologist.