1 A Guide to Career Options: What Can I do with a Bachelor s Degree in Sociology Entry Level Positions for Sociology Majors General Job Areas: Alumni, Admissions, Financial Aid, etc. offices Employee Relations Nonprofit Organizations Administration Employment Agencies Office Assistant Advertising Event Planning Policy Analysis Advocacy Government Services Probation Agencies Banking Health Care Organizations Programming Case Management Human Resources Public Policy Child Life Specialist Human Services Public Relations Community Organizations Law Enforcement Recruiting Community Service Rehabilitation Programs Law Firms Consulting Research Management Customer Service Department Marketing Social Science Research Departments Demography Mass Media Organizations Social Service Agencies Developmental Organizations Mental Health Services Social Work Education Military Service Substance Abuse
2 Job Descriptions General Job Areas: Alumni, Admissions, Financial Aid, etc. offices: Alumni relations, offices of admission, financial aid offices, etc. all have numerous people within the department working together. Often times, there are multiple divisions of different departments with different people filling each role. Administration: Those working with administration typically work within a team handling payroll, records management, scheduling, and reception services. Often times, administration oversees tasks completed by an office or staff. Advertising: Working with advertising can include many different tasks. Someone with a Sociology degree working in the field of advertising might help research and decide how to direct different advertisements toward specific demographics and how to make those advertisements useful. Advocacy: Advocates publicly support people by speaking for, or on behalf of others. Advocates often act as a liaison between individuals or groups of people by making things clearer for others and helping them speak exactly what they are trying to convey. Banking: The purpose of banks is to help others with the process of securing, borrowing and lending money. Typically, banking would include jobs such as a teller or customer service employee. With advance degrees, a person can manage more intricate financial matters with individual clients. Case Management: A case manager works with specific groups of people and provides them with different services they might need. They assess these individuals and direct their cases to a specialist who may help them (psychiatrists, health care workers, etc.). Child Life Specialist: Child Life Specialists work within hospitals and work with children and their families to develop coping strategies for dealing with illness. Specialists not only provide activities to distract them from their sickness but also help educate them about their illnesses. Community Organizations: Working with community organizations could include creating new organizations, facilitating organizations, or overseeing the operations of organizations. Community Service: Community Service is the act of participating in activities that will help a specific group with issues they might be facing. These acts can include cleaning streets and parks, building homes for others, or volunteering at various types of shelters. Directors of these programs work to make sure specific tasks are carried out including securing volunteers to complete the community service and providing individuals with the help that they need. Consulting: Consultants work with businesses or groups to improve their overall well-being. By analyzing and discussing the ways in which the establishments are run, consultants then create an overall plan for changes and improvements.
3 Customer Service Department: Working with a Customer Service Department helps to ensure that the needs of others are being met. As a Sociology major, a person can help assess and research what changes and improvements should be made to meet the specific needs of different demographics. Demography: Demographers work to study different groups and cultures to determine different trends and developments within a society. Demographers often work for the government or other large social organizations to analyze the overall activities of a group of people. Developmental Organizations: Those working with Developmental Organizations work with businesses and organizations to improve the overall structure of the establishment. By analyzing the programs and activities of the business or organization, a plan for further development can be created. Education: Many students who complete a Bachelor s degree in Sociology go on to earn a Graduate degree in Sociology or other fields of interest. Employee Relations: Employee Relations aims to create satisfactory conditions and morale between employees and employers by creating open communication and the successful management of employees. Employment Agencies: Employment Agencies gather information about different jobs and opportunities and extend these resources to those seeking job assistance. Additionally, Employment Agencies help companies fill empty positions using a database consisting of job seekers. Event Planning: Event Planners help plain social, professional, and other gatherings for individuals or organizations. Typically, event planners stick to specific types of gatherings (parties, weddings, corporate gatherings) but others plan a variety of different events. Government Services: Government Services can include jobs such as campaigning, administration, and development of different government sectors (office of the mayor, secretary of state, etc.). Health Care Organizations: Health Care Organizations work with individuals to determine prevention, cause, treatment, and management of mental or physical illnesses and offer programs and assistance catered directly toward the specific needs of the individual. Human Resources: Human Resources is a term that is often used to describe administrative tasks along with planning or carrying out projects and tasks. These tasks can include hiring and firing, training, and other administrative tasks that deal directly with employees and the overall organization of a company or organization. Often times, those who are interested in Human Resources complete an Industrial/Organizational Psychology degree as well as their Sociology degree. Human Services: Those working with Human Services provide services for people in order to better their quality of life. Human Services can include Social Workers, Case Managers, Community Outreach Workers, etc. to ensure that a client s needs are assessed and improvements are made to help others improve their overall happiness and well being in life. Law Enforcement: Law Enforcement typically includes police officers, lawyers, and judges. Professions such as lawyers and judges require further education, thus many undergraduate Sociology majors go on to law school in order to achieve these careers.
4 Law Firms: Outside of Lawyers, many other positions make up Law Firms. Law clerks, legal aids and legal secretaries all work together to research and create cases that will help those who are prosecuting/defending cases. This research can include looking at past legal cases, interviewing those involved with the specific case, and gathering as much information as possible that will benefit the current case. Management: Management deals with the overall supervision of employees to ensure that the needs of customers are met and the overall structure of the organization or business runs smoothly. Marketing: Similar to advertising, Sociologists dealing with marketing work to direct different marketing strategies to the targeted demographics that will most likely be influenced by them. Mass Media Organizations: Mass Media is media used to reach out to large groups of people. This can include TV, news and newspapers, radio, etc. Those working with mass media organizations might work with producing these forms of media, or work to direct media to the demographic it is intended to influence or inform. Mental Health Services: Mental Health Service employees help with educating, counseling, and assisting those with mental health issues and those around them. Along with therapeutic techniques, Mental Health employees work with others in various fields including health specialists, psychologists, etc. to ensure quality care is given to their clients. Military Service: It is very common for individuals to join military services before, during or after college. By joining the military, people often earn money toward their college degree. Additionally, many colleges and universities have ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) which is a program to help prepare college students in becoming commissioned officers. Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit Organizations aim to provide public and private help to people without gaining any monetary profit. These organizations can range in a variety of things such as shelters, educational programs, research projects, and many others. Office Assistant: Office Assistants typically help with administrative duties including filing, answering phones, and inputting pieces of information into a database. However, often times the duties of an Office Assistant change on a daily basis in relation to what tasks the employer needs assistance with. Policy Analysis: Policy Analysis determines which policies or alternative policies are best suited for companies and organizations. By analyzing each potential policy and creating new potential policies, analysts work to create the best approach based on the company or organizations needs. Probation Agencies: Probation Agencies consist of probation and parole officers who work with those on parole and supervise them during their probation period. This includes making sure they complete all tasks given to them during any court dates and keeping track of what that person is doing and where they are located. Programming: Programming includes designing and planning programs for different businesses and organizations. This can include making a list of instructions to give to those involved or directly helping with the follow through of the designed program. Public Policy: Many sociology majors go on to work with jobs involving public policy. Public Policy is the
5 act of working with the formation and structure of public laws and policies, especially with the lobbying of those laws that have not yet been created. Public Relations: Public Relations aim to build and maintain positive relationships between companies and organizations (hospitals, schools, businesses, etc.) and the public. In order to keep these relationships strong, those working with public relations create programs and activities to keep communication open between the organizations and the public. Recruiting: Recruiters work to fill positions within companies with the people best suited for the needs of that company. By examining the needs of individual companies and those seeking employment, recruiters are able to determine which individuals are right for specific positions. Rehabilitation Programs: Rehabilitation Programs work with individuals to help restore physical and mental health through educational programs and therapeutic exercises. Research: Research can be done on anything, anywhere. A health services research study might involve different techniques available for dieting, exercise, or overall healthy living. Social Science Research Departments: Those working in a social science department cater their research toward specific social sciences (studying psychological, philosophical, sociological, etc. fields). Social Service Agencies: There are many types of social service agencies. These agencies can include adult services, aid programs (food stamps, cash management assistance, etc.) family services, and many others. Working with a Social Service Agency can include working directly with individuals and families to help find the resources that they need help obtaining. Social Work: Social Workers deal with specific cases and help individuals or groups improve their daily lives. This can include providing coping strategies, helping others work through relationship problems, or helping change situations that will improve the overall well-being of a person s life. Substance Abuse: Someone working with those who suffering from substance abuse can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, social service agencies, etc. with a variety of different people. Facilitating activities, small groups, or one-on-one discussions are all common things within substance abuse programs.
6 Law and Society Area: (A minor in Psychology or a concentration in Juvenile Justice would be helpful.) Administrative Manager Law School Paralegal Advocate Legal Clerk Police Officer Government Services Legal Recruiter Probation Officer Health and Health Services Area: (A minor in Liberal Arts would be helpful i.e. Biological Studies, Psychology, etc.) Adolescent Health Immigration Programs Research Community Health Mental Health Services Sexual Health In Home Care Public Health Organizations Substance Abuse Cultural Studies: (A minor in Diaspora studies, LGBT studies, or Religious studies would be helpful.) Advocate LGBT awareness Sports Anthropology Programs Office of Diversity Student Advocacy and Community Relations Department Education Research Youth Ministries Job Descriptions Law & Society Area: Administrative Manager: Administrative Managers often organize and manage operations staff. Typical duties include handling payroll, records management, scheduling, and reception services. Advocate: Advocates publicly support people by speaking for, or on behalf of others. A Law and Society advocate might speak of others legal rights and issues. Government Services: Government Services can include jobs such as campaigning, administration, and development of different government sectors (office of the mayor, secretary of state, etc.). Law School: Upon receiving a degree with a Law & Society concentration, students may choose to attend Law School in hopes of working as a lawyer. Legal Clerk: Legal Clerks assist lawyers and judges with research, preparing court documents, and other needs that they may have.
7 Legal Recruiter: Legal Recruiters use their knowledge of the law to help others with job and education searches related to law. Paralegal: Paralegals, similar to legal clerks, work even more closely to lawyers. They assist with research by looking at past and present cases for help with new cases. They also make sure all facts collected for specific cases are accurate. Police Officer: Police Officers enforce laws of their local and national jurisdiction. Probation Officer: When people commit a crime, they are sometimes given probation as part of their punishment. A probation officer makes sure that those on probation follow their expectations and complete any tasks that they were assigned during their punishment. Health and Health Services Area: Adolescent Health: Those working with Adolescent Health programs often deal with teens and preteens and how they can achieve overall healthy lifestyles. Those working with adolescent health often facilitate groups and programs as means of reaching out to teens about the importance of healthy living. Community Health: Community Health educators work to promote healthy living by educating individuals and communities on ways to prevent and treat illnesses and educating them about health related topics. Topics can range from how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, to binge drinking in college students, to how to complete breast cancer self-examinations. In Home Care: People who assist with In Home Care can have a variety of different positions. Students with a concentration in health services can help assist elderly (at their homes or assisted living centers), assist those with disabilities, or other demographics that need assistance. Students with a Health and Health Services concentration can even move on to nursing school and become hospice nurses. Immigration Programs: Immigration programs help individuals and families with the immigration process and the steps required completing the process. Mental Health Services: Mental Health Service employees help with educating, counseling, and assisting those with mental health issues and those around them. Along with therapeutic techniques, Mental Health employees work with others in various fields including health specialists, psychologists, etc. to ensure quality care is given to their clients. Public Health Organizations: Those who work in Public Health Organizations educate people about healthy living. This can include mental, physical, or spiritual health. Although not a licensed nutritionist or personal trainer, Public Health Organizations can still educate people on what should be done to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Research: Research can be done on anything, anywhere. A health services research study might involve different techniques available for dieting, exercise, or overall healthy living. Sexual Health: Working in the sexual health field often includes educating others on safe sexual practices. Working within this field might also include how to prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases.
8 Substance Abuse: Someone working with those who are suffering from substance abuse can work in a variety of places with different people. Facilitating activities, small groups, or one-on-one discussions are all common things within substance abuse programs. Cultural Studies Area Advocate: Advocates publicly support people by speaking for, or on behalf of others. A Cultural Studies Advocate might speak for those having racial, sexual, or religious issues. Anthropology Programs: Those working with Anthropology often research and study events, achievements, human behavior and the relationships between groups of people. More specifically, anthropologists (and their teams) study the overall development and behavior in human beings. Education: With a cultural studies concentration, someone can further their education by attending graduate school for advanced studies (International Studies, Diaspora Studies, etc.). Additionally, some may choose to facilitate educational programs on topics such as cultural awareness and diversity. LGBT Awareness: LGBT Awareness could include facilitating programs to educate youth, parents, and communities on LGBT issues and their effects on people outside of the LGBT community and those around them. Office of Diversity: Someone working in an Office of Diversity or similar program for diversity might focus on the promotion of the importance of diversity in a workplace or community through educational programs and other resources. Research: Participating with research in Cultural Studies might include researching places, people, and communities around the world or within an individual society. Sports: A person with a Cultural Studies concentration studies the history and importance of sports within a society. One might choose to become a coach, instructor, or educator for sports organizations within a school or community center. Student Advocacy and Community Relations Department: Someone working in Student Advocacy would work to ensure that students are treated fairly and given the treatment that they deserve. This could include working with a Judicial Board. This person would also work to ensure that students have an open relationship with the community. Youth Ministries: Working in Youth Ministries, one might serve as a Youth Group Leader, plan youth events within a church, or work with a school or community in relations to religious events.
9 Master s and Doctoral Level Careers in Sociology and Related Areas Corrections Services Counseling Demographic Studies Education Human Resources Human Services Law Enforcement Mass Media Organizations Nonprofit Organizations Public/Private Administration Research Social Service Agencies Urban Planning Youth Organizations Job Descriptions Master s and Doctoral Level Related Areas: Corrections Services: Corrections Services includes probation officers, parole officers, etc. who work with people to ensure that they do not continue breaking laws once they have been sentenced for a crime and have completed or are in the process of completing their punishment for the given crime. Counseling: Counselors help people with their personal, family, or social problems by offering advice and guidance with the issues that they are facing. Not only do counselors help individuals personally, they also offer other programs or activities that might benefit them in overcoming their difficulties. Demographic Studies: Demographers and others, who study different groups of people, often work for the government or other large social organizations. They aim to study specific types of people (large social groups, communities, businesses, etc.). Some Demographers might choose to study trends, problems, or overall activities of a population. Education: With a Graduate degree in Sociology, many go on to teach in high schools or universities. Human Resources: Human Resources is a term that is often used to describe administrative tasks along with planning or carrying out projects and tasks. These tasks can include hiring and firing, training, and other administrative tasks that deal directly with employees and the overall organization of a company or organization. Often times, those who are interested in Human Resources complete an Industrial/Organizational Psychology degree as well as their Sociology degree. Human Services: Those working with Human Services provide services for people in order to better their quality of life. Human Services can include Social Workers, Case Managers, Community Outreach Workers, etc. to ensure that a client s needs are assessed and improvements are made to help others improve their overall happiness and well being in life.
10 Law Enforcement: Those working in Law Enforcement aim to make sure local and national laws are obeyed among their jurisdiction for the safety of those living in those communities. Mass Media Organizations: Mass Media is media used to reach out to large groups of people. This can include TV, news and newspapers, radio, etc. Those working with mass media organizations might work with producing these forms of media, or work to direct media to the demographic it is intended to influence or inform. Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit Organizations aim to provide public and private help to people without gaining any monetary profit. These organizations can range in a variety of things such as shelters, educational programs, research projects, and many others. Those with advanced degrees not only work with nonprofit organizations but many form their own organization directed toward their field of interest. Public/Private Administration: Those working with administration coordinate services in order to ensure that businesses and organizations can operate smoothly and efficiently. In addition, those working in administration manage secretarial tasks such as payroll, office event planning, ordering needed materials, and records management. An administrative team can consist of one or many people depending on how large the business or organization is. Research: Research can be done during and after all levels of education. However, during and after Graduate programs, research can become more extensive and intense. Those with Graduate degrees often narrow their research to one particular field rather than multiple research studies. Social Service Agencies: There are many types of social service agencies. These agencies can include adult services, aid programs (food stamps, cash assistance, etc.) family services, and many others. Working with a Social Service Agency could include working directly with individuals and families to find the resources that they need help obtaining. Urban Planning: Urban planners develop both long and short term plans for revitalizations and improvements of communities in regards to social health, environmental issues, economic problems, land issues and other concerns that should be addressed. They then work with others in executing these plans to ensure that problems are fixed and that people follow through with steps needed in order to solve the issues presented. Youth Organizations: Youth Organizations can consist of numerous programs and have many purposes. Some organizations might be directed toward religious experiences, others could be rehabilitation or overall life improvement, or a place where youth can go and socialize with other youth. Working at one of these organizations may include planning programs and activities for the youth or acting as supervision for them.
11 Internship Position Titles: Peer Career Advisor Development Research Intern Press and Public Affairs Intern Research Assistant Sales and Marketing Associate Intern Consumer Services Intern Online Marketing Intern Juvenile Courts Intern Child Life Specialist Intern Administrative Assistant Loan Administration Intern Communications/Event Intern Technology Analyst Intern Museum Communication Intern Legal Clerk Intern *In order to search for more internship titles, you can visit DePaul s erecruiting website at
12 Alumni Sharing Knowledge is a great way to connect with DePaul Alumni for career advice and support. ASK mentors provide services such as: Career Mentoring Practice Interviews Job Test Drive Networking The following is a list of employers represented by Sociology Alumni. Search for other career mentors at depaul.erecruiting.com. Action for Children Advocate Masonic Behavioral Services Chicago Board of Education Deloitte Tax LLP East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy Advanced Resources Barrington Medical Imaging Chicago Police Department DePaul University Jacobson Group The following job titles are examples of those held by Sociology Alumni and/or those currently working in the field: Parent Resource Specialist Recruiter Child and Family Therapist General Manager Police Agent Senior Consultant Manager, Research and Development Researcher Sales and Marketing Associate, Sociology Professor PhD Student Human Resources Recruiter Video Court Reporting President/Vice President Branch Banker IT Risk Management Technology Psychotherapist Manager, New Business Development Assistant Appellate Defender
13 Online Resources: American Sociological Association: Job Search Websites: Career Center s erecruiting website: Collegegrad.com: CollegeRecruiter.com: Careeronestop.org: Careerbuilder.com: Indeed.com: Salary Links: Salary.com: Wage web: NACE Salary Survey 2008: Indeed.com s Salary Search: Monster.com s Salary and Benefits Information: Vault.com s Salaries and Compensation: Collegegrad.com s Salary Information: Careeronestop.org s Salary Information: DePaul Organizations: Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society o Honor Society specifically for Sociology majors. DePaul Community Service Association (DCSA) o For students interested in cultural studies, DCSA would provide experience with multiple demographics. Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law Fraternity) o The Law and Society concentration is often of interest to Pre-Law students. Phi Alpha Delta prepares Pre-Law students by providing things such as preparations for the LSAT and Law school.
14 DePaul University Library Resources: You can find numerous other sources by visiting the DePaul University Libraries or viewing their webpage: Friedman N.L., and Olson, F.M. (1971). Post-Degree Careers of Master s Recipients in Sociology. American Sociological Association. Richard, S.W. (2004). Careers in Sociology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Schaefer, R.T. (2005). Sociology. Boston: McGraw-Hill (Professor Schaefer is a Sociology Professor at DePaul University). United States Career Guide Publisher-Mobile Alabama: Going Global What do Employers Look For in Sociology Majors? There are 3 main things that employers look for in Sociology majors: 1. Competence- Employers look for people who are knowledgeable of the field, and possess the qualities needed for their particular field. 2. Dependability- Employers look for dependability, someone they can trust. This means completing all tasks, arriving on time, being held accountable, etc. Employers seek someone who they can depend on to get the job done. 3. Direction- Knowing what you want out of a job and what you can do for an employer is key. Employers want someone who has ideas and recognizes potential things to be accomplished.
15 Getting Started- 4 Steps: 1. Know Yourself Think about what has attracted you to International Relations and why it is the right major for you. It is important that you think about who you are, what you like, and what is important to you when thinking about why you have chosen International Relations as a major. What are your interests? What are your skills and abilities? What values are important to you in choosing a major and career? How does your personality relate to choosing a major and career options? 2. Explore and Choose Options: Once you have chosen International Relations as a major, ask yourself these questions: What are all of the available concentrations within International Relations? What are the academic requirements for International Relations as a major? What types of jobs are associated with International Relations? How do you connect skills and education with career options? How do you make decisions and set goals about career choices? 3. Gain Knowledge and Experience Once you make decisions about the direction you would like to take with a career path in International Relations, you can begin to gain knowledge and experience: Gain professional experience through on-campus employment, co-ops, internships (UIP), and part-time jobs Look for additional opportunities to volunteer, study abroad, live abroad, work abroad, assist with research, or get involved with community service activities Attend relevant Career Center workshops such as: How to Find On-Campus Employment, How to Find an Internship, Introduction to Resumes and Cover Letters, Interviewing Skills, How to Prepare for Graduate School Find job shadowing and practice interviewing opportunities through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Program Join student and/or professional organizations relevant to the major and concentration Meet with your career advisor and/or faculty in International Relations for insight into internships opportunities or different organizations to research Talk with your academic advisor for recommendations on courses, major requirements, and concentration ideas 4. Put It All Together Once you have gained experience and learned the necessary tools to find opportunities, you can begin the job search process: Attend relevant Career Center workshops such s How to Work a Job & Internship Fair, Job Search strategies, Advanced Resume and Cover Letters, How to Build a Portfolio, Advanced Interviewing, and Negotiation Skills Participate in practice interviews Meet with a peer career advisor or career advisor to discuss job search strategies Create a portfolio of your work and accomplishments and practice presenting it Attend the Career Center s job and internship fairs Consider DePaul s On-Campus (OCI) opportunities For more information, visit
16 References DePaul Career Center: careercenter.depaul.edu DePaul University: depaul.edu Occupational Outlook Handbook Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/main_page\>
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