What can I do with a major in sociology?

Search for opportunities

Samaritan Daytop Village
Department of Social Services
The Arc

Mental Health Counselor
Prevention Specialist

Search for employers hiring graduates in your major

Employers in NY (Social Work): 21,869
Employers in US (Social Work): 367,466

Employers in NY (Anthropology): 330
Employers in US (Anthropology): 5,592


Explore the numerous career fields related to your major

Human Services

Case Management
Mental Health Services


Community service agencies
Advocacy groups
Federal, state, and local government
United Way agencies
Local branches of national non-profit organizations
Religiously-affiliated service organizations
Private foundations
Adoption and child-care agencies
Nursing homes and retirement communities
Hospitals and wellness centers
Halfway houses
Vocational services
Educational information services
Insurance companies

Sample occupations

Gain experience and develop helping skills through volunteer positions.
Spend summers working at camps, YMCA's, or other social service agencies.
Gain experience working with diverse populations.
Develop excellent communication skills.
Concentrate course work in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty.
Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability.
Serve as a peer mentor, resident assistant, or other student leader.
Earn a master's degree in social work, counseling, or other related fields to increase employment opportunities.
Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.

Criminal Justice

Law Enforcement


Correctional institutions
Court systems
Federal, state, and local government (especially law enforcement agencies)

Sample occupations

Gain practical experience via part-time or summer jobs, internships, or volunteer work.
Volunteer to work with troubled youth.
Obtain a graduate or law degree for advancement.
Consider obtaining experience in a branch of the military.




Public and private schools
Colleges and universities
Adult education providers

Sample occupations

Obtain certification/licensure to teach grades K-12.
Become certified to teach multiple subjects and age groups for increased job opportunities.
Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching opportunities.
Assist a professor with research.
Take extra courses in research and statistics.
Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills.
Volunteer as a tutor.
Secure strong personal recommendations, particularly from professors.


Social Statistics
Public Administration
Policy Analysis
Program Development
Human Services
City Planning
Law Enforcement


Federal departments and agencies such as:

  • Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Commerce, Defense
  • Health and Human Services
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Veteran's Administration
  • National Institute of Health
  • National Institute of Aging

State and local government
Peace Corps

Sample occupations

Supplement curriculum with coursework in statistics and social research.
Develop exceptional computer, communication, and research skills.
Gain work experience via government internships, part-time jobs, or summer work.
Develop a specialty such as aging, family, criminal justice, or healthcare.
Learn the federal job application process.
Obtain a graduate degree for advanced positions.
Consider beginning a career with the government by joining the military.

Social Science Research

Data Analysis
Market Research
Information Sourcing


Government agencies
Research institutes
Non-profit agencies
Community organizations
Private industries
Advertising and marketing firms
Consulting organizations
Information brokers
Newspapers, magazines, news agencies
Public opinion research polls

Sample occupations

Develop exceptional quantitative, statistical, and writing skills.
Learn to use statistics software packages as well as database, spreadsheet, and desktop publishing programs.
Volunteer to help a professor with a research project.
Obtain an advanced degree in sociology for research administration positions.
Earn certification in applied social research by The American Sociological Association.
Network with professionals working in areas of interest.
Gain experience working on teams.

Environment and Society

Waste management firms
Health agencies
Local planning agencies
Environmental advocacy groups
Environmental periodicals
Federal government
Regional, state, and local agencies
Consulting firms
Private industry

Sample occupations

Enhance curriculum with courses in ecology, environmental science, and statistics.
Join environment-related student organizations.
Volunteer to work on environmental clean-up projects.
Find a related internship, part-time, or summer job.
Obtain a graduate degree for advancement.


Human Resources: Training and Development, Recruiting
Public Relations
Office Administration


Insurance firms
Retail stores
Staffing agencies
Manufacturing companies
Service industries
Non-profit organizations
Healthcare organizations

Sample occupations

Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with courses in general business, accounting, and finance.
Gain business experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships.
Develop excellent computer skills.
Learn to use software applications such as spreadsheets, databases, and word processing.
Hone written and oral communication skills.
Join related professional organizations.
Seek leadership roles in student organizations.

General information and strategies

  • Many transferrable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the sociology degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experience are critical.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business, industry, and government; however, a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market.
  • An undergraduate degree in sociology is great preparation for graduate or professional education in sociology, law, counseling, psychology, social work, medicine, education, college student personnel, higher education administration, and other related fields. Research pre-requisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities.
  • A Ph.D. is required for teaching at the four-year university level.
  • For human or social service positions, gain experience with a population of interest (i.e. children, college students, elderly adults, etc) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding.
  • Assist a professor with research.
  • Take extra courses in research and statistics.
  • Earn certification in applied social research by The American Sociological Association.
  • Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with courses in general business, accounting, and finance.