General Career Information
The B.A. in Sociology offers you a variety of potential career opportunities. At the same time you are not necessarily learning a 'trade' as you would if you were in Engineering, as a Liberal Arts major you are developing many other skills. You will be able to draw on a broad educational background, very attractive to potential employers, with knowledge of the Sociology discipline plus your minor field, effective verbal and written communication skills in English and at least one other language, time management skills, intellectual maturity and the ability to think critically.
You should consider your career goals and take elective courses which will augment your skills, and get real-life experience with internships, part-time jobs or by volunteering, all to enhance your attractiveness to employers.
All seniors should register with Liberal Arts Career Services in the first couple weeks of the fall semester for on campus recruiting (the deadline is early!). Other students should familiarize themselves with the materials available, and use them for an internship hunt.
You can also enhance your career options by pursuing a cohesive curriculum in sociology. Remember that you have three upper-division sociology electives and that you can take as many as 36 hours in sociology. If you have made a tentative career choice, a good strategy is to use your upper-division sociology electives to acquire more skills in a specific area.
Possible Career Routes
- Law Enforcement
Police and federal agencies, parole officers, paralegals. Students may wish to take criminology coursework and minor in either Psychology or Government. Forensic specialties may require extensive science backgrounds as well.
Human relations, marketing, sales. Students should consider the Business Foundations Program as a minor, and should focus on courses such as Industrial Sociology and Applied Demography.
- Social Services
Case workers, counselors, positions in state agencies. Minor in Psychology, Social Work or languages. Be aware that some positions will require Master's Degrees in Social Sciences or Social Work
- Public Policy, city/state administration
Suggested coursework might include social welfare policy, gender, and race. Minors in Government or Business would be useful.
- Demographic Research
Polling agencies, political campaigns, marketing, advertising. Courses should include any with hands-on research (including SOC 317M), Applied Demography, and internships. Students may wish to work with faculty affiliated with The University's Population Research Center at The University (471-5514).
Visit www.teachforamerica.org for more information.
You may decide to apply to graduate school, but keep in mind that the process requires long-term planning. You will need to prepare for the GRE exam, research programs that may be of interest and contact schools for applications, and possibly visit campuses. Asking faculty to recommend schools is a good way to start. Don't forget about letters of recommendation. Faculty need time (a month's notice is ideal) and information (a resume, writing sample, transcript) in order to write letters on your behalf. If you want good letters, it's wise not to wait until the last moment to ask! Keep in mind that many schools require applications to be submitted in February in the year you wish to attend.