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Sociology and the Career Path

The sociology faculty believe that a diverse educational background prepares students to enter and succeed in a rapidly changing occupational world.

Please read this page in its entirety as we want to facilitate your understanding of what this scientific perspective is all about for you and the groups that captivate your interest.

Whether your interests are in business, health, counseling, political science and law, history or criminal justice, we think graduates from our bachelor's degree program will be attractive to employers and graduate education programs operating in an economy stressing diversity of knowledge, adaptability to changing social conditions, research and statistical skills, knowledge of group and organizational behavior, and critical thinking.

(to learn what you can do with a degree in sociology, click here)

Our courses analyze and offer you theoretical insight into an array of social issues that demand formulation of problem-solving ideas and sound public policy. Many of the social issues facing the above mentioned occupational fields are addressed in our courses. In sum, sociological ideas and research techniques are relevant and exposure to them prepares one not only for the workplace and changing career paths but for life.

The sociology major will be encouraged to develop reasoning skills, make disciplined observations, apply theory to real-world situations, to see general patterns in specific events, and to learn and apply research skills. Clearly, these skills are useful in many occupations.

We agree that sociology majors consider the benefits of pursuing a bachelor of arts in sociology since this program of study affords students the opportunity to develop foreign language skills that increase overall marketability in an increasingly diverse society and workplace.

Undergraduate students in our department are first encouraged to consult regularly with their assigned academic advisor. We take this role seriously and view it as an opportunity to prime our students for success. Through advising, students will be encouraged to pursue a double major or at least one academic minor. This multidisciplinary approach to higher education will introduce students to the skills we think employers want.

The American Sociological Association recommends students consider the following fields as part of their program of study: criminal justice, computer science, geography (with emphasis in Geographic Information Systems), public communications, economics, statistics, English, anthropology, a second language, political science, management, accounting, and pre-law.

We would be doing an enormous disservice to students interested in sociology if we failed to mention that many undergraduate sociology majors, fully and willingly, intend to pursue their education at the graduate level. This is a vitally important stage in the educational process of social scientists who intend to learn, in more detail, the skills required for advancement and sometimes entry into selected administrative, social service and research fields. Teaching opportunities in sociology within community colleges and four year universities almost universally require that the applicant possess an M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. in sociology.

You may wish to visit the following sites to pursue further information concerning sociology and the career path:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Career Services at the University of North Alabama

Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs

Jobs for Sociologists (prepared by Dr. Hugh McCain of Jacksonville State University)