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Career Paths And Employment In Sociology

What can I do with Sociology?

Sociology is an exciting and dynamic field committed to the scientific study of group life. Sociologists study social life, social change, diverse communities and their interactions, and they use scientific methods to find empirical answers to complex social questions. Sociologists use a variety of research methods, from quantitative analysis of large survey data to ethnographic studies of small groups. These methods provide unique insights into the social forces shaping contemporary social problems, the structure of society, and the experiences and life chances of individuals.

The major in sociology at Shepherd University provides students with knowledge of and a perspective on social life that transcends their personal experience and helps them develop a deep understanding of important trends in modern society. With both theoretical and applied learning opportunities, students build knowledge and skills applicable to a broad range of employment opportunities. They are also prepared and encouraged to pursue graduate work in the social sciences.

Today the hundreds of students who have graduated from Shepherd University with sociology majors and minors are college professors, social work analysts, probation and parole officers, police officers and law enforcement personnel, high school and college counselors, social work personnel, arbitrators, directors of juvenile detention centers, journalists, public relations directors, marketing analysts, nursing home directors and gerontology specialists, medical center personnel, communication analysts, child care specialists, staff workers with mentally and emotionally disturbed children, staff workers with the handicapped, state local, and federal government workers, Peace Corps participants, and self-employed workers. The sociology faculty has helped students acquire graduate assistantships, scholarships, fellowship grants and admittance to a variety of graduate schools.

Below is a list of areas and employment opportunities for those with a degree in sociology. You can also look at the information found here.


Sociologists often advocate for issues such as environmental issues and child welfare. They also help develop national policies. Sociologists work in fields that provide information about victim’s right and labor rights. As advocates, sociologists may also be employed as consultants, developmental coordinators for social services, a drug court coordinators, or family court investigators. Sociologists also work as lobbyists or as advocates in positions as outreach coordinators, program coordinators for community organizations. Sociologists are advocates for education as tutors, counselors, peer support advocates, and youth advocates.


Sociologists work at several agencies including social services, youth services, and mental health offices. They work in childcare and adoption agencies and provide development and disability services. Sociologists are employed as case managers, caseworkers, childcare workers, and child development technicians. They also work in the community as aides, organizers, and environmental organizers. Sociologists are family planners, fundraising directors, and assistant managers. They are employed as group home workers and homeless/housing workers. Sociologists serve as hospital administrators, housing coordinators, and medical records workers. They also encourage professional development at agencies as occupation or career counselors. Sociologists service the public as administration assistants, public assistance workers, and public health supervisors. They also support youth development as recreation workers. Sociologists work as rehabilitation program workers, resident planning aides, substance abuse counselors, and youth outreach workers to support persons with addictions.

Business and Industry

Sociologists are employed in business and industry at non-profit organizations and in human resources departments. They are sales representatives, managers, and recruiters. They work in advertising industries. Sociologists also conduct consumer and market research. They are leadership coaches, trainers, and human development staff. Sociologist are employed as advertising and publishing staff. They are also computer analysts, consumer relations workers, and control engineers. Sociologists are insurance agents, real estate agents, and telemarketers. Sociologists are also employed as data entry, human resources, and issues managers. They work as labor relations staff, market analysts, and merchandisers. Sociologists are planning assistants, production managers, project managers, and public relations staff. Sociologists also serve as quality control managers and trainers.


Sociologists attain technical writing, reporting and public relations skills and knowledge for work in the area of communications. They are sometimes employed as 911 information and referral specialists, marketing promotion coordinators, and mutual funds processing agents. They also work as newspaper and magazine reporters.

Criminal Justice     

Sociologists often work in corrections, law enforcement, or in the justice system. They work as police department staff and officers and special agents or state troopers. They also serve as rehabilitation workers or work in and with probation and parole systems. Sociologists work as juvenile court workers, correctional counselors, and corrections officers. They are criminal investigators and criminology assistants. Sociologists are also employed as parole officers and rehabilitation counselors.


Sociologists are employed at public and private schools, colleges, and universities. They also work in administration and in alumni relations. Some sociologists work in placement offices but often times, they are employed as educational researchers. Sociologists hold positions such as admissions counselors and alumni relations workers. Some work in student support offices as affirmative action assistants or public health educators. In some cases, sociologists are student personnel workers, teachers, or professors.


Sociologists are employed in government positions as social science analysts and government administrators. In addition, sociologists are personnel coordinators, program supervisors, and special agents. Some work at the United States Census Bureau, Homeland Security offices, and at other federal agencies. Some sociologists hold positions as employee specialists, Foreign Service officers, and international workers. Others are human rights officers or Peace Corps volunteers. Sociologists may also work as information officers or urban planners which examines the relationship between space and individual action.

Research and Planning

Sociologists are known to conduct research at research firms. They conduct evaluation research and public opinion research. Sociologists are employed as interviewers, statisticians, and survey research technicians. They also accept positions as census researchers, demographer assistants, social research assistants, and data analysts. They work as consumer researchers and market researchers.