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Advice from 2009 Sociology Alumni

Below is a list of thoughts shared with us by last year’s Alumni about how they encountered the job world after graduation.  This is not meant to be exhaustive but merely some of their reflections which might be useful to all our Alumni.  Many thanks to all those who contributed to this list.

 

  1. Learning how to take notes in class has been very useful to me in taking notes at meetings at work.  Group work in classes has also been a good preparation for group projects at work.
  2. There are many jobs that do not directly involve your sociology training- at least at the beginning.  Undergraduate degrees give you a broad background and knowledge base and teach you how to think but that does not mean it is a pipeline to jobs.  The Co-op program is a good way to build your resume.
  3. Learning how to market yourself can be difficult.  Alumni should identify fields of interest and organizations in which they would like to work and then try to become knowledgeable about those fields.  Networking is the key and volunteering or job shadowing is also important.
  4. Take whatever job you can get at first within reason.  Temporary jobs often turn into contract work or ultimately permanent work.  Don’t expect to have it all right away.
  5. Sociology is increasingly relevant to public health issues and there are jobs there but you have to market yourself and know what you have to contribute or convince them that you are a quick learner.
  6. Going on to graduate school in some applied field or entering a program with a strong applied side after graduating can be useful.  The combination of a degree and some specialized training- even if it is only a certificate- can open doors.  The applied skills are important to landing the job but the degree opens the possibilities for upward mobility.