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Sociology - A 21st Century Career

Submitted by sandra.grills2 on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 11:43am

Profile of a Graduate Student

As a graduating student, you will understand the research process and the importance of research and also have:

  • a good capacity to learn and work independently
  • good analytical skills
  • ability to apply knowledge to new situations
  • effective written and oral communication skills
  • team skills
  • an appreciation of interdisciplinary approaches
  • an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity
  • an understanding of globalization causes and outcomes

As a graduating student, you will be equipped to engage in the practice of sociology by:

  • critically evaluating data and conclusions drawn from them
  • using appropriate theories, methods and statistics to solve problems
  • linking the personal and the social
  • linking local and global levels
  • linking the past and the present
  • understanding inequalities within and among societies

Graduating students are positioned to participate in a changing economy.

Information on 21st Century Careers in Sociology

The American Sociological Association has provided information on 21st Century Careers in Sociologyhttp://www.asanet.org/employment/sociology.cfm

The ASA also prepared a national survey of Seniors Majoring in Sociology in the US in 2005 with a focus on the sorts of skills they found useful in career advancement: What can I do with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology?

Until recently, the best employment prospects for sociologists were in teaching, private research institutes and government agencies. Changes in society and in the discipline of sociology itself have created new opportunities in policy research, administration and, more recently, in clinical and applied sociological practice. Sociologists working in policy making and administration have demonstrated that bringing sociological perspectives, methodologies and research findings to bear on policy issues allow sociologists to make more informed policy decisions and administer programs effectively. Careers in applied sociological practice use sociological knowledge and methods to examine particular problems requiring immediate solutions (e.g. population growth, youth crime, poverty and homelessness). Clinical sociologists use a variety of intervention strategies (e.g., counseling, facilitation and mediation) in work settings such as hospitals, communities and even nation-states. The increasing variety of job opportunities that are available makes it a good time to be a sociology major. Majoring in sociology also prepares students for careers in a wide variety of professions including law, social work, environmental design, urban planning, education and public administration.

The Department of Sociology conducted a survey of our BA graduates in 1994 to in part determine the sorts of careers they had pursued. While 62 percent of the respondents had only completed the BA in Sociology, 38 percent had either completed an advanced degree or were currently enrolled in a degree program. They were found in an enormous variety of specfici occupational fields, including law, social work, financial management, counseling, education, sales, government administration, and, of course, sociology as researchers and teachers. Overal some 66 percent of our graduates were in professional or managerial occupations. Over 46 percent of the respondents said they were very statified with their present job, and an overwhelming 85 percent were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied. Asked if their sociology BA was useful in their present career, 64 percent declared it to be either essential or useful. By far the most frequently mentioned courses in the program that helped respondents' careers were the core courses of research methods, statistics, and social theory. It is clear that the strong research skills that sociology majors acquire are a great asset to them in the job market.

More recent graduates have indicated that they found employment in the following areas:

  • community development
  • multicultural and immigration
  • crosscultural training
  • ministry
  • culture, youth programs and recreation
  • human resources
  • criminal justice
  • tourism
  • insurance and actuarial science
  • medical research and social determinants of health
  • sports administration
  • security management and law enforcement, law practice
  • career/life planning
  • transition management, community activism and advocacy
  • economic development
  • literacy programs
  • rehabilitation counselling

For further information regarding careers in Sociology, please see the Career Services website at:
http://www.ucalgary.ca/careerservices/

Career Advice for Graduates