Social Science

What is Social Science All About?

Social Science is the study of the characteristics, changes, causes and consequences of human behavior in groups. It provides an understanding of the structure and dynamics of social systems from small interactions to entire societies and world systems. Students are trained to evaluate the effects of gender, ethnic background, social class, religion, and community on an individual or group. The sociological perspective is crucial for success in today's multicultural and multinational work environments. Thus, a background in social science is valuable preparation for careers in almost any modern organizational setting.

Graduates apply their knowledge and skills across a wide variety of occupations and professions including recreation, law enforcement, and human services. They are also prepared for graduate and professional school programs in areas such as law, public policy, business, social work or psychology.

Sampling of Skills Needed

Research - research methods, research theory, statistics, evaluating evidence, examining electronic data sources.

Critical Thinking - ability to think conceptually, understanding components of complex problems.

Communication - writing, teaching, speaking to groups, presenting research findings, reading critically.

Human Relations - understanding human relationships, diversity, and identifying cultural/social considerations, crisis intervention, and counseling.

Transferable Skills:

Managing, promoting, selling, analyzing, interpreting, editing, advising, organizing, problem solving or conflict resolution and detail orientation.

Work Settings:

Students majoring in sociology have a wide variety of career options in such fields as social service, mental health, politics and government, criminal justice, medical care and public health, business and education.

Some Types of Employers

  • US and State Governments
  • K-12 Schools
  • Businesses & Corporations
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Law Firms
  • Publishing Firms
  • Non-profit/Community Service organizations

SAMPLING OF JOBS

Research Worker, Social Worker - plans, organizes, and conducts research for use in understanding social problems and for planning and carrying out social welfare programs.

Sociologist - collects and analyzes scientific data concerning social phenomena, such as community, associations, social institutions, ethnic minorities, social classes, and social change.

Clinical Sociologist - develops and implements corrective procedures to alleviate group dysfunction's: confers with individuals and groups to determine nature of group dysfunction.

Some other related occupations:
  • Policy Analyst
  • Training & Development
  • Research Scientist
  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Human Resources
  • Statistician
  • Professor
  • Editor
  • Market Research
  • Research Analyst
  • Public Health Educator
  • Community Organizer

SOURCES FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION

Encyclopedia of Careers

Occupational Outlook Handbook

What Color is Your Parachute?

Federal Jobs for College Graduates

College, Knowledge, and Jobs

The Complete Job Search Handbook

WEBSITES

American Sociological Association Home Page is http://www.asanet.org.

SALARIES

Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the Summer 2008 NACE national salary survey for Bachelor's Degree Candidates in Social Science, the average salary was $38,910.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Sociological Association
1307 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(Tel) 202-383-9005

North Central Sociological Association
Dean A. Purdy, Executive Officer
P.O. Box 291
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Ph: 419-352-1928
http://www.ncsanet.org/