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Career Options for Sociology Majors

This topic is coming to readers because of the frequent messages I get from recent graduates of sociology confused about what to do after graduation. While still confused, society add its tension to the confusion by constructing this major as one of ‘no good’ majors especially in Nigeria because of the available slim chances of getting a permanent job or high paying job. My aim is to explore with you all the possible things you can do with this valuable and interesting program. There is always something you can do with a sociology degree regardless of qualification be it diploma, degree, postgraduate degree or a PhD. However, your choice increases as your level of education and knowledge expands. First thing to consider is why study sociology?
Like I mentioned in one of my previous article (Itulua-Abumere, 2014), Sociology is one of a number of social sciences (including economics, psychology and human geography) which endeavor to elucidate, give details and understand the actions of human beings in society. Meaning if you are wondering just how and why human beings act the way they do with others, you are probably going to excel as a sociologist. Studying sociology as a major will expose you to critical thinking mostly concerning issues related to social problem and social occurrence. One thing you must know before embarking on studying sociology is to understand that sociology is a very broad subject. Everything in the social realm is open for further investigation. Studies can be initiated in areas of healthcare, education, criminal justices, social welfare, gender, social policy, public policy, sexuality, food, technology aging and so on…. The list is countless. You can take advantage to study the area you are most inquisitive about within the social realm. You should have in mind that the study of sociology in higher institution is as important to you as it is equally important to employers.

What sociology means to employers
Employers in nearly all work division value practical skills and work experience. More recently a very high demand for postgraduate education is desired. In otherwise, endeavor to gain work experience is your chosen track as a volunteer or part time worker while in college or university. This will give you hands on experience that will prove to employers your willingness to succeed in your work area, your motivation and practical skills. Volunteering opportunities can be found in community projects, local governments, schools, crisis intervention centers, NGOs, housing associations to mention a few. Employers over the years have fallen in love with certain skills possessed by sociology major graduates. According to an interview conducted by the American Sociological Association (ASA) employers screening entry level applicants look out for skills such as sound communications skills, interpersonal skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, competency in statistics and research design, cross cultural understanding, business sense and off course a computer literate. All of these sociology major graduates are fully equip with if not 100% at least to an average level. So, there is no reason a sociology graduate should not be hired if the candidate have these skills together with some years of experience either part time or as a volunteer.

Careers for sociology graduates
It is normal for sociology graduates to go into employment in a social or welfare role but in situations where graduate live in regions were social or welfare job roles aren’t available graduates can go into other roles throughout the public and private sector. Employers to reach out to include:
• Commerce
• Counseling
• Education authorities (ministry of education, school or college boards)
• Further and higher education
• Health authorities
• Industry
• Insurance company
• Local and state government
• Non-governmental organizations
• Recruitment Agency
• Research centers
Job roles for Sociology graduate
• Administrator
• Business owner
• Career adviser
• Charity fundraiser
• Child care coordinator
• Community analyst
• Community development officer
• Correctional officer
• Court paralegal
• Customer service representative
• Family support executive
• Further education instructor
• Health facilities evaluator
• Health planner
• Housing service manager
• Human resource assistant
• International aid officer
• Police officer
• Probation support officer
• Program planner
• Project worker
• Public health analyst
• Public relations officer
• Research coordinator
• Sales manager
• Social Researcher
• Social service worker
• Urban planner
• Youth worker
All this been mentioned, you can decide to move towards a better paying job or managerial positions by upgrading your skills through higher education and professional certifications. Upon successful completion more rewarding job can be a throw stone. This can be achieved with 2 to 3 years of dedication. For instance, while working you can enroll in a part time master degree program and because it’s part time, it will usually take more than the usual 1 year to complete. Same applies if it’s a professional certification you choose to pursue. You will need time to attend lectures, read and write the exam. Some professional qualifications require full time education with job placements and can last up to four years such as medicine and law. Keep in mind that better grades and a great GPA will accelerate admission into some competitive programs. What is important to note is achieving what you really want. Below are other career options after further studies, certifications and experience.
• Accountant (Write and pass ACA)
• Actuarial analyst (Get your CAA)
• Budget analyst
• Case management coordinator
• Civil service test examiner
• Detective
• Entrepreneurship
• Health statistician
• Human resource manager (Get your SHRM-CP, CIPD, PHR)
• Journalist
• Lawyer (Get your JD writing the LSAT is compulsory outside Nigeria)
• Management consultant (MA, MSc or MBA)
• Market research analyst
• Marketing manager (MA, MSc or MBA)
• Media planner
• Medicine (Apply for graduate direct entry to MD program MCAT is required outside Nigeria)
• Policy analyst
• Probation officer (MA)
• Professional writer and editor
• Real estate
• Recruitment consultant
• Research consultant
• Research director
• Social worker (Get your MSW)
• Statistical analyst
• Training and development manager

So, if you have a degree in sociology you have plenty of options to explore. Whatever you decide on, make sure you have the passion for the job and enjoy doing it.


American Sociological Association (2017).Western Washington University: What skills do sociology students acquire? accesses December 15 2017

Itulua-Abumere, F. (2014) What is sociology? [accessed Dec 17 2017].
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