Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human action. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life: street crime and delinquency; corporate downsizing; ways people express emotions; welfare or education reform; ways families differ and flourish; or problems of peace and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is an expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs. Sociologists understand inequality, patterns of behavior, forces for social change and resistance, and how social systems work.
Requirements for a Major in Sociology
For more information on majoring in Sociology, contact the Sociology Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Foster Amey. Office: TODD 334. Phone: (615) 898-2697. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sociology as a Career
Careers in Sociology
Agencies and organizations look to sociologists for their unique ability to define the critical dimensions of a problem, isolate the most critical variables that affect it, and collaborate with others to craft a viable course of action.
Sociologists work inside organizations in management positions and outside organizations as consultants and partners in rethinking how systems function.
Sociologists hold positions in virtually every employment setting, including:
Sociologists help frame problems within a larger social science context, building on a strong foundation of concepts and theories. They combine their broad understanding of race, gender, social class, cultural diversity, and age with insights into how organizational and social systems work. This perspective makes them uniquely valuable as objective researchers and innovative change agents.
Sociologists contribute to the contemporary work force, bringing sophisticated skills and knowledge of research design to the most challenging problems. Sociologists receive broad training in basic social research, program evaluation, or policy analysis. Some conduct basic research, while others apply research-based knowledge to help organizations rethink existing programs and strategies or plan for the future.
"Quantitative" sociologists bring expertise in the areas of survey design, statistical analysis, and management of large-scale databases. "Qualitative" sociologists have been trained in intensive interviewing, focus group research, community research, conflict analysis, policy analysis, and social impact analysis. Both are adept at interpreting data and deriving implications of research for policy and program development.
Familiarity with the latest computer programs and management of data bases rank high amonst sociologist's skills. Sociologists often use:
Sociologists use statistical analysis software to interpret complicated findings. They prepare reports to give to governing bodies, employees, the general public, or the media, using clear, accessible language.
Sociologists offer expertise in substantive areas, adding depth to research, planning and development projects. Expertise in a specific subject may be of crucial importance to an employer. Beyond research skills, sociologists specialize in specific areas of direct relevance to organizations and agencies, such as:
Job Opportunities with a Bachelor's Degree
Given the breadth, adaptability, and utility of sociology, employment opportunities abound for B.A. and B.S. graduates. You can secure entry level positions in many of the area previously mentioned. The following list of possibilities is merely illustrative: