Sociology is the study of how people behave within an organizational structure or group. That organizational structure could be a small as an extended family or as large as a nation or even the global community. It is, in short, a study of human interaction – and how that interaction is influenced by a particular society, culture or societal norms. As you can imagine, the study of sociology is very broad and divers, and sociologists can choose many different ways to focus their study. Sociologists are found in many different fields and industries. In this short article, we'll examine briefly what you could expect to experience in your Sociology degree as well as some possible ways in which your degree can be used.
A typical sociology degree program:
As with all undergraduate programs, there are required courses that you will take that don't necessarily pertain to the subject of sociology. You'll take some pre-requisites that are required for most any undergraduate degree; science, math, English, and History courses.
The sociology specific courses you take will likely depend on where you would like to focus your degree. Regardless of your focus, you'll take some introduction to sociology classes, economic sociology, and classes on organizations. Depending on your focus, you take other classes, such as sociology of culture, or religion. You may take classes on political sociology, race and ethnicity, criminal activities, and personalities.
What can you do with a sociology degree?
Many sociologists become teachers, and you can become a teacher with an undergraduate degree. Teaching, however is only one of many opportunities you have depending on your focus. In the political arena, sociologists are often hired to help detect patterns and trends in public opinion, or provide insight on reaction to certain policies or political stances. In business, a sociologist can help study market trends and help predict which products and services would likely be successful - or help determine the best possible marketing or advertising scheme. In law enforcement, sociologists attempt to understand the criminal mind and how it may act within a certain society and what their pattern of behavior might be. Other sociologists move on to subjects such as anthropology or archeology and attempt to use archeological and anthropological evidence to determine the social structure of a civilization.
As with many other subjects, continuing your education to a graduate degree opens up more career possibilities. While some positions only require an undergraduate degree, higher level positions including managerial positions are likely to require a graduate degree. Sociology is often combined with other majors to provide insight. Counselors, for example, may get a degree in sociology as well as psychology to better understand their patients and how societal norms or pressures may be affecting them.
If you are interested in the many ways in which people interact, and how that interaction affects behavior, belief systems and choices, then sociology might be a good field of study for you. It is definitely a broad field, and is applicable in many different industries. Sociology is definitely a degree that is marketable, and will likely be in demand in the future.
More Degrees in Sociology: