Do you ever wonder why different groups of people behave in a variety of ways? Do you love the study of conflict and understanding the differences between those who have and those who have not? Do you want to do research on people in their environment and study great theorists like Karl Marx and Max Weber? Then sociology may be for you—and if you think not, I think I can convince you!
What is sociology?
Sociology—besides being the most awesome major in the world—is the scientific study of people in groups. Sometimes in high school it can be lumped together with psychology, but they are very different disciplines. Sociology studies how a person’s environment and the people around them can change the course of their life. It focuses on the group, while psychology focuses on the individual. Sociology studies many aspects of life, such as gender, marriage, education, religion, societal problems, and crime, among other things. As a spin from sociology, there is also criminology, which focuses a lot on how you can apply these things to the criminal justice world.
You can study so much through sociological lens! As a sociologist, you will probably lean toward one of three major perspectives: Functional, Conflict, or Symbolic Interactionism. Depending upon how you align yourself, you will see any social research question differently, but they all have a place in the sociological world!
What skills do you gain from being a Sociology major?
Sociology is a liberal arts major, so it’s likely you will be flexing your research and writing muscles quite a lot. You will also gain great oral communication skills. Sociologists present data and argue theses all the time, so by earning a degree you may get a chance to present at local conferences or just defend your work in class. Lastly, you will get to stretch your reading muscles as well. A lot of sociology professors will request that you read large amounts of academic work, which will help you become more knowledgeable about the subject of sociology.
What kind of jobs can you get with a degree in sociology?
- Academia (Researcher, Professor)
- Social Worker
- Probation/Police Officer
- City Planner
- Community Organization employee
There are also a ton of careers that sociology sets you up for because of how much writing and reading you will be doing. Some sociology majors go on to law school, get jobs in higher education other than being professors, or work with human resources. You can get a pretty wide array of jobs after you receive a sociology degree.
Where should I go to study Sociology?
Sociology has been around for a very long time. Most undergraduate degrees will serve you just fine. There are a couple of notable sociology programs out there though. Here are a few great programs:
- The University of Chicago: Sociology
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Sociology
- University of California-Berkley: Sociology
- Princeton: Sociology
- Stanford: Sociology
So next time you’re looking for a major or even just a simple discipline to check out, give sociology a shot!