What Jobs Can You Get With Sociology?
With a degree or qualification in sociology, there are many career paths available to you, and a wide-ranging number of jobs you could do with the skills learned on your course. A qualification in sociology can help us better understand human social behaviour and the groups that make up our society.
Sociology seeks to understand how groups and individuals interact with and understand each other. It delves into societal structures, processes and norms, and assesses how these form and influence human behaviours and our relationships with each other.
Sociologists study topics including:
- Social injustice
- Social movements between classes and change
- Social deviance
They use a variety of research and observation methods to determine trends and patterns in statistics and social behaviours and changes. Sociology is a broad field that links with other social sciences including economics, psychology and anthropology.
Research undertaken by sociologists helps us to better understand how societies evolve and function and shines a spotlight on social and community issues such as economics, politics, justice, education, healthcare and business. For this reason alone, those who study sociology often find themselves working in multiple sectors. In this guide, we’ll be taking you through the kinds of jobs you can get with a sociology degree or A-Level qualification.
Skills you learn in sociology
Studying sociology either at A-Level or degree level can provide you with a diverse range of skills that are much sought-after by employers. These skills can be applied to a wide number of fields. Some of the skills you can learn include:
- Analysis and critical thinking (by studying social research, theories and data)
- Research skills (by assessing qualitative and quantitative data, and conducting research)
- Data analysis (sociologists often work with vast amounts of data that they need to process)
- Communication skills (sociologists often need to present theories and research findings, and speak to people they are studying)
- Public speaking (you may have to give presentations)
- Empathy (sociology will give you a deeper understanding of sensitive and challenging issues such as discrimination)
- Teamwork and collaboration (sociologists often take part in team or group research projects with other scientists)
- Problem-solving (trying to resolve difficult societal issues using analytical thinking)
- Cultural awareness (in studying cross-cultural issues, you can develop broad and educated perspectives on different communities around the world)
Career paths with a sociology qualification
Sociology is a diverse qualification in that it opens up plenty of career paths to those who study it. While some people may become sociologists and have careers related directly to sociology, others may use the knowledge and skills gained in their sociology qualification to go down a different (yet related) career path.
Sociologist or researcher
Becoming a social researcher or sociologist is the most obvious route, and sociologists may work in government agencies, think tanks, or universities. They may teach sociology to others, or be actively working in current studies.
Another career path is that of a social worker, or an individual working for a government body that is linked to community development. A qualification in sociology gives you a strong foundation for a career in social work, as it gives you the skills to help others overcome social problems. On a wider scale, you may decide to work on promoting social change in communities.
Those who have studied sociology also go into the field of human resources (HR). This is because sociology gives you an understanding of working relationships, behaviour within organisations, and employer-employee relations.
This can make working in a HR capacity a great fit. You may decide to become a recruiter, or to work in employee training and development, or to become a HR professional within an organisation.
Sociologists can also work in the field of market research, where the data and research they have assessed can be used to inform governments and companies about consumer behaviour. They may also work for governments to contribute to policy development (given their vast knowledge on social groups and social issues).
Finally, those who have studied sociology can also go into career paths in journalism, marketing, the media, publication relations or communications thanks to their good understanding of social issues and topics of cultural interest.
Jobs you can get with a sociology A-Level
With a sociology A-Level, you can either continue to pursue education in sociology, or take up an entry position as a sociology research assistant, or an administrative assistant thanks to the skills you have obtained in research gathering and analysis, data analysis and communication.
You may decide to become a social services support worker, or another kind of entry-level role within social services. You’ll be able to help people access much-needed services, provide help to those who need it, and help with social issues. You may also help coordinate community events in this role.
If you are interested in a career within human resources, an A-Level in sociology may be helpful for entry-level positions in human resources departments and governmental organisations. Such roles may include hiring, helping new employees with onboarding, and offering advice to workers when needed.
If marketing and PR is of interest, your communication skills and understanding of social issues and behaviours may prove useful if you decide to become a public relations assistant, or a market research professional. You might prepare reports on market trends, write press releases, or organise and manage media relations for other companies and brands.
Internships or further study
You can also pursue internships and work programmes with think tanks, government agencies, or non-profit organisations with an A-Level in sociology. On these types of programmes you may be involved in research, and may gain more exposure to policy research, data analysis and so on.
Another option is to use an A-Level in sociology as a route to higher education and a degree in sociology, where you can study the subject in more detail and open up even more career avenues.
Do you need a degree for a career in sociology?
You don’t necessarily need a degree for a career in sociology or a sociology-linked subject. It all depends on what your career ambitions are. If you plan on working as a sociologist or in a research-related role in an academic institution, or as a sociology teacher at a university, a degree is almost always required. This is especially for advanced research positions like Ph.D programmes.
That said, there are many entry-level roles available in sociology-related jobs, like working in social services, marketing or journalism. Sociology is a subject that offers students many transferable skills like research, data analysis and critical thinking, and these can be applied to a variety of roles. Ultimately, you should always check specific job requirements carefully to see what employers are looking for in the field you’re interested in working in.
Jobs you can get with a sociology degree
There are even more career paths you can take with a sociology degree, as your knowledge of the subject is more in-depth and wide-ranging.
The main type of job you can take is that of a sociologist. You might work for an organisation, governmental organisation, company, university or think tank. Your role as a professional sociologist will involve conducting research, writing articles and giving presentations about your findings to enhance sociological understanding.
This is a common career path for sociology graduates, and can lead to a rewarding role in which you give assistance and support to families, communities and individuals facing various social problems. Check out our guide on the role of a social worker and their responsibilities.
Journalist/media communications officer
Many journalists have a degree qualification in sociology, as it helps them to interpret and report on social issues and social dynamics.
Many students who study sociology at degree level go on to further education to study the subject at a much higher level, so that they can lecture on it and teach other students at university. As a sociology academic, you will also undertake new research in your area and report on findings.
Qualifications in sociology
Oxford Learning College offers the following qualifications in sociology to kickstart your next career move:
This course aims to give students a good grounding and insight into how human societies are formed, and how society influences our lives, behaviours and interactions with each other. Students can use this qualification for further study at university.
Our Fast Track A Level Sociology covers the content of A-Level Sociology but in a more intensive course with 350 hours of study. This programme is eligible for UCAS points, which makes it a good option for students looking to study sociology at university.
This Level 3 course provides an introduction to sociology and society, and is a great option for students who are thinking of studying the subject at a higher level at some point in future. This diploma is recognised internationally, verified and moderated by AccordAI (Accord and Accord International).
This Diploma Level Course is aimed at prospective students who may not have undertaken formal education for some time, and are wishing to develop their learning skills in sociology as part of their portfolio to contribute to further learning in future.