Concepts of Sociology
There are a number of contributing areas of interest that form the study of sociology. In addition to health and government military, just a few of these areas, or concepts, are described below.
Social stratification is the concept that focuses on how large groups of people can be categorized by their differences. It is a broader type of social classification. Social stratification is the organizing of a large group of people into a sort of hierarchy created by differences which lead to a ladder of higher statuses in a society. For example, some families are wealthier than others, which makes them different. More money means more options; therefore, the wealthier families are of a higher status because they can afford things families with less money cannot afford. And social stratification isn’t just about money. It also focuses on how groups of people are separated by their personal belief systems, as well.
Social mobility is another concept the study of sociology covers. People who study social mobility are studying how individual humans or groups of human beings can move, either up or down, on a larger scale. For example, the study of a group or an individual’s change in income can be considered social mobility. On a larger scale, social mobility can also be the study of how ethnic groups or whole countries fall in social classes, education, and literacy levels.
Secularization occurs when a society of any size is based on religious beliefs and religious schools and places of worship but somehow turns to a more secular-based system of morals and schools and other institutions. Scholars believe that this occurs as societies adopt more modern practices and technologies and rely less on religion, causing societies to fall away from their religious practices and adapt a new way of living.
Sociologists have more recently begun to concentrate on the internet and the way it and its contents affect social interactions and behaviors today. People’s knowledge of the world expands as the internet expands, but the internet has decreased the frequency of human interaction and only continues to do so. Is this beneficial to humankind? Sociology explores this concept further.
How to Get a Degree in Sociology
Since sociology isn’t a very popular subject, not all colleges and universities offer special programs for it. If sociology is a field you’re interested in, you’re probably asking yourself, “Where can I go to get my sociology degree?” The answer depends on the type of degree, whether you’re on the hunt to earn a bachelors degree or a masters degree, and even then the search for a school that offers what you’re looking for is still hard to find. Although your search may be difficult, you can find some schools that offer sociology degrees in the next few paragraphs.
The University of Chicago in Chicago, IL, was the first university to begin a sociology program in the United States. It began in 1892 and continues to this day. The university offers a bachelors degree and masters degree programs in sociology. In order to achieve a degree in sociology from the University of Chicago, students are urged to take courses in a variety of areas of study, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, and even political science. The university ranks number 4 on the list of top schools offering sociology today.
The University of Colorado located in Boulder, CO, is one of the top research schools in the country. Their sociology department has 12 research centers, and on the list of popular majors, sociology ranks a whopping 9 with over 700 students majoring in the subject. Like the University of Chicago, Colorado also stresses the need for cross-departmental learning by requiring students to take classes in other departments, and you can also earn a bachelors degree and a masters degree in sociology at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Northwestern University also offers both the bachelors and masters degrees in sociology, as well. In addition to their Evanston campus, Northwestern University also has a campus in Chicago, IL. It is a private university specializing in research, so there’s no doubt that students come out on top in their fields.
Careers in Sociology
If you’re not certain that sociology is the right major for you, take a look at some of the career opportunities sociology majors have to choose from. Sociology is a broad subject that can land you a job in a variety of different positions.
Entry Level Jobs for a Sociology Major
It is not uncommon for someone with a sociology degree to explore careers in other fields. The idea of the sociology field of study is to broaden your knowledge so that you have more opportunities available to you when the time comes to jump into the job market. These are just a few of the lower-paying job possibilities that could be in your future if you plan to get a degree in sociology.
Business AnalystIf you’re looking for a career as a business analyst, a sociology degree will certainly help you reach that result. Statistics and research are two huge components of the study of sociology, and business analysts are required to perform research regularly. Helpful qualities of a business analyst include advanced mathematical skills, ability to understand and break down complex concepts, and great communication skills because you’ll need to present your findings and conclusions you draw from your research.
The beginning salary for a business analyst is around $30,000, with pay increases as you gain more experience.
You don’t necessarily have to major in journalism at college to become a journalist. A sociology degree will do just fine. As long as you have a general understanding of the hierarchy of the working people and you know what they like to hear, you can easily spin your way into a newspaper or magazine. It’s all about knowing your audience, and studying sociology will open your eyes to other classes of people and the ways they think, which will help you gain popularity as a journalist. Status and demographics are key to understanding your readers and providing them with what they want to see.
A successful, new journalist is capable of making around $32,000 a year with room for expansion as your experience grows.
With a bachelors degree in sociology, you could easily become a social worker or case worker. Social workers deal with individuals and families on a daily basis, and specifically, your study of social stratification will greatly benefit your performance and interactions with your clients as a social worker. Knowing the specifics of stratification will help you better understand family systems and in turn help you determine the most useful way to assist your clients.
Social workers can earn an average of $42,000 annually for their knowledge and ability to help individuals and their families better themselves in their society. Of course, there is always room for growth. Furthering your education is a great way to expand your salary and find even more ways to help others just by doing your job.
Higher Level Jobs for a Sociology Major
If you plan to further your education after receiving your bachelors degree in sociology, these are some jobs you may be interested in pursuing.
A masters or doctorate degree in sociology could land you a job as an anthropologist, as well. Anthropologists look at past civilizations and compare behavior of people from the past to those of today to better understand human behavior. They analyze languages and physical attributes of people around the globe as well as those people’s habits and customs to expand the worldly knowledge of different societies and explore our connections.
With a doctorate degree, it is possible to receive a starting salary of over $60,000 a year.
If you’re looking for a full-time research position where you can work regular business hours, perhaps you should look in to becoming a sociologist. Sociologists study the type of statistical, societal information covered in the courses taken by a sociology major with more intensified research. Sociologists create research projects in efforts to better understand and resolve social conflicts by gathering data from surveys and interviews. They also do observations while they’re out and about gathering their research data and other materials for their work. If you become a sociologist, you’ll also wind up collaborating with other people in your field to compare results and share ideas, so good communication is an absolute must-have.
With such heavy research and involvement of creativity, sociologists can make a salary of over $75,000 a year.
If you decide to major in sociology, you may find that your professors are an inspiration to you. You may become so intrigued with the subject that you may find yourself wanting to help others the way your professors helped you understand the ins and outs of sociology. Why not get a job as a professor yourself? That way you could give back to the community that helped make you who you are and get paid for it. All teaching involves planning lessons and assessment tests of some sort, and you will have already taken exams in that field so you’ll be familiar with formatting and what information you should include on your tests. If you’re a college professor, you’ll also be making good money.
Depending on the number of courses you take on as a sociology professor, you could make over $100,000 a year.
Companies that Employ People with Sociology Degrees
When it’s all said and done at the end of the day, after graduation, after you take off your cap and gown and hug your family and friends, you need a job. Below is a list of places that are interested in hiring people who have a bachelors degree or higher in sociology.
Human Resources Division of Massachusetts – online job searching tool for residents or potential residents of the state of Massachusetts
Greenville Technical College – located in Greenville, SC, occasional professor positions available
United Disabilities Services – located in Lancaster, PA, non-profit organization that aims to help veterans, disabled persons, and elderly live more comfortably in their own homes
Clausen House – located in Oakland, CA, charitable institution providing wellness programs and housing to adults with disabilities
These are just some of your career options if you’re looking to explore the field of sociology. There are other schools and companies to research, as well, that are not listed here. Opportunities are everywhere for people with sociology degrees.