female sociology student taking notes during presentations

What is Sociology?

At core, sociology is the study of social life. At core, social life refers to a wide array of social systems and institutions (culture, the economy, the state, families, media, education, etc.) and the individuals who participate in these systems and institutions (which is all of us). Sociologists study a wide array of topics, including social change, organized crime, racial and gender inequalities, tensions between work and family responsibilities, politics, international trade and diplomacy, and a host of other things in between.

Why Major in Sociology?

The labor market today is rapidly changing and many good quality jobs require adaptability, critical thinking skills, and an ability to communicate across diverse arenas. A sociology degree can help you do this by teaching you a variety of practical skills. Sociology pushes you to think critically by asking questions like how and why to break past surface-level, taken-for-granted answers. You will also gain a multicultural (even global) perspective by learning about a variety of cultures and socially differentiated experiences. Majoring in sociology will also teach you to conduct research, both in gathering empirical data and learning how to analyze (both quantitative and qualitative) data. You'll also have the opportunity to apply a variety of theoretical perspectives to understand the social world.

Aside from helping you to become a more engaged and proactive citizen, sociology majors can then utilize these skills toward a variety of career paths. People with sociology degrees often go into fields that include: social services (counseling, case work, etc.), sales and marketing, administrative support (program assistant, community outreach), teaching, public service (police/probation officer, government employee, etc.), information technology and public relations, management, and social science research. Jobs for sociology majors might be in the for-profit, non-profit, or public sector, and might be in the U.S. or around the world. From working with underserved populations to informing social policy, programs, and laws, a degree in sociology opens up a variety of options following graduation.