Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in sociology?

Sociology is the study of society and social relationships and is an excellent major for anyone interested in social issues or the dynamics of social interaction. Training in sociology allows students to look beyond individuals and consider and analyze how social and historical forces shape human interactions.

Sociology is a very broad field; students can study topics such as race and ethnicity, health, gender, international development, the economy, politics, labor, sexuality and religion. Sociology is relevant for any career that involves social interactions.

Some majors plan to become professional sociologists. However, many also look for sociology-related jobs in fields such as criminal justice, health care, non-profit work, community organizing, social justice work, business or marketing, social services, education and government or politics. The major also provides an excellent foundation for those that are interested in entering professional or graduate school programs.

Transferable skills

A sociology degree offers skills in:

  • Articulating and defending a position
  • Conducting social analysis using quantitative or qualitative methods
  • Critical thinking
  • Evaluating ideas, theory, and evidence across diverse topical areas
  • Identifying cultural and social considerations
  • Planning and designing projects
  • Recognizing social processes and patterns
  • Understanding human relationships
  • Understanding privilege, prejudice, and discrimination

Career insights by degree

Still want more information about what degree is right for you? Visit our career insights explorer tool to learn more.

Graduate study

A sociology degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

Notable people with a sociology major

  • Wellington Webb (mayor of Denver)
  • Brett Schundler (mayor of Jersey City)
  • Annette Strauss (former mayor of Dallas)
  • Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (civil rights activist, minister)
  • Roy Wilkins (former head of NAACP)
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson (civil rights activist)
  • Reverend Ralph Abernathy (civil rights activist, pastor)
  • Shirley Chisholm (former congresswoman from New York, first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Maxine Waters (congresswoman from Los Angeles)
  • Barbara Mikulski (U.S. senator from Maryland)
  • Tim Holden (congressman from Pennsylvania)
  • Emily Balch (1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner, social worker, social reformer)
  • Francis Perkins (social reformer, former secretary of labor)
  • Richard Barajas (chief justice, Texas Supreme Court)
  • Christopher Connor (Sherwin Williams CEO)