Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.
There is a growing need for sociologists in society as governments, businesses, and other organizations need to understand the social environment. For example, a sociologist recently participated with geologists, geophysicists, and atmospheric researchers on a project investigating the effects of global warming on individuals and communities.
There are opportunities for global study of societies in various locations around the world.
What are some of the jobs for people trained in sociology? There are few degrees that provide the foundation for so many kinds of work, including:
Directing a non-profit agency
Corporate personnel manager
Research in both the private and public sector
Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
Charitable Organizations (Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc)
Environmental Groups (Green Peace and Sierra Club)
International Humanitarian Organizations (UN, World Health Organization, Amnesty International)
There is an optimistic employment picture for sociology graduates. Because of its appeal as a career that is intrinsically fascinating and allows one to contribute to the common good, many talented people are drawn to sociology. The field is exciting and competitive.
Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides
because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time. Sociology is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs.
People in leadership positions in business, government, education and the criminal justice system increasingly realize that we must renew attempts to understand, ameliorate, or solve problems in the United States and around the world - problems that affect individuals, like alcoholism or unemployment, and problems that affect societies, like ethnic conflict or environmental pollution. Some of the best employment prospects may be in policy research and administration, in clinical and applied sociological practice, as well as in the traditional areas of teaching and basic research.
In some sectors, sociologists work closely with economists, political scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, social workers, and others, reflecting a growing appreciation of sociology's contributions to interdisciplinary analysis and action.
BAs and BSs in sociology apply the sociological perspective to a wide variety of jobs in such sectors as:
The health professions
The criminal justice system
Since its subject matter is intrinsically fascinating, sociology also offers valuable preparation for careers in fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups such as:
Business, or Public Administration
Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base and a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to professions such as:
A BS or BA in Sociology is also an excellent preparation for an advanced degree program. With an MA or PhD degree in sociology graduates enter the corporate, non-profit, and government worlds as:
directors of research
human resource managers
and program managers.
Practicing sociologists with advanced degrees may be called
Some MA and PhD sociologists obtain specialized training to become
or program directors in social service agencies.
Famous People with Degrees in sociology:
Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat
Bryant Stith, Boston Celtics
Brian Jordan, Atlanta Braves
Joe Theisman, NFL quarterback
Eric Bjornson, Dallas Cowboys
Bobby Taylor, Eagles cornerback
Ahmad Rashad, Sportscaster
Saul Bellow, novelist
Regis Philbin, no-talent TV host
Dan Aykroyd, actor/Blues Brother
Robin Williams, actor/comedian
Paul Shaffer, bandleader on David Letterman Show (and before that, Saturday
Ruth Westheimer, the “sex doctor”
Richard Barajas, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Rev. Martin Luther King
Roy Wilkins, former head of NAACP
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Rev. Ralph Abernathy
Shirley Chisholm, former Congresswoman from NY
Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from LA
Barbara Mikulski, US Senator from Maryland
Tim Holden, Congressman from Pennsylvania
Saul Alinsky, father of community organizing
Ronald Reagan (double major in sociology and economics)
We have an active Sociology Club, and in the near future we will have an honorary fraternity, Alpha Kappa Delta. Membership in this organization is selective, and there are opportunities for scholarships and other resources.
Sociologists use computers to perform most of their work. Computer applications such as Microsoft Word is used frequently and sometimes Excel is used. Students in Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences use Excel and SPSS. The most recent versions of Microsoft applications and statistical analysis software are available in computer labs around campus.
UT Martin has traditionally been a teaching university and faculty teach courses in the areas of their doctoral specializations. These areas include Marriage and Family, Gender, Stratification, and Race and Ethnicity.