Sociology Careers in High Demand

In 2011, Career  Cast ranked the job of sociologist 11th amongst all professions in the USA, based on Department of Labour measures of work environment, stress and hiring outlook. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal announced that sociology was in 19th place in its list of best jobs. They drew on data by the USA Bureau of Labour focusing on five measures: “physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook.”

Sociology skills remain in high demand in government, the not-for-profit sector and in the corporate world.

Applied sociology skills in demand

Photo: Jeremy Wilburn via Flickr
Photo: Jeremy Wilburn via Flickr

In 2014, The Washington Post argued that employers are seeking social science skills as well as technological knowledge. Employers want to see strategic leadership alongside cultural, social and emotional intelligence. These are skills provided by a sociology degree.

“Leadership today requires addressing the challenges of an increasingly complex and interconnected world, whether the challenges are in business, health, education, technology, law, social justice, environmental protection or dozens of other fields… One of the lesser-known stories in higher education is the extent to which the humanities and social sciences are evolving and innovating to meet this objective. Time-worn distinctions between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ disciplines are blurring as faculty develop new ways of integrating technology into research, pull multiple disciplines together to solve problems, and apply the knowledge created to challenges in the broader world.”

Highly employable

A survey from the UK finds that 84% of social science graduates were employed three years after graduating, compared with 79% of graduates from arts and humanities and 78% of science graduates. While science majors are more likely to be pursuing a postgraduate education degree, social science graduates are more likely to be employed as managers or professionals.

Professor James Wilsdon, who chairs the Campaign for Social Science, says:

“It’s time to banish any lingering myths about the value of a social science degree. Our report shows that employers in the public and private sectors are queuing up to hire social science graduates.”


Header image credit: Photo by cohoo 郑凯夫 via Flickr.

Bottom image: original photo: shadowgirl08 via Flickr.

  • Larry Whorley

    I am compelled to note an error in your description of clinical sociology. Your web site page states the following: “Clinical sociologists work in hospitals and they deliver community services, often carrying out social work.” This is inaccurate in that a sociologist is not a social worker, as is that a social worker is not a sociologist. These are separate disciplines/professions. I possess a B.S. degree in sociology, but I do not identify myself as a sociologist (I do not meet the qualifications of a higher degree). Unless a sociologist also has earned at least a MSW degree, then he/she is not a social worker or practicing “social work.” This comment may seem thin-skinned to some. However, I remember one of my sociology professors who was verbally assaulted by someone because he was asked what he did for a living and replied: “I am a sociologist.” The questioner mistakenly interpreted this as a “socialist” (equated as a “communist” since this was 1971 in Southwest Virginia).

    Words make a difference!

    Larry W. Whorley, DSW, LCSW