Human Services Guide

About Advanced Degrees in Sociology

Sociology studies the incredibly diverse and complex space of human society. With such a complex subject there are many different angles and lenses through which the subject matter can be studied. Even with such a wide array of societal occurrences one can study, the field of professional Sociology is actually fairly small in terms of how many Sociologists are employed as titled Sociologists. The vast majority of people who study Sociology go on to a related field in Human Services such as Social Work or working within non-profits. Those who work within Sociology usually must have advanced degrees in order to be competitive and find an employer who wishes to hire them to do Sociological research. This is true whether the Sociologist works in the private sector, academia, a non-profit or works for the government. As Sociology is a highly competitive sector, the more advanced your degree, the higher the likelihood of you finding employment and the greater your choices as to work environment.

Do you know your education options? Begin or continue a degree AS, BS, MSW, MS, PhD, Cert. Online and campus locations. Know all choices for the present or future.

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Not only will an advanced degree help you find employment, it will also give you the knowledge of your field that will help you to perform at an optimal level. The understanding created by the study associated with earning an advanced degree brings about a full and rich knowledge of the field. This depth of knowledge allows one to have a fully developed sense of one’s own capabilities and how to bring about the greatest possible positive impact on the field.

It is a highly personal decision as to what level of degree attainment is best suited to meet your career goals in Sociology. It is true that the higher the degree you attain, the more diverse your career options and the greater likelihood for advancement. However, for some the financial incentives of having a short turn-around period between beginning their education and entering the workforce may make a Bachelor’s degree more desirable. This is especially true if a Bachelor’s degree will meet one’s career goals. Below you will find a brief description of the benefits of each level of degree attainment will confer in terms of career possibilities.

Bachelor of Sociology

As time goes on, more and more employers are requiring a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree for most entry level positions. Just a few years ago, many of these jobs went to candidates that had a High School education, but increasingly these jobs go to those with at least a Bachelor’s. Having your Bachelor of Sociology degree will enable you to be qualified for all entry level and many mid-level positions within Human Services agencies. In most cases, if you wish to work as a Sociological researcher or academic you will need to earn a Master’s or Doctorate of Sociology. For those who wish to begin earning money as quickly as possible, attaining your Bachelor of Sociology will allow you to enter the workforce quickly within the field of Human Services and can be an excellent strategy for those who need to begin working more quickly.

An excellent supplement to your Sociology studies is to take a minor in a foreign language. This will make your resume stand out to prospective employers. The safest bet for a foreign language is to learn is Spanish due to the large population in the US which speaks Spanish. You may find that some regions are looking for other languages due to their specific immigrant populations which vary greatly from region to region. If you have a sense of where you would like to start your career it is a good idea to directly contact your local Human Services agencies and find out the languages that are preferred by your prospective employers. Quite a few Human Services agencies directly interact and serve populations that do not speak much English or have English as a second language that they are not as comfortable with as their first language. You will find that this phenomenon is especially true of agencies that focus on outreach. You will also want to have foreign language skills if you wish to work in a front desk or point of contact position where you interact directly with the community at large. Many state agencies and other organizations will offer a wage differential to workers who are bi-lingual. Increasingly, fluency in a foreign language is required and those jobs are earmarked for workers who are at least bi-lingual.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology you will be eligible to pursue a career in one of the following positions:

  • Behavioral Management Aide
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Sociology Screener
  • Sociology Liaison
  • Case Management Aide
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Probation Officer
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker

Master of Sociology

Most jobs that carry the official title of Sociologist require Master’s degrees due to the level of understanding and technical proficiency required. One thing to keep in mind even if you do not wish to work as a Sociologists, but would prefer work in Human Services is that as the workforce is increasingly well educated, employers are now able to take candidates who are overqualified for the job. By attaining a Master’s degree in Sociology you are not only ensuring that you will have a great diversity of potential careers, you also are making your resume very competitive if you wish to get a foot in the door with a lower tier position. By taking a more entry level position you will usually be able to rapidly promote from within the organization due to your educational qualifications.

By earning your Master of Sociology degree you will have access to a variety of career options within Humans Services and Sociology. A Master’s degree gives one tremendous opportunity in the field of Human Services and Sociology. A Master’s degree is the level at which you can begin to get work as a Sociological Researcher which will take full advantage of your educational training. You also can look forward to a significantly higher income with a Master’s degree when compared to a Bachelor’s.

Here are some of the Sociology job titles you can hold with a Master’s degree:

  • Case Manager
  • Human Services Educator
  • College Instructor in Sociology
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselor
  • Director of Human Services Agency
  • Sociological Researcher
  • Geriatric Social Worker
  • School Social Worker 
  • Social and Community Service Manager

Doctorate in Sociology

A Doctorate of Sociology is the highest degree you can achieve in Sociology. Having your Doctorate means you can look forward to top tier Sociology or Human Services positions and the widest field of career choices and the highest salary in the field. Having earned your Doctorate you will be qualified for any of the previously listed occupations. You will also be qualified to be a professor at a university and teach undergrad and graduate students, helping to train the next generation of Sociologists. With a Doctorate of Sociology you also will be an ideal candidate for many management or directorship positions within various Human Services agencies. Having earned your doctorate you will find that you have tremendous opportunities within your discipline and will be looked on as an expert. A doctorate will give you access to the highest paid careers and will have your choice of work environments and occupations. A doctorate will ensure that not only will you be a very desirable candidate for any position in Sociology or Human Services you will also have the potential to promote to the highest levels within your organization. A Ph.D. will also give you excellent job security.