Sociologist Career and Education Information
The role of the Sociologist is to research the way society is organized around power structures, groups and individuals. Sociology can study society with a wide variety of focuses. From studying the power elite, to the interaction of the economy, society and the environment, to the examination of various rights movements, sociology examines the way different aspects of society behave and function.
Sociology is also not a static discipline. According to most scholars, sociology began with what are known as the founding fathers Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Each of them had a very different outlook as to the way in which society should be studied. Sociology has also evolved in a wide variety of directions and has new areas of study such as Elite Networking Theory and World Systems Theory. Many people do not realize that sociology actually has a profound impact on society both in an overt manner as well as behind the scenes.
A Sociologist Performs the Following Functions:
- Sets up and carries out statistical sampling
- Creates theoretical models for academia, public policy and corporate groups
- Helps to inform and influence public opinion in political races
- Creates most public opinion polls for political groups, media organizations and private companies
- Many non-profits are established by sociologists after their studies
- Sociologists often help to inform public education efforts
- Sociologists work in a wide variety of Human Services positions
Sociology Education to Join the Workforce
Depending on the career a sociologist wishes to pursue, the required education varies. If one has the wish to hold the title of sociologist you will usually need to attain a minimum of a master’s degree and in many cases a doctorate will be required. An example of a position requiring a doctorate is teaching as a professor at a college.
Sociology: Servicing Human Beings
The sociologist services fellow human beings through a variety of means. The most obvious way a Sociologist can touch the lives of their fellow human beings is through entering a career in Human Services that impacts individuals directly. For example, after earning a Bachelor’s of Sociology, one might wish to become an eligibility worker with their state Department of Human Services and help low income individuals and families receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits (formerly food stamps) and receive access to other government benefit programs. There are many ways that a career as a Sociologist services human beings.
Impact of Sociologists Have on Society
A Sociologist might opt for direct action in influencing social justice movements. Other Sociologists who are more naturally talented in research might wish to organize, prepare and implement statistical research studies for various societal issues. Some sociologists may wish to take their polling skills and enter a more lucrative career in political or corporate polling. Other sociologists may wish to return to academia after earning their doctorate and train a whole new generation of sociologists. There are a wide variety of roles a Sociologist can fill after earning their degree in sociology.
Impact at the Individual Level
For the individual, the impact of the sociologist could either be quite personal as in the case of various kinds of social workers and their clients, or at more of the macro level in the case of political or corporate polling. The individual is impacted by sociologists in a variety of ways, from having their opinion recorded in a public poll, to having their opinion influenced based on research sociologists have done. The individual has their lives touched by sociologists more often than most realize.
The sociologist can impact the family in many different ways. From the sociologist who helps develop studies of the conditions of low income families in urban settings, to the direct contact a Sociologist who works at a Human Services agency, there are many functions a Sociologist can perform that will influence families. The Sociologist has a large impact on society and that too will affect the family in myriad ways.
Sociology Salary Range
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that positions requiring a master’s degree offer a median annual wage of $92,910 (2021).
What’s Next to Pursue the Career of a Sociologist
While some employers will accept a bachelor’s degree in sociology along with related work experience, most will be looking for candidates who have at least a master of sociology. Here are some colleges that have accredited programs so you are qualified to pursue a career as a sociologist.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Sociologists reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2023.