Studying sociology opens up a range of careers in areas such as welfare, education, social research, and local and central government

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Look for volunteering or work experience opportunities with organisations and businesses that you're interested in working for, or that will help you develop the skills relevant to your career interests. For example, volunteering opportunities exist in schools, community education and social work departments, or with groups including young people, victims of crime or homeless people.

If you're looking for a career in an area such as law or the Civil Service, internships offer the chance for more structured work experience. Competition for places is strong, so research the company well before applying.

Opportunities and resources are advertised by the British Sociological Association. You can also get student membership with them, which provides access to a community of sociologists, networking events and reading material.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

You may be thinking of entering a career within the areas of social or welfare but there are also opportunities with a range of other employers throughout the public and private sector. They include:

  • charitable, counselling and voluntary organisations
  • law firms
  • local and central government
  • media companies
  • marketing and PR firms
  • the NHS
  • police and probation services
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • social and market research organisations.

Opportunities also exist on a variety of graduate management training schemes.

Find information on employers in charity and voluntary work, public services and administration, social care and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying sociology provides you with a range of skills that employers look for, including communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and analytical skills. You learn to:

  • appreciate the complexity and diversity of social situations
  • develop a cross-cultural understanding of the world
  • apply sociological theory to society's organisations, including schools, hospitals and offices
  • research, judge and evaluate complex information
  • make reasoned arguments
  • apply different research methods, analysis and statistical techniques
  • develop opinions and new ideas on societal issues
  • work collaboratively as part of a team on projects
  • think creatively and independently in order to understand, scrutinise and re-assess common perceptions of the social world
  • relate sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy
  • organise your work and meeting deadlines.

Further study

You may consider going on to further study at Masters level in order to specialise in an area of sociology that interests you, such as social policy, political sociology or social research. It's then possible to go on to study for a PhD, which opens opportunities to work in research.

Alternatively, there are many courses available which can take you into different areas of work, such as:

  • community education
  • counselling
  • information management
  • journalism
  • law
  • social work
  • teaching.

To become a social worker, for example, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social work is essential.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in sociology.

What do sociology graduates do?

Welfare and housing associate professionals (8%), protective service occupations (7%), care workers (6%), teaching professionals (4%), teaching and childcare support occupations(3%), admin (4%) and sales, marketing and related associate professionals (3%) are all among the top ten jobs held by sociology graduates.

Further study9
Working and studying13
Graduate destinations for sociology
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and bar staff19.1
Clerical, secretarial and adminstrative17.2
Legal, social and welfare14.8
Childcare, health and education11.1
Types of work entered in the UK

For a detailed breakdown of what sociology graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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