Studying sociology opens up a wide range of careers in areas such as welfare, education, social research, and local and central government
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Advice worker
- Community development worker
- Further education teacher
- Higher education lecturer
- International aid/development worker
- Policy officer
- Secondary school teacher
- Social researcher
- Social worker
- Youth worker
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Charity officer
- Civil Service administrator
- Family support worker
- Housing manager/officer
- Human resources officer
- Life coach
- Newspaper journalist
- Police officer
- Probation officer
- Public relations officer
- Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
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.
Think about the group or environment you're interested in. Narrowing down your preferences allows you to focus your approach to specific employers. For more information, see the British Sociological Association.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
While some sociology graduates enter work in a social or welfare role, there are also opportunities with a wide range of other employers throughout the public and private sector. Employers 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.
Skills for your CV
Studying sociology provides you with a wide range of the 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.
Some sociology graduates go on to further study at Masters level in order to specialise in an area of sociology that interests them, such as social policy, political sociology or social research. It's then possible to go on to study for a PhD, which opens up opportunities to work in research.
There are also opportunities to take further study and/or vocational training to get into specific areas of work such as:
- community education
- information management
- social work
To become a social worker, for example, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social work is essential.
What do sociology graduates do?
Almost two thirds of sociology graduates are in employment six months after graduation. A fifth of graduates choose to either continue their studies or work while studying to gain experience.
|Working and studying||7.1|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||21.6|
|Legal, social and welfare||12.2|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||11.6|
|Business, HR and financial||10.4|
For a detailed breakdown of what sociology graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.