Sociology is one of the most captivating and vast fields of study. It examines human societies, behaviour, and the way in which they change and influence each other over time. But is this enough to convince you to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Sociology?
What about job prospects, personal fulfilment, and the impact of Sociology graduates? Are these factors relevant in 2021, and how much do they matter?
Let’s find out by looking at the best reasons to study Sociology!
1. You can choose from various Sociology specialisations
Sociology is very broad and allows students to further specialise in one of its subfields. These are only a few options available:
Of course, you can also study a general degree in Sociology if that’s what you’re looking for.
2. You can study at the best Sociology universities
According to the QS Ranking by TopUniversities, these are the best universities for aspiring Sociology students:
- Harvard University, the US
- University of Oxford, the UK
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the US
- Stanford University, the US
- National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the US
- University of Chicago, the US
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, the US
Not convinced by this list? You don’t need to be! Other Sociology rankings are available:
- Best Sociology schools by Times Higher Education
- Top Sociology universities in the UK by The Complete University Guide
3. Sociology jobs are well paid and in demand
The future looks bright for sociologists because we live in a modern world where social change is needed on many levels. And to achieve this change, we first need to understand how society itself functions — that’s where sociologists come in.
In the US, for example, the job outlook for sociologists is expected to grow by 4% between 2019-2029 (based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Now, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Sociology jobs and the average salaries in the US based on data from PayScale.
- Guidance Counsellor – 52,700 USD/year
- Policy Analyst – 59,830 USD/year
- Social Worker – 48,530 USD/year
- Public Relations (PR) Specialist – 49,970 USD/year
- Youth Worker – 37,920 USD/year
4. Sociologists develop relevant transferable skills
The world has changed. It’s not so common that you start on this or that career path and stick to it for the next 40 or 50 years. Nowadays, it’s common and perfectly normal for professionals to change careers, try new things, or even have a go at freelancing or entrepreneurship.
Of course, not everybody has the skillset or the opportunities to try it. But Sociology students do! Thanks to the abilities and know-how you’ll develop, it’s easy to work in fields that initially don’t seem to have anything in common. These are the main transferrable skills that will help you down the line:
- Research and analysis
- Sociological insight
- Critical thinking
- Statistical reasoning
- Cultural awareness and competence
- Asking better questions, not accepting easy explanations
5. Discover more about your own behaviours and actions
The main purpose of Sociology is to understand the structure and fabric of human societies and the mutually influential relationship between society and people.
As you’ll develop a deeper understanding of our behaviours and patterns, you’ll also learn more about yourself. In a sense, Sociology studies can act as a mirror, a door to introspection.
You’ll discover that feelings and experiences aren’t necessarily unique, that others have gone through similar situations, and that the way we respond to the outside environment often fits in certain patterns.
Sociological imagination is a key concept in this discovery process. Sociological imagination is about being able to differentiate — or, in some cases — make the connection between our own mistakes and negative consequences and the effects of outside social forces and events, which aren’t always in our control.
6. Become an informed and active citizen
You cannot fix a problem until you accept you have one or until you understand what it really is, what the causes are, and so on. As a sociologist or at least a Sociology graduate, you’ll be naturally inclined to look at social issues and try to understand how they came to be.
By finding better answers and solutions, you can play an important role as a better and more informed citizen; one who is actively involved in society and who strives to get others involved and participate in the positive development of the world around them.
NGOs or similar small organisations are an excellent example here. Those are the initiative of small groups of people who inform their fellow citizens, who ask for their signatures and (vocal) support, and often succeed in changing policies and political decisions for the better.
Now that you know all the benefits of this vast and wonderful discipline called Sociology, are you ready to take the next step? It all starts with finding the right Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Sociology.