Sociology Degree and Career Guide

sociology degree and career guide

Sociology is a field that studies the structure, organization, and change of social institutions and groups. It studies and analyzes many areas of research, such as mass media, gender issues, racism, deviance, class, the environment, and social control. Sociology professionals study not just society but also the effect it has on cities, states, neighborhoods, and individuals on a global scale.

Sociologists not only study what a person or people do but why they do it and the effect it has on others. Sociology is also an interdisciplinary field that intertwines with various other fields of work and study. By earning a sociology degree, sociologists can obtain a better understanding of the world in which we live. Individuals interested in careers in sociology can choose from a variety of degree levels from associate degrees to doctoral degrees depending on their career aspirations, and many of these degrees can be earned completely online.


Excellent Wage Potential

As of May 2021, sociologists earned an annual average wage of $96,260 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Numerous Career Opportunities

Earning a degree in sociology prepares students for a variety of careers in different fields, including social work, education, business, and human services, among others.


Rewarding Careers

Individuals who pursue sociology degrees generally possess good communication skills, good critical thinking skills, and the desire to help people and society in general. A sociology degree puts students in a place where they can help, which can be very rewarding.

Associates Degrees in Sociology

The associate degree is typically a two-year program that prepares students for entry-level jobs in the field of sociology. It also acts as a foundation for the bachelor’s degree in sociology. The curriculum includes prerequisite courses, general education courses, and courses related to the major. Graduates of an associate in sociology may find work as research analyst assistants, outreach workers, court advocates, youth counselors, and caseworkers. Many colleges offer this degree online.

Online Programs

Georgia Military College
Online Associates Degree in Sociology

Georgia Military College offers an online Associate of Arts in Sociology program through its Global Leadership Online College. This liberal arts-based program teaches students all aspects of sociology. Students must complete 94 credits, 25 of which must be on the chosen concentration. This program aims at preparing students for advanced degrees.

Gateway Community College
Online Associate of Arts, emphasis Sociology

Gateway Community College has an online Associate of Arts program with an emphasis on sociology. This program’s curriculum provides the courses required for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. It also provides students with the knowledge to join the workforce in the field of sociology. Students can choose to attend college part- or full-time.

John Wood Community College
Associate of Arts in Sociology

John Wood Community College has a 100 percent online Associate of Arts in Sociology that offers courses that teach about contemporary concerns and various social issues. This program can be completed in less than two years. It also prepares students for entry into a bachelor’s degree program.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology

The bachelor’s degree is the degree most chosen by students interested in working in and learning about sociology. When completed on campus, the program can be completed in four years. Online students may take more or less time to complete the program based on their commitment.

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program are qualified to work as human resource managers, bankers, quality control managers, market analysts, project managers, and consumer relations specialists to name just a few. Online undergraduate sociology degree programs are offered at many colleges.

Online Programs

Arizona State University
B.S. in Sociology

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sociology program that requires the completion of 120 credit hours with classes running for 7.5 weeks. Students will complete 41 classes, which teach them about research methods and the history of sociology. Upon graduation, students will be able to think critically about sociology topics, analyze data and information, and successfully perform research.

Maryville University
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology

Maryville University has an online bachelor’s degree in sociology that integrates coursework into the student’s career goals with students having a choice of four tracks. They can also choose from some 100- or 200-level courses and 200- and 300-level courses. This 100 percent online program prepares students for many sociology careers once they graduate.

Southern New Hampshire University
BA in Sociology

An online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is offered through Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to this program being one of the most affordable in the state, it also allows students to complete it at their own pace. It also offers various start dates. Course topics include social science research methods, sociology perspectives, and sociology of the family.

Master’s Degrees in Sociology

The sociology master’s degree program is often chosen because of the various career opportunities that are available to graduates. Many students possessing a bachelor’s degree choose to take the online master’s degree program because it allows them to work and advance their education. Graduates can find careers in data analysis management, research, business management, and communication.

Online Programs

Texas A&M University
Master’s Degree in Sociology

Texas A&M University has a master’s degree in sociology program that is 100 percent online. It requires the completion of 30 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Unlike many other master’s degree programs, this one does not have a thesis requirement. This program’s focus is mostly on helping the students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are necessary for the field of sociology.

Fayetteville State University
Master of Arts in Sociology

Fayetteville State University has an online Master of Arts in Sociology that teaches students about research methods, data analysis, and social statistics. It also provides advanced training in sociology theories. Students can participate in workshops and seminars. FSU also offers a graduate certificate in sociology. This program is aimed at individuals who hold a graduate degree but want to focus on a specific area of sociology.

University of Alabama Birmingham
Master of Arts in Applied Sociology

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an online Master of Arts in Applied Sociology that consists of nine courses equaling 30 units. This program does not require a GMAT or GRE. It also does not require completing a thesis. Upon graduation, individuals are qualified for high-level positions in not only sociology careers but other areas as well.

Advanced Sociology Degrees

Advanced sociology degrees are chosen by sociology professionals who are interested in taking their education to the next level and increasing their wage potential. Doctoral degrees generally take two to three years or more to complete and require the completion of written and oral exams as well as the presentation of a dissertation. Doctoral degrees are typically chosen by students interested in careers in sociology research or academia.

Online Programs

Although there are various types of online sociology degrees, no colleges or universities currently offer this program online. There are several well-known colleges and universities that offer doctoral degree degrees in sociology on campus. These programs are very comprehensive and focus a lot on research. They do prepare students for high-level sociology positions. Some universities that offer doctoral degree programs in sociology include:

Johns Hopkins University
Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Global Social Change or Social Inequity

Johns Hopkins University – Johns Hopkins University offers a Ph.D. in Sociology that is slightly unique in its features. Students are required to complete a certain number of electives and sociology-based core courses, but they must also complete a one-semester teaching assistantship and a research apprenticeship. They must also meet all residency requirements.

Stanford University
PhD Program in Sociology

Stanford University – Students at Stanford University can choose between the school’s stand-alone program or a joint doctoral degree program. Students must complete survey courses, research and methods courses, and sociological theory courses. Additionally, they must complete a workshop, a dissertation, and a second-year paper.

Duke University
Ph.D. in Sociology

Duke University – Duke University offers a Ph.D. in Sociology to full-time students enrolled for at least six semesters. The program includes courses in social networks, economic sociology, social psychology, and medical sociology. Students must complete seven electives and six core courses.

Portland State University
Ph.D. in Sociology

Portland State University – Portland State University’s Ph.D. in Sociology program is aimed at students with a master’s degree. In addition to attending a seminar on social inequality, students much complete 16 credits of electives, core sociology graduate courses, and complete a dissertation.

Careers in the Sociology Field

  • Human Resources Assistant Human resource assistants perform tasks for human resource managers and assist them in their daily duties. This position requires an associate degree.
  • Caseworker – Caseworkers assist social workers in helping social workers in their duties. They also work with clients. This position requires at least an associate degree.
  • Social WorkerSocial workers work with individuals, couples, and groups that are going through difficulties in their lives. Social workers need at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Data AnalystData analysts take care of retrieving, analyzing, and saving data. This position usually requires a bachelor’s degree but may often accept an associate degree.
  • Quality Control Manager – A quality control manager is in charge of the quality of a department. He or she oversees a department and ensures everything is of the highest quality. A master’s degree is usually required for this position.
  • Human Resources Manager – A human resources manager oversees and is in charge of a human resources department. This position typically requires a master’s degree.
  • Criminologist – A criminologist studies criminals and their behavior. Criminologists usually have a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Sociology Professor – A sociology professor teaches sociology to students at colleges and universities. This position requires a doctoral degree and licensure.

Next Steps

Getting a degree in Sociology means you care about people and about social change. There are many ways to make an impact with this degree. Get started today!