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If you feel fascinated by how humans interact — and the functionings of society in general — you might enjoy studying sociology. Pursuing an online sociology degree comes with several advantages; in addition to learning a subject you love, you can study on your own terms. This major also provides fertile ground for job prospects. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects occupations for social workers will grow 16% between 2016 and 2026, but sociologists find jobs in other industries, as well. This guide overviews how to choose the best online sociology degree for your educational and career goals.
Why Earn a Sociology Degree Online?
Choosing to pursue a sociology degree online rather than on-campus offers abundant benefits. Students with other responsibilities — like full-time jobs or family obligations — can pursue an education on their own time, thanks to distance learning technology. Online students may work on their coursework at their convenience from anywhere with an internet connection.
Schools offer several learning formats options, too: Learners can enroll in accelerated programs or as part-time students. These options add to the flexible nature of online learning. In addition, students can choose asynchronous programs, which allow learners to watch lectures and complete assignments whenever they like. Distance-learning programs often feature lower tuition prices, and online students incur fewer expenses than their on-campus counterparts, who usually have to pay on-campus facility fees and room and board.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Sociology?
At first glance, an online sociology degree might not seem like the most practical path for employment. However, studying sociology equips students with a range of versatile skills that apply to several industries. Sociology graduates' research abilities, for example, can bolster their research skills in advertising, law, or finance. Moreover, a bachelor's in sociology creates a solid foundation for a graduate degree in sociology or another subject. Sociology graduates might go on to pursue a law degree or master of social work, for instance.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Individuals pursuing sociology degrees online learn about the theories behind human society and gain practical skills, as well, which help them become desirable job candidates. Sociology students develop cultural competencies that allow them to work with various demographics across gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Their research skills also give them a huge advantage when searching for jobs. They can collect data through surveys and interviews, analyze statistics, and present findings.
Learners must usually understand quantitative and qualitative research skills, which equip them to conduct several forms of research. Sociology students write lots of essays during their undergraduate careers, which helps them to develop sharp writing skills and an ability to effectively synthesize complex information.
Careers and Salary Potential
The versatility of an online sociology degree also counts as one of its major strengths. Sociology majors learn skills that may apply in the social and community services, healthcare, business, advertising, public relations, education, and law enforcement industries. Sociology graduates demonstrate keen analytical and critical-thinking skills, and possess strong interpersonal skills that allow them to communicate effectively and with a sense of empathy. Read about potential careers for sociology graduates below.
Education: Sociology graduates qualify for many job opportunities in the education field, such as positions teaching high school social sciences or providing career guidance to college students.
Advertising, Branding, and Sales Promotions: To effectively sell products and services, advertising agencies must understand how people think. Sociology graduates can work as survey researchers and analysts to find trends in what people desire and why they desire those things.
Healthcare: Online sociology graduates can work at health services organizations as substance abuse educators, caseworkers, or rehabilitation advisers. They may also work in family planning or with insurance providers.
Financial Services: Sociology graduates gain many skills that can transfer to the financial services industry. For example, they possess the ability to conduct consumer research and analysis, which qualifies them to work in administrative or human resources capacities.
Law Firms: Even if sociology graduates do not earn their law degrees, they can work in law firms as paralegals, administrative workers, or researchers.
Social or Community Service Manager
Annual Median Salary : $64,100
Social or community service managers typically work at nonprofit and government organizations, usually helping specific vulnerable demographic like homeless people or children whose parents struggle with substance abuse. These professionals oversee everything at those organizations, including managing administrative tasks and and running social service programs. They hire staff and evaluate whether programs seem effective.
Annual Median Salary : $47,980
Licensed clinical social workers must possess a master of social work. However, those who hold bachelor's degrees in an adjacent field can find direct-service positions, such as caseworkers. They may also work in social work advocacy, working with policymakers and social service groups to improve social policies and programs.
Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist
Annual Median Salary : $51,410
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work with people who have been convicted of breaking the law. Probation officers keep track of probationers, for example, paying them regular visits to help them live as law-abiding citizens. Correctional treatment specialists create rehabilitation plans for probationers and parolees. They might also perform psychological tests on their clients, or place clients into job training programs.
Annual Median Salary : $54,270
These professionals carry out research through surveys, usually for professional, technical, educational, nonprofit, or scientific purposes. The intent of each survey depends on the company, but survey research generally involves gathering insight into how a particular group of people think. Survey researchers also analyze the data to identify any sociological trends.
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