Sociology Degree: Everything You Need to Know and More


“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!” Well Karl Marx didn’t know that we were coming down the pike when he said that in the 1800’s, but that’s alright because we’ve got enough to say about earning a sociology degree to make even him throw his hands up. Thank you for stopping by Learn U today to read about earning a sociology degree. You are in for a real treat!

Sociology Degree

In short, sociology is the study of the development, structure and functioning of human society and social problems. If this is an area that is interesting to you, but you are unsure of how to go about earning a degree in this field – have no fear because Learn U will tell you everything that you need to know.

Today we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about the many phases of earning a degree in sociology as well as some other interesting little bits of information. Stay tuned boys and girls because we’ve got a lot of good stuff for you today.

What Can You Do with a Sociology Degree?

Sociology is one of those fields that will provide you with a pretty wide net of job possibilities once you have completed your degree. We want you to know about some of those possibly career options so that you can feel like you made a solid and informed decision about earning a sociology degree. Here are a few ideas of where you can work!

  • Corrections: We all know that the amount of inmates that we have in our prison systems only seems to be growing, so a job in corrections is a viable option for those with a sociology degree. Sociologists are helpful in the corrections field because they are able to aid prison officials in ways of effectively implementing new programs and regulations.
  • Counseling: It’s actually rather common for counselors and therapists to have degrees in sociology along with psychology. Many in this career field believe that having this additional realm of knowledge allow them to do their jobs better. Sociologists are skilled in analyzing patterns and trends, which can be a very integral part of being an effective counselor.
  • Education: If you are interested in becoming a teacher then you are in the right degree program. Having a sociology degree and a teaching certificate can definitely get your foot in the door at a high school. If you have a bachelor’s degree you can teach political science, history and social science in high schools. If you’d like to go the distance and earn a Ph.D., do it up because you can then go on to teach at colleges or universities.
  • Law Enforcement: Having a sociology degree really opens you up to a lot of really interesting jobs in the law enforcement field. Sociologists actually play a larger role here than most people think. They are able to aid detectives, the FBI, profilers and other police officers when they need help predicting criminal behavior and identifying seemingly hidden patterns.
  • Journalism: Sociology majors that have a passion for writing and those that are effective communicators may want to consider a career in journalism. There is often a high demand for sociologists at newspapers and other news outlets. The knowledge that sociology degree holders have can prove to be a major draw that will bring readers in when it is added in conjunction with solid writing skills. You may find yourself to be a pretty hot commodity in this industry.
  • Research: A lot of sociologists opt to enter into research as consultants for various clients. You will be able to apply all of the things that you learned in school to form studies and report back the results. You’d be surprised by how many different types of clients you may be able to reel in and curious to see what they hope to gain from your research on human behavior.
  • Youth Services: As sociologists you will likely have a good bit of knowledge under your belt that can help the younger members of our society and this will lead you to fulfilling career opportunities. You will be able to show your stuff for government agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations. Who knows, maybe some of the assistance that you provide will make a real impact on the future leaders of the world.

Sociology Degree Programs

Now we get to the real heart of the story – the actual sociology degree programs. You definitely have some options here and we are ready to tell you all about the different degree options available within the sociology field. We have a lot to cover in this area, so let’s just skip the rambling and get right to it, shall we?

Associate’s Degree in Sociology

We took a look at the associate’s degree program for students that are interested at Rose State College that is located in Midwest City, Oklahoma. The sociology degree program at Rose State College is specifically designed to help students phase right into undergraduate and then graduate degree programs as four year universities. This college prides itself on helping students master such skills as critical thinking, problem solving, communications on top of the ability to express their thoughts precisely in written form.

We are always interested in examining some of the classes that are available at specific schools and Rose State College is so exception. Here are some of the classes that are available to students that are pursuing a sociology degree. Some of these sure make us wish we could jump back into the classroom for a bit!

  • Special Topics in Sociology: This is a course that is designed to cover specific topics within the field of sociology. Each time this course is presented to students it is designed to specifically cover topics that are pertinent and geared towards what students need to know.
  • Sex and Gender: This is a course that covers the study and sex and gender and how they are expressed by individuals in society. Sex and gender role stereotypes and the impact that they have on men and women are also discussed at length during this class too.
  • The Family in Society: Here is a course that is used to educate students about the most basic understanding of family and how it functions as a social institution. Family life in other societies as well as the historical past of family units is examined in this class as well.

 Bachelor’s of Sociology Degree

Moving on now to a school that offers a Bachelor’s of Sociology degree, we head on over to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Students that attend this school are required to complete at least 36 semester credit hours of course work in order to complete the degree requirements. Part of the experience that students are exposed to at the University of Texas as San Antonio is the internship program that has been designed. Each student is able to enter into this unique internship program and will be specifically placed in the right position the internship coordinator for the Department of Sociology.

The University of Texas at San Antonio has some pretty interested courses available to students that are taking the next step to becoming the proud recipient of a sociology degree. Take a look at some of the options available for you!

  • Social Context of Drug Use: In this course, students will examine the use and abuse of drugs in our society. Some of the things that will be covered within this course will include the historical treatment of drug use, drug treatment, recovery interventions and the nature and consequences of drug laws.
  • Social Stratification: This course encourages students to analyze and examine theories of sociology that pertain to power and the inequality that so often comes with it, prestige and economic privilege. The class focuses mostly on the inequality that takes place in the United States.
  • Religion and Society: This is a course that places heavy focus upon how religious movements and institutions impact society. Some of the areas that students will learn about are social stratification, economic institutions and political and social changes with an in depth look at how religion affects them.

Master’s Arts or Master’s of Science in Sociology Degree

After you spend four years locking in your bachelor’s degree, you can head right into another three or so years of schooling to snag a master’s degree. Earning a master’s degree in sociology is an excellent way to prepare yourself for a doctorate degree and is necessary if you’d like to become a teacher of sociology in a college setting or enter into research fields.

Doctorate in Philosophy

The very tippity top of the degree pyramid for those earning a sociology degree is a doctorate degree. Having one of these will open a lot of doors for you and will more than likely make all of your hard work worth it. During the process of finishing up the final leg of your schooling, you will spend most of your time conducting research for your dissertation. There will be many late nights and long days for you when you are finishing up becoming a fancy Ph.D.

Sociologists to Know

We would be remiss if we did not tell you all about some of the super interesting dudes that paved the way for sociology as we know it! Let’s take a look at some of the interesting figures that made sociology what it is today:

Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917)

0022-criador-sociologiaEmile Durkeim is known as one of the founding fathers of sociology and was one of the first sociology in France. He is widely credited with bringing sociology the recognition of being a real science. Durkheim notably refuted Karl Marx with his 1893 publication of “The Division of Labor in Society”. Two years later he published “Suicide” which really brought sociology to into forefront of science. This publication was loaded with information on how social integration directly impacts the rate of suicide.

Max Weber (1862 – 1920)

Max Weber is often referenced as the third founding father of sociology. He most notably placed an emphasis on the meaning behinds the actions of people and what the purpose of those actions was. His “Protestant Ethic” theory made him famous and helped him to become one of the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party after the First World War.

Charles Wright Mills (1916 – 1962)

We have Charles Wright Mills to thank for the well-known phrase “power elite” which we still use to describe those that are the heads of government or other organizations. Mills worked hard to forge alliances between those that were seen as the elite in the political and intellectual worlds. Most of his work took part in the post World War II era.

Daniel Bell (1919 – 2011)

Daniel Bell was a pioneer when it came to conceptualizing the post-industrialized society and his 1973 book, “The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society” cemented his theory. His theory that society had reached a point where the service sectors began to generate more wealth than the manufacturing industry made waves and locked in his spot in sociology’s history.

Erving Goffman (1922 – 1982)

Erving Goffman is a favorite among other sociologists and is touted as one of the most influential guys in the field of the 20th century. That’s a pretty heavy title, but if anyone deserves it, it’s Goffman. He made his mark in sociology by developing the theory of dramaturgy and for his publication of his 1959 book “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.” His theory of dramaturgy essentially dissects the social construction of our inner selves and that we are all actors in our roles in daily life.

Why a Sociology Degree?

This is definitely a good question to ask yourself before you invest lots of time and lots of money into a degree path. According to some of the sociologists in the field, here are the reasons you should choose a sociology degree:

  • New sociology graduates have lower employment rates: Sociology and psychology have the highest employment rates for new graduates. Georgetown University did a study in 2013 showing that all of social sciences and humanities graduates flounder a bit more in the employment department.
  • Perfect educational foundations for grad school: You are rearing and ready to go for graduate school once you complete your bachelor’s degree. You may parlay your sociology undergraduate degree into a graduate degree in many different fields. You can jump into areas of law, social work and obviously continue on with your sociology course work.
  • Sociology is a fun and flexible degree option: Sociology is definitely a degree path that can and most likely will get you hooked within your first few classes. It offers up such an interesting study ground in and of itself, but it also opens up many other pathways of study and future employment opportunities.
  • You will be ready to get to work: Having a sociology degree will really prepare students for a pretty diverse, interesting and challenging job market. During your time as a sociology student you will learn analytical and statistical methods, communication skills in a group setting as well as individually, an understanding of current social issues and trends, how to work in different environment and community issues.

These are some of the appealing things that come along with earning a degree in sociology. Do you have some interesting reasons for jumping on the social sciences bandwagon? Let us know if so!

Side Effects of Earning a Sociology Degree

There are some side effects that tend to go hand in hand with earning a sociology degree and they will probably change the way you view the world and those around you. On the plus side though, at least these side effects aren’t like those that come with medications. We’ll take the intellectual side effects listed below rather than headaches, upset stomach or insomnia any day. Here’s what we are talking about:

  • You’ll develop a love – hate relationship with Karl Marx: Karl Marx is the Big Poppa of the sociology world and pretty much gave birth to the field as we know it. He also had some theories that definitely have some sociologists scratching their heads.
  • You’ll roll your eyes and sigh when people mix up sex and gender: Yep, trust us…this will bug you. For the record: sex = male and female and gender = masculine and feminine. Phew we feel better.
  • Wilkinson and Pickett’s research on societal inequality proves that you are correct: You will likely encounter many people that like to argue about the health and social problems in other countries. Just know that the research conducted by Wilkinson and Pickett that you reference pretty much makes you correct.
  • You’ll hear that sociology isn’t a real science all the time: Prepare you best smile and nod for this one because there’s not a whole lot that you can do. You know that sociology is a real science and we know that sociology is a real science and that’s all that matters.
  • You secretly wish that psychology, sociology and anthropology could be BFF’s: You’re all working towards the same goals, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could join forces and have secret decoder ring and stuff. Maybe one day…
  • You’ll become a feminist: This applies to guys and gals equally too. You’ll not only become a feminist, but you’ll rock that badge with honor and burn a few bras while you are at it.
  • You know that there is much more to racism than racial slurs: This one comes with the sociology student territory for sure. We’ll let you find this one out for yourself.
  • The criminal justice system will make you shake your head: There really isn’t much debate here as there is a notable issue with our criminal justice system. There are known issues with health care, psychological care, living quarters, meals, population density and understaffing facilities just to name a few.
  • You will use a lot of sociology buzz words: Words like systemic, institution, binary, construction and hegemonic will become a part of your daily vernacular.
  • You may also become prone to using other “progressive” terms: It will likely become common for you to say things like queer people, indigenous peoples, and people of color, socio-economic status and gender identity minorities. They are a bit nicer and pretty accurate, so let the vernacular fly.
  • You’ll think that you can solve the world’s problems: You’ll probably at some point think that everyone needs to take a sociology class and that if they did the world would be a much better place.

Advice for Sociology Students…

We stumbled upon this video while taking a peek at some of the other sociology videos that run aplenty on YouTube. We found this one to be supremely unique and enjoyable…Not to mention totally useful for graduate students. This video pretty much lays it all out there for you and will tell you what you need to know in terms of the next step after you earn your degree. It’s kind of nice to have a realistic, “been there, done that” approach to the study presented. We are sure that you will take a lot from this degree program, so give it a gander!

Sources and Recommended Reading

Oh how we love out sources! They help us to sound way smarter and more informed than we are. Without our sources we are merely the peanut nut butter without the jelly. If you are interested in learning even more about earning a sociology degree, then we suggest you hit up the sources that we have below for some extra information.

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