There is a system of thought which believes if people do not understand the world, then the more likely they will be overwhelmed by the world. The work and contributions of sociologists help people understand one another. Sociology is a social science that studies the culture, social interactions and patterns of social relationships that make up society. Sociologists are key players in decision-making across many institutional platforms within humanity.
Sociologists observe social, political, religious and economic groups of people, organizations and institutions. They examine the effects of social influences. For example, sociologists will look at how new legislation or implemented policies impact a particular group of people within society. Sociologists may work in areas of education, crime, social services, law or work as statisticians, policy analysts or demographers.
Sociologists work full time during regular business hours and can be found sitting at a desk in an office or walking about in the field. When in the office, they process, document and analyze information. Outside of the office, they conduct observations and interviews for research or for the purpose of presenting information.
The field of sociology requires extensive job preparation in the form of graduate-level studies. While a little over 20 percent enter the field with a master’s degree, most sociologists have a Doctoral degree in the science. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree would benefit greatly from internships or volunteering when looking for entry-level sociology work.
Social science research companies typically use sociologists for conducting research on social issues. Sociologist jobs are purposeful but unstructured, for the most part, as sociologists have a degree of freedom in which to prepare and arrange aggregated data into functional information for presentations. Sociologists also supervise and instruct, as needed, for a particular project or study.
The average median salary for sociologists is $73,760 annually. For the lowest 10 percent of earners, their yearly salary is $36,200. The highest 10 percent of earners make about $145,250 per year.
Projected growth for this field shows little to no change from now until 2024, but there is an expected decline of employment for sociologists in the coming years due to the stiffening of federal spending. The top three industries that are projected to employ sociologists, gainfully, are Technical and Scientific services, Educational services, and Government. Candidates with a Ph.D., robust research and analytical skills, and a strong background in applied sociology will see more job opportunities.
Although the Department of Labor has no progressive predictions for the health of sociology careers within the next six or seven years, the demand for the services rendered by the observers and surveyors of society and culture will still have a demand. It is probable and easily conceivable, with a logical eye, to see how a decrease in jobs now will lead to more employment in the future.
The specific policies and budget cuts which – in the current fiscal view and economic forecasts – seem necessary to make, will be the very ones requiring reports from sociologists or others in related professions, to discern the influence or impact within affected communities. Sociology will always have a place, as its very nature is the study of the building blocks that support the social edifice of humanity.
“Sociologists.” (2015). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm#tab-1