A degree in sociology is an excellent springboard for entering the world of business, industry, and organizations. The sociological perspective is crucial for working in today's multi-ethnic and multi-national business environment.
An undergraduate sociology major provides valuable insights into social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class that affect work and how organizations operate.
An advanced degree specializing in the sociology of work, occupations, labor, and organizations can lead to teaching, research, and applied roles.
Many applied fields are grounded in sociological theories and concepts. Sociological research influences the way we think about work and organizational life, and it enables us to discover new knowledge. Sociology is a valuable preparation for careers in modern organizational settings.
Students who graduate with a B. A. or B. S. in sociology and enter the job market directly will find themselves competing with other liberal arts students, but with an advantage--knowledge of key social factors and a firm grasp on research design and methods. This advantage of the B. A. sociology program provides breadth and the potential for adaptability.
Although few occupations include "sociologist" in their title at the bachelor's level, the sociological perspective is excellent preparation for a wide variety of occupations. You should look for an entry-level job, gain experience through internships, and watch for opportunities of specialized training or advanced education.
If you are approaching graduation (or have recently graduated) and are seeking a job in the business world, focus on general areas of interest that motivate you. Sociology majors who are interested in organizational theory gravitate toward organizational planning, development, and training. Those who study the sociology of work and occupations may pursue careers in human resources management (personnel) and industrial relations. Students who especially enjoy research design, statistics, and data analysis seek positions in marketing, public relations, and organizational research. Courses in economic and political sociology, cultural diversity, racial and ethnic relations, and social conflict can lead to positions in international business.
(*This information was taken from the American Sociological Association website)
In addition, the University of Georgia Career Center has created a fact-sheet entitled "What can I do with a major in Sociology?" that describes typical occupations and employers associated with sociology. Sociology majors should also see the “Career Resources for Undergraduates” that the American Sociological Association has gathered to help sociology majors prepare for and make the transition from school to employment.
The department has created an internship course (SOCI 4950) called the “Internship Experience.” It involves the application of sociological theory and research to public and private sector enterprises, with an emphasis on the observation and analysis of sociological issues that then serve as the foundation for an original research paper. Students are responsible for identifying the internship setting and having their plan for the internship approved by the Sociology Undergraduate Coordinator prior to the semester in which it will occur. The course requires regular meetings with a faculty member to plan out the experience, monitor and facilitate progress, and then frame an original research paper inspired by the internship experience.
The aim of the internship experience is twofold. First, the internship will give students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a public or private sector enterprise that dovetails with their academic or career interests. Second, the internship will give students a real-world experience that will then be examined and explored through the application of sociological concepts, methods, and theories.
The internship will unfold in four main steps:
1.. Identifying and securing access to an internship site. This is the responsibility of the student, not the Sociology Department or its staff. This should be done in consultation with a faculty member in Sociology, but it is student initiated. For help finding internships, contact the UGA Career Center.
2. Crafting a written working agreement with a faculty member in Sociology regarding the internship site and activities along with expectations about the required research paper. This needs to be completed and approved by the Undergraduate Coordinator prior to the term in which the internship will take place.
3. Student engagement with the internship experience. It is important that periodic communication occur between the student and faculty member during this time. Broad expectations regarding the extent, timing, and character of that communication should be articulated in step 2 (above). Per the tradition of other internship-for-credit programs here at UGA, you'll need about 120 contact hours for the 3 credit hour SOCI 4950.
4. The formulation, execution, and delivery of an original research paper inspired by the internship experience. Expectations regarding the paper and any in-process requirements (e.g., outlines or discussions of potential topics) should be part of step 2 (above).