5 Careers in Sociology That You Can Feel Good About

Sociology Careers that are Emotionally Rewarding

  • Social Worker
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Lawyer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Urban Planner

As technology makes the world smaller, sociology careers will become more critical than ever. That’s because sociology majors frequently find work that challenges them to bring together disparate people. Throughout their studies, students encounter a wide breadth of knowledge and skills, any of which may be applied to a career. Most degree programs require that students focus their efforts on a particular area. These concentrations may suggest career paths, but some focus areas offer unexpected routes. Regardless, most degree programs provide students with an opportunity to make a difference in other’s lives. This allows graduates to earn a living while doing something that they feel good about.

See our ranking of the 30 Best Bachelor’s in Sociology Online Degrees.

1. Social Worker

The job description for social workers is varied. Most of them assist people who are struggling with life changes. They are responsible for identifying people that are in need of support. Advocating for community resources is a common responsibility as is offering assistance in crises. Some social workers develop or evaluate community services. With additional education and experience, it’s possible to become a clinical social worker who can diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders.

2. Guidance Counselor

This career in sociology is one in which individuals provide advice and information to students. Guidance counselors are employed in public schools, and students in sociology degree programs typically choose the age group with which they will work. In elementary school counseling, the emphasis is on child development and learning strategies. High school counselors may focus on college and transitioning from school to work.

3. Lawyer

Becoming an attorney is not an obvious choice for someone interested in a sociology career. Still, lawyers may focus on a varied list of concentrations. Some may focus on business transactions, but others prefer making a difference. Their focus turns to helping non-profit organizations or defending the rights of at-risk youth. Other attorneys may fight for compensation for injured workers or pursue the creation of safer workplaces. An article in the American Bar Association Journal highlights why some lawyers love their job.

4. Policy Analyst

The policy analyst has a unique opportunity to shape the direction of communities and governments. Some people employed in this area spend the majority of their time doing research. They study current policies, how they affect people and whether or not the policies need to be changed. Much of the information that they gather is presented to government officials, who may use the data to propose and write new laws. The potential to improve the lives of individuals on a local, state or national level is what draws many people to this sociology career.

5. Urban Planner

Anyone who believes in the potential of safer, healthier and more environmentally responsible communities is bound to be intrigued by a career as an urban planner. These professionals create communities and foster responsible growth. In some cases, they ensure that there is adequate housing, and they may identify the need for development in certain areas. Research skills may be vital to this role, as urban planners may need to collect data regarding the environment, population, zoning, building codes and more as they review plans and make recommendations to government leaders.

Students who major in sociology will have a diversity of possible careers from which to choose. Many of them enable individuals to be useful, productive and make a positive difference in communities. With sociology careers, people can earn a living that they feel good about.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief