Career Development

Career Planning

Sociology Major Career Planning Options

Sociology is concerned with understanding people in their “social” context. Rivier University sociology majors are trained to study and evaluate the effects of gender, socialization, socioeconomic class status, religion, and community in individual and group behavior. They are concerned with social customs and norms and the role that expectations or common beliefs and values are likely to have on group members. The analytical skills gained in examining changes, causes, and consequences of human behavior in groups, are crucial for today’s multicultural and globally oriented work environments. In support of cooperative work arrangements, sociology fosters a sense of understanding and empathy rather than disconnection and potential prejudice. Visit Rivier’s Sociology Department for information on degrees and course offerings.



Sociology Major Skills

Statistical Abilities Resolve Conflicts/Counseling
Knowledge of Community Resources Work Well Under Pressure
Analyze, Synthesize & Interpret Information Interpersonal Communication (oral & written)
Interact Well with Diverse Cultures/Groups Knowledge of Social Structures and Change
Insight into Group Dynamics Research and Planning (Sociological)
Critical Thinking Computer Skills (data processing & analysis)
Ability to Understand & Improve Human Relationships  

Career Paths in Sociology

Careers for new sociology graduates are diverse and dependent upon one’s interests, abilities, work values, academic emphasis and practical experience in the field.  A sociology degree offers a strong liberal arts and science foundation and a wide variety of options including careers in research and data analysis, public employment, anthropology, criminal justice, social activism, teaching, human services, travel and tourism, law, media, and human resource management among others.  Sociology majors are encouraged to combine their studies with experience and course work related to specialized areas of interest.  For example, at Rivier, those with an interest in applied human services may choose to minor in Social Work, where they’ll learn the history and methods of the social work profession while integrating a practical internship at a social service agency into their educational experience.  Some career specialties require advanced degrees in social work, counseling, business administration, health care, law, or other disciplines.

Sociology graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)

Case Manager
Community Outreach Worker
Probation Officer
Corrections Officer
Crisis Management Worker
Social Research Analyst
Social Science Analyst
Social Survey Director
Elementary/Secondary Education Teacher
Family Services Specialist
Recreation Therapist
Residential Counselor
Social Worker

Human Rights Officer
Public Health Educator
Juvenile Court Worker
Legislative Aide
Market Research Analyst
Policy Analyst
Special Agent
Technical Writer
Government Planner
Human Resource Manager
Urban Planner
Technical Writer



Sociology graduates may work at . . .

Public Health Departments
Personnel Departments
Peace Corps
Non-Profit Organizations
Law Firms
Personnel Departments
Civil Rights Agencies

State & United States Government
Business & Industry
Rehabilitation Agencies
Public & Private School
Mental Health Agencies
Public & Private Schools
Community Service Agencies
Private Practice
Justice Department

Ways to Increase Employability

  • Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job/internship positions.

Sources of Information on Majors, Careers, and Employment in Sociology

  • Rivier University Faculty Advisors, Academic Advisors, & Psychology Department Resources
  • Professionals Working in the Field
  • Professional Organizations
  • Rivier University Career Development Center Counseling Staff, Website & Office Resources

Rivier University’s Career Development Center Resources
Effective career decision-making evolves through a process of gathering accurate self-knowledge and significant information about the major or career being explored.  The Rivier University Career Development Center offers individual counseling and career resources regarding self-assessment, career exploration, gaining practical experience, and job searching skills.  For more information, contact us at 897-8345.  The following is a partial list of career resources, available in our office, which may be of interest to Sociology majors:

  • 100 Jobs in Social Change
  • Careers in Counseling and Human Services
  • Extraordinary Jobs in the Service Sector
  • Great Jobs for Sociology Majors
  • Real People Working in Helping Professions
  • Peterson’s Graduate Programs in Humanities, Arts & Sciences

Professional & Rivier University Organizations Related to Sociology

Career Related Websites for Sociology Majors