Given the breadth, adaptability and utility of sociology, employment opportunities abound for BA graduates. You can secure entry level positions in many of the areas previously mentioned in defining the scope of sociology. The following list of possibilities is only illustrative--many other paths may be open to you. Employment sectors include:
- social services--in rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, recreation, or administration
- community work--in fund-raising for social service organizations, nonprofits, child-care or community development agencies, or environmental groups
- corrections--in probation, parole, or other criminal justice work
- business--in advertising, marketing and consumer research, insurance, real estate, personnel work, training, or sales
- college settings--in admissions, alumni relations, or placement offices
- health services--in family planning, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, health planning, hospital admissions, and insurance companies
- publishing, journalism, and public relations--in writing, research, and editing
- government services--in federal, state, and local government jobs in such areas as transportation, housing, agriculture, and labor
- teaching--in elementary and secondary schools, in conjunction with appropriate teacher certification.
Obtaining work experience before applying to graduate school might improve your chances of acceptance and make further education more meaningful. An entry level job might also help you sharpen your interests and decide future directions--continuing to climb the career ladder, changing fields, or furthering your education.
Human Resources Manager in a Small Manufacturing Firm
Education: Carlos received a BA in sociology at a state university in the Arizona. He took a wide range of courses in sociology, social psychology, and business, and studied the sociology of minority groups and race relations.
Current position: Carlos was drawn to the business world where he wanted to apply his sociological insights. He started as an entry-level assistant in the Human Resources Department of a small company, but after five years Carlos moved up to H.R. Manager, a position with considerable influence over the company's personnel policies. He is involved with strategies and programs for hiring, training, promoting, and managing an increasingly diverse workforce.
Benefits: At first, Carlos earned an average entry-level salary but also had access to in-service training, which helped him advance to a managerial position. He enjoys on-site athletic facilities and good medical benefits. Ultimately, Carlos may be promoted to an even higher position within the firm or seek advancement by joining another company. He enjoys contributing his insights into the complicated issues of gender and cultural diversity in the workplace.
Some advantages accrue to entering the work force with a BA. Employers are often willing to train BA graduates in the specific skills and knowledge required for their workplace, so you could begin a good career by rising through the ranks. Many organizations might also invest in additional education or training for promising employees.
Society and Social Life
Adapting to Change
Looking to the Future