Printer Friendly Version Of American Sociological Association: Looking to the Future

Looking to the Future

The future appears bright for sociology. The next century may be the most exciting and critical period in the field's history. People increasingly realize that we must renew attempts to understand, ameliorate, or solve problems in the United States and around the world--problems that affect individuals, like alcoholism or unemployment, and problems that affect societies, like ethnic conflict or environmental pollution. Some of the best employment prospects may be in policy research and administration, in clinical and applied sociological practice, as well as in the traditional areas of teaching and basic research.

During the last part of this century, the demand for college professors should increase because of high rates of retirement among "baby boom" faculty and the predicted growth in college student populations in the late 1990s. Internationalization of both higher education and the profession of sociology will also lead to new opportunities inside academia and in applied settings.

There are increasing opportunities in what Jeremy Rifkin calls "the third sector," the careers serving a post-industrial economy. Sociology is ideal preparation, both in its general liberal arts underpinning, as well as in the skills sociology hones particularly well: the ability to take in the big picture, the ability to bring multiple sources of information and data to bear on a problem, the ability to take the role of the other, and the ability to communicate to different audiences.

All this makes for an optimistic employment picture for sociology graduates. Because of its appeal as a career that is intrinsically fascinating and allows one to contribute to the common good, many talented people are drawn to sociology. The field remains exciting and competitive.

If you would like more information about embarking on the job search, or other opportunities in sociology, send forASA's list of career materials.


Green ArrowPreface
Green ArrowSociety and Social Life
Green ArrowSociology
Green ArrowSociology Specialities
Green ArrowCareer Preparation
Green ArrowJob Prospects
Green ArrowGraduate Training
Green ArrowCommon Core
Green ArrowAdapting to Change
Green ArrowLooking to the Future