The social sciences encompass many academic disciplines that study human behavior, society, and relationships. These disciplines include anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology, among others. Students interested in exploring the complexities of human behavior and societal structures may find a career in the social sciences to be a good fit. In this article, we will explore the educational and employment opportunities in the field of social sciences.
Educational Programs in Social Sciences
The field of social sciences offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from bachelor’s degrees to doctoral programs. Students can pursue a degree in a specific discipline, such as psychology or political science, or opt for a more interdisciplinary approach, such as a degree in social studies or interdisciplinary studies.
At the undergraduate level, students typically take courses in various social science disciplines to gain a broad understanding of the field. These courses cover topics such as human behavior, society, and culture, economics, and politics. Students also develop critical thinking, research, and analytical skills through coursework and research projects.
At the graduate level, students can pursue more specialized degrees in specific social science disciplines, such as a Master of Public Administration or a Ph.D. in Sociology. These programs provide students with advanced knowledge and research skills in their chosen field and prepare them for careers in academia or research.
Students who graduate with degrees in social sciences can pursue careers in various fields, including government, education, business, social services, non-profit organizations, research, and more. Some of the most popular career paths for social science graduates include:
- Social worker: Social workers help people to cope with and overcome problems they face in their lives, such as poverty, homelessness, and abuse. They work in many settings, such as hospitals, schools, mental health clinics, and government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for social workers was $51,760 in May 2020.
- Human resources specialist: Human resources specialists are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees, as well as handling employee relations, benefits, and training. They work in nearly every industry, from healthcare to finance to retail. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for human resources specialists was $63,490 in May 2020.
- Market research analyst: Market research analysts help companies to understand consumer preferences, market trends, and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. They collect and analyze data using various methods, such as surveys and focus groups. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for market research analysts was $65,810 in May 2020.
- Political scientist: Political scientists study government systems, public policies, and political behavior. They work in government agencies, research institutions, and non-profit organizations. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for political scientists was $125,350 in May 2020.
- Economist: Economists study the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. They work in various settings, including government agencies, financial institutions, and research organizations. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for economists was $108,350 in May 2020.
- Sociologist: Sociologists study human behavior, social structures, and relationships. They work in research institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for sociologists was $83,420 in May 2020.
- Urban planner: Urban planners develop and implement plans for using land, transportation systems, and public facilities in urban areas. They work for government agencies, private consulting firms, and non-profit organizations. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for urban and regional planners was $76,240 in May 2020.
- Anthropologist: Anthropologists study human societies and cultures, past and present. They work in various settings, including universities, research institutions, and non-profit organizations. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for anthropologists was $70,470 in May 2020.
- Historian: Historians research, analyze, and interpret past events and trends. They work in settings such as museums, archives, and government agencies. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for historians was $63,100 in May 2020.
- Psychologist: Psychologists study human behavior and mental processes. They work in many settings, such as schools, hospitals, and private practice. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for psychologists was $82,180 in May 2020.
It’s important to note that actual earnings for social science careers can vary widely depending on factors such as location, industry, years of experience, and education level. However, social science careers often offer competitive salaries and opportunities for advancement. Additionally, many social science careers provide a chance to positively impact society by helping individuals and communities.
Specific Majors in This Category
To find colleges that offer these majors and search by over 35 other criteria, use LifeLaunchr's College Match.