What Can You Do With a Psychology or Sociology Degree?
Take some time out to consider your next move after graduating.
- 1 [Careers] | Careers in Psychology and Sociology
- 2 [Sociology Degree] | What Can You Do With a Sociology Degree Involving Children?
- 3 [Psychologists] | Psychologists Vs. Sociologists
- 4 [Career Options] | Career Options With an Associate Degree in Sociology
Graduating from college with a degree in sociology or psychology can be an exciting but confusing experience. Deciding whether to take on additional debt to pursue your studies further or get out there and make your way in the world of work can be a tough call to make. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re fully aware of your options before making what could be a life-changing decision.
Psychology and sociology graduates will typically need a master s or doctoral degree to become fully qualified in the subject area they studied at college, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychology graduates can complete a master’s degree, a Ph.D. in psychology or a doctor of psychology degree. Sociology majors can chose between two types of sociology master s programs: traditional programs and applied, clinical and professional programs before pursuing a Ph.D. After further study, psychology majors can go on to practice after certification, while sociology majors who go on to earn their Ph.D. typically go into teaching or research.
The BLS says that most graduates with a bachelor s degree in psychology who don’t go onto further study find work in fields such as business administration, sales or education. Psychology majors can also find work in the community and social services sector as counselors, mental health workers and psychiatric aides, or in criminal justice/forensic psychology as correctional and police officers, parole and probation officers, and interviewers for various criminal justice agencies, according the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton.
Some graduates with just a bachelor s degree manage to find work as sociology research assistants, according to the BLS, but most wind up in other fields, such as social services, administration, management, or sales and marketing. An undergraduate degree in sociology might also qualify college graduates to work as case managers, child care workers or homeless/housing workers or move into education administration or teaching, according to the University of Notre Dame.
Sociology bachelor’s degree holders who decided to enter the world of work instead of pursuing further study could have expected to secure a median starting salary of $31,700 in February 2012, according to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Psychology majors could have expected to do a little better at the same time, with a median starting wage of $33,500.
About the Author
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as The Big Issue and Which? Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.