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What can I do with a degree in Sociology?
Social Researchers could work for universities or research organisations. Social research covers a wide range of topics including migration, poverty, and healthcare. Social Researchers manage research projects including collecting and analysing data and presenting the results.
Job profile of a social researcher from the Prospects website
Job profile of a social researcher from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a government social research officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a government research officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a trade union research officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a trade union research officer from the TARGET Jobs website
International Aid/Development Worker
Working to improve the lives of people in developing countries.
Human Rights Officer
Works for inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations ranging from the United Nations and Amnesty to small charities and campaigning bodies. The work may involve monitoring and reporting on human rights issues with a view to bringing them to the attention of decision makers, the media and the wider public in order to end human rights violations and provide justice to their victims. Human rights work is wide-ranging: for further information see “I Want to Work In Human Rights”
Community Development Worker
Working in communities and liaising with different agencies to bring about change and improvements. Some work may be targeted towards certain groups of people e.g. unemployed or homeless people.
Family Support Worker
Working with families facing a variety of difficulties and helping them to solve problems and move forward.
Working with young people to provide support, raise aspirations and break down barriers to achieving. This is done in a variety of ways including through recreational activities, organising projects, mentoring and liaising with other agencies.
Job profile of a Youth Worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Youth Worker from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Youth and Community Worker from the National Careers Service website
Social Workers work with people in the community who need support, for example, the elderly, children who are at risk, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties.
Housing Officers work for local authorities or housing associations to manage rented accommodation including solving problems raised by tenants, organising maintenance, allocating properties and dealing with payment issues. Housing Policy Officers develop policies for local authorities or housing associations.
Job profile of a Housing Manager/Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Housing Adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Housing Policy Officer from the National Careers Service website
Police Officers work to make communities safer by maintaining the law and preventing crime.
Job profile of a Police Officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Police Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Probation Officers work with offenders to help with their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Education Welfare Officer
Education welfare officers work with school staff and parents/guardians to ensure children receive the necessary support and guidance to gain a full education and maintain a good school attendance record.
Youth Offending Team Officer
Working with young offenders with the aim of reducing rates of re-offending and supporting young people to achieve positive outcomes.
Prison Officers are responsible for maintaining security in prisons and supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners.
Local Government Officer
Developing policies and delivering local services. There are a huge variety of roles within local government including roles in social care, housing and education to name just a few.
Recruitment consultants work on behalf of employers to shortlist and interview candidates to fill permanent and temporary vacancies. Recruitment consultant roles are target-driven.
Job profile for a recruitment consultant from the Prospects website. Job profile for a recruitment consultant from the National Careers Service website
Volunteer coordinators recruit and supervise volunteers and make sure that they receive the appropriate training.
Job profile for a volunteer coordinator from the Prospects website
Job profile for a volunteer organiser from the National Careers Service website Job profile for a volunteer organiser from the National Careers Service website
Human Resources Manager/Officer
Human resources management (HRM) involves the management of people within organisations. It may include organisation and planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations, job evaluation, performance and reward and much more. Also known as personnel management.
Job profile of a human resources officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a personnel officer from the TARGET Jobs website Information on HR careers from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
There are a variety of different roles within charities including project management, volunteer co-ordination and fundraising.
Job profile of a charity officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a charity fundraiser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a charities administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a charities fundraiser from the TARGET Jobs website
There are a variety of opportunities within education from primary schools to universities.
Advice workers provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics depending on the role. These topics may include housing, employment, welfare, education, finance and law.
Job profile of an advice worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of an advice worker from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an adult guidance worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of a debt/finance adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a welfare rights adviser from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a careers adviser from the Prospects website
Job profile of a higher education careers Adviser from the Prospects website
Job profile of a homeless worker from the TARGET Jobs website
Event Organisers are involved with events from the conception stage through to the event itself. Events can include conferences, festivals, and social events among others. This is a hands-on role that can be in public, private or not-for-profit settings.
Immigration, Customs and Border Roles
There are a variety of roles involving monitoring people, banned substances and other goods leaving and entering the country to ensure safety and security and to maintain the law.
Job profile of a Customs Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an Immigration Officer from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a Border Force Officer from the National Careers Service website
Public Relations Officer
PR officers use a variety of media and communication channels to put over messages on behalf of their clients that will build a positive reputation for that client in the eyes of consumers, investors, the media and other stakeholders.
Plans, co-ordinates and manages market research projects, collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative information and communicating it to clients.
Marketing executives promote a company or an individual product or brand. This role may include planning campaigns, commissioning market research and communicating with people in all areas of the business, from production to finance, as well as externally.
Advertising Account Executive
Advertising account executives act as a link between advertising agencies and their clients. They are responsible for the coordination of advertising campaigns and liaising with all involved, within and outside the agency. They manage administrative and campaign work and ensure that advertising projects are completed on time and on budget. May also be known as account manager, account handler or client services executive.
Job profile of an advertising account executive from the Prospects website
Job profile of an advertising account executive from the TARGET Jobs website Job profile of an advertising account manager from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
User Experience (UX) roles involve gathering information about how best to improve the design and usability of a website to make it both straightforward and aesthetically pleasing.
Please note that some of these careers may require further study.
A Sociology degree may be useful in the following career areas:
Underwriters analyse risks and make decisions on whether or not to accept applications for insurance cover, and on what terms, with the aim of minimising the risk to their company and helping it to make a profit.
Job profile of an insurance underwriter from the Prospects website
Job profile of an insurance underwriter from the TARGET Jobs website Discover Risk – Chartered Insurance Institute website
Journalists research and write/present news stories for publication in a variety of formats.
Job profile for a Newspaper Journalist from the Prospects website
Job profile for a Newspaper Journalist from the National Careers Service website
Job profile for a Magazine Journalist from the Prospects website
Job profile for a Magazine Journalist from the National Careers Service website
Job profile for a Broadcast Journalist from the Prospects website Job profile for a Broadcast Journalist from the National Careers Service website
Retail managers are responsible for all aspects of the management of a store, department or concession: these may include stock control, people management, sales, communications and customer service.
Job profile of a retail manager from the Prospects website Job profile of a retail manager from the TARGET Jobs website
Library and information staff manage, organise, evaluate and disseminate information.
Job profile of an academic librarian from the Prospects website
Job profile of an academic librarian from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a public librarian from the Prospects website
Job profile of a public librarian from the TARGET Jobs website
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
Sales executives generate sales of products and services by building and maintaining relationships with customers, providing them with information and negotiating prices and specifications.
Estate/letting agents specialise in selling and renting out property.
Job profile for an estate agent from the Prospects website
Job profile for an estate agent from the National Careers Service website Job profile for a letting agent from the National Careers Service website
You may be interested in graduate roles outside of sociology. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:
- Path to Employment
- I Want To Work In
- Information on types of jobs from Prospects
- Information on career sectors from TARGETjobs
As well as subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in Social Policy will typically have gained:
- Decision-making skills in dealing with ethical implications of sociological enquiry
- Persuasion, influence and negotiating skills when appreciating the diversity of social situations while carefully communicating empirical information to make reasoned arguments
- Oral and written communication skills in a variety of contexts and modes
- Problem solving and analytical skills in assessing and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of contrasting theories and explanations
- Leadership skills when identifying the most effective research strategies and methods, requiring the necessary organisational skills of planning and time management for deploying teamwork-based skills in group work
- Research and critical thinking skills in employing learning and study skills to gather and synthesise the information required for scholarly work, using statistical/quantitative techniques and information retrieval skills for primary and secondary sources of information, which also depends on strong IT/numeracy skills
This is not an exhaustive list of skills – you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them here.
Find a Job
The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector.
- SSPSSR employability webpages
- Graduate Jobs.com Sociology Careers
- American Sociological Association
- British Sociological Association
- British Association of Social Workers
- Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Health and Care Professions Council
- Social Care Institute for Excellence
- Social Work Admissions System
- Social Care Jobs
There are several vocational routes achievable through postgraduate study that range across community education, counselling, information management, law, social work, social policy, social research, teaching, nursing, criminology, international management, human resources, counselling, business, advertising, marketing, management, gender studies, autism, security and terrorism. Although the majority of sociology graduates go into a social or welfare role there are also other public or private sectors such as charitable/counselling/voluntary organisations, commerce, education authorities, further and higher education, industry, local and central government, the NHS, the Civil Service or management training schemes with the total number of graduates in employment standing at 65.8%, while at least 15.2% go into further study (source).