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Why Sociology Captivates the Interest of So Many

Sociology has to be one of the most interesting fields of study a student can major in.  We all love to “people watch” when we are sitting at an airport or park.  Basically sociologists base their career on “people watching” and studying why people do the things they do. 

Sociology is defined as the scientific study of social life, which is pretty much anything involving more than one person.  Sociologists study a broad array of fields including families, groups of friends, intimate relationships, politics, education, organizations, inequality (by gender, race, class and sexuality), crime and many more.  Sociologists get to use their natural curiosity to research and analyze what is going on in the world.  They develop theories about how social life works and test these theories against their evidence.  Sociologists strive to answer questions about human behavior using scientific research methods including survey research, statistical analysis, ethnography, and content analysis.  The results of these sociological investigations help develop new theories and inform social programs, policies and laws.

Put simply, sociology is an attempt to understand how society works.

Some sociologists concentrate on the family group, undertaking issues such as marriage, child-rearing, domestic abuse and divorce.  They research the ways these issues are defined in different cultures and times, and the effect they have on both individuals and institutions.  Other sociologists study larger social organizations such as governments and business; examining their structure and hierarchies.  Still others focus on social movements, political protest, and inequality within a society.  They explore prejudice involving race, gender, class and sexuality and the effect it has on people’s choices and opportunities. 

Majoring in sociology offers an education that is diverse and has a flexible career choice when it comes to job aspects.  Many degrees offer specific training for a limited amount of career choices. If you find out at the end of your schooling that you do not enjoy those career options you might feel that the four years of hard work have been wasted.  Employers are looking for people who have a broad education and who bring a variety of competencies to their work, because they tend to offer training specific to their industry or field of work themselves.  Some of the competencies a student develops while studying sociology include:

  • Comprehension of social systems and large organizations
  • The expertise to devise and carry out research projects to assess whether a policy or program is working.
  • The ability to collect read and analyze statistical information.
  • The skills to recognize the primary differences in the social, economic and cultural backgrounds of people.
  • The ability to prepare reports and communicate complex ideas.
  • Critical thinking regarding the social issues that confront our society today.

A sociology degree will enable you to pursue all kinds of career opportunities. 

A bachelor’s degree in sociology is also a wonderful major for students wishing to pursue higher education.  Sociology is considered to be good stepping stone for a variety of master’s degrees. For example many students with sociology degrees chose to continue their education in the fields of law, criminal justice, social work, psychology, counseling, marketing and the medical fields.  

It is important for every educated person to have a basic understanding of sociology, whether you are interested in majoring in sociology or in another field.  You will find sociology classes as a requirement in most majors. So, even if you decide you don’t want to major in sociology you will get the opportunity to take courses in this ‘most interesting’ subject.

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