What does a Sociologist do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A sociologist is involved in designing research projects to help test theories concerning social issues. Sociologists study social institutions, cultures, groups, organizations, or processes of the interaction that develops when people work together.
Sociologists frequently meet with colleagues on research projects concerning education, religion, family, or many other topics to compare and collect information concerning social issues and society.
How to Become a Sociologist
A sociologist requires a master’s degree or PhD. There are two types of pathways one can take to earn their master’s degree. One is traditional program in sociology and is designed for those wanting to go onto earn a Ph.D. afterwards. The other pathway is an applied, clinical, and professional master’s degree program which prepares one to enter into the workforce. These programs often times teach analytical skills to perform research in a professional environment. Courses in statistics and research methods are highly recommended for both levels of education.
Many of these programs offer internship opportunities. During this time, you can apply your educational training in addition to gaining experience prior to entering this career field. A sociologist is also expected to have strong communication, analytical, written, and critical thinking skills. These skills are all needed when interacting with research participants, colleagues, and conducting research.
Job Description of a Sociologist
Many sociologist study human behavior, interactions, and organizations though they usually specialize in a wide variety of social topics. These social topics include health, families, crime, gender, poverty, education, aging, racial issues, ethnic relations, and population. Therefore they work in a variety of settings. However, no matter what setting a sociologist works in they collect information through surveys, interviews, or observations and then draw conclusions from their data. They also give presentations detailing their research and prepare articles and reports.
A sociologist examines social influences and how it affects groups of people or individuals. A sociologist sometimes follows the growth and origin of these interactions and groups. An example may include the effect of a new policy or law in a particular demographic. A sociologist often researches using statistical analysis programs, quantitative measures, and qualitative methods.
Sociologists work regular hours and usually on a full-time basis. They often work in offices and work on computers. The largest employer according to the Bureau Labor of Statistics are organizations that develop and research social services and humanities followed by educational services and then federal and local governments. There is a slower than average growth in this career field, therefore those with a PhD have better job opportunities, though it will still be competitive due to the limited positions.