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Sociology is a social science that focuses on human society as a whole. It is a broad category that encompasses many other disciplines. Many colleges offer programs to study sociology and award undergraduate and advanced degrees in sociology. Students wishing to study sociology can expect to study such diverse topics as criminal justice, human sexuality, gender and race issues, and aging. Many of the disciplines related to sociology involve demographics, so those who wish to study sociology can also expect to take classes in statistics and research methodology.
Sociology encompasses human relationships at the family level through the international level, so there is a wide range of career paths available in the field. Many people who study sociology do so to prepare for careers in public health, urban planning, social work or human resources. Sociologists can find jobs in both the public and privates sectors.
Most colleges that offer a degree in sociology allow students to pick a concentration of study that will help them obtain a job in a specific field. One might study sociology and focus on law, governance, health, family or psychology. Education is a popular concentration for those seeking a career in sociology. Many people who earn undergraduate degrees in sociology do so to teach social sciences.
People who study sociology to earn post-graduate degrees commonly go on to teach at the college level. Sociology covers so many different topics in the social sciences that teachers with a sociology degree are qualified to teach many topics. Instructors with post-graduate degrees normally focus on one particular discipline to teach at the college level.
Those who wish to continue to study sociology can earn a doctorate degree. Sociologists who carry a doctorate are often employed by large universities. They split their time between teaching and doing research in a particular field that contributes to the study of sociology. Sociologists sometimes will write a book about their research. Those with a doctorate might even write a textbook on a particular topic.
Many who study sociology find careers in government as well as education. Sociologists are well versed in law, criminal justice and social issues, which makes them excellent candidates for public agencies. They are often employed as health directors, counselors or members of municipal service agencies or law enforcement agencies.
In the private sector, sociologists work as human resource managers, project managers, research analysts or statisticians, depending on their concentration of study. Sociologists usually have a strong background in research, statistics and demographics, which makes them attractive to large corporations. Many sociologists find work in the private sector conducting research or analyzing data that is used by corporations for marketing or product development.