The best sociology degree careers for graduates

For those interested in human behavior, there is perhaps no more rewarding degree path than a sociology degree. Once you complete this degree, numerous viable careers can put your new knowledge and skills to work.

If you are considering a sociology degree, are about to graduate with one, or are currently on the search for a job post-graduation, you may wonder what careers will be a good fit for your educational background.

In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at sociology degrees and the best sociology degree careers for graduates.

A male in a dark suit and tie, shown from the chest down, holds in two hands a red scroll-container with the word "Sociology" written in yellow across its length.
A sociology degree is the key to a variety of rewarding careers.

What is a sociology degree?

Sociology degrees focus on studying human behavior, including looking at human behavior across cultures, religions, communities, and families. Not only does sociology research humanity on both a micro and macro level, but sociology also studies both modern-day and past human behavior.

The goal of sociology is to examine and understand why humans behave in certain ways and how these behaviors affect society as a whole. Studies involve everything from analyzing a one-on-one interaction to looking at global scale human behaviors.

Central to all studies in sociology degrees is a focus on analytical reasoning and conducting research. From here, this information can be used to present a solution to a problem or to put together detailed reporting on human behaviors.

What skills does a sociology degree provide?

Those who study sociology will walk away with a wide range of skills, including the following:

  • The ability to use numerous research methods: From analyzing data to studying qualitative information, those who graduate with a sociology degree will be well equipped to put multiple research methods to work.
  • Improved interpersonal skills: Because of the nature of a sociology degree, those who graduate from this program will have deepened their awareness about other people’s behaviors and will walk away with improved teamwork, collaboration, and empathy.
  • Precise communication skills: From presenting research to creating defendable arguments, sociology majors will graduate with improved verbal and written communication skills. These communication skills can be used to persuade, explain, or connect with others.

Top career paths for sociology degrees

Those who graduate with sociology degrees are set up for success across numerous career paths. In many cases, after completing a sociology degree, graduates will go on to pursue a master’s or doctorate. Regardless of whether you opt to continue your schooling or not, the following are the top career paths you may consider after completing your degree.

School and Career Counselors

Median Salary: $58,120 per year
Job Sector Growth: 11%

For those who are interested in human behavior, becoming a school or career counselor can be a perfect fit. These professionals focus on helping students develop academic and social skills and assist those looking for the right career path. Most school counselors will work in public or private schools, and career counselors work across high schools, colleges, universities, and private career center practices.

This career path can be extremely rewarding if you enjoy helping others achieve their best.

Human Resources Manager

Median Salary: $121,220 per year
Job Sector Growth: 9%

Organizations rely on human resource managers to plan and coordinate policies and management of employees. A human resources manager usually works in an office during regular business hours and will focus on improving employee-related metrics in the business.

This is a great job to aim at for those who enjoy analyzing data, creating strategies, and assisting employees. Most who go on to pursue a HR management role will earn a master’s degree and move up through the HR hierarchy through jobs like HR specialist.

Social Worker

Median Salary: $51,760 per year
Job Sector Growth: 12%

Becoming a social worker is a top pick for those who choose to study sociology because of a passion for helping others. Social workers help individuals and families in mental health clinics, schools, human service agencies, community development programs, and private practices. These workers help solve problems for people and provide resources for complex social issues. While the work is extremely meaningful, hours are often long, requiring many to work weekends and evenings.

Rehabilitation Counselor

Median Salary: $37,530 per year
Job Sector Growth: 10%

Similar to a social worker, a rehabilitation counselor position allows you to turn your passion for others into a career path. These counselors work with those who face physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disabilities. Pairing these individuals with resources, they help those with disabilities achieve independence. This role requires problem-solving, analytical reasoning, and compassion for others.

Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers

Median Salary: $48,140 per year
Job Sector Growth: 17%

During your undergrad, you studied the impact healthy behaviors and wellness have on communities. As a health education specialist or community health worker, you put this knowledge to work, teaching those in a community about the conditions that affect their wellbeing. In this career path, you might work for a hospital, nonprofit, or government agency.

Special Education Teachers

Median Salary: $61,500 per year
Job Sector Growth: 8%

Many social workers go on to pursue a path in the field of education. Special education teachers focus on helping students with disabilities ranging across learning, mental, emotional, and physical. These workers are placed in public schools and help ensure that those with special needs are able to receive an education matching their needs.

Survey Researchers

Median Salary: $59,870 per year
Job Sector Growth: 4%

In the course of earning a sociology degree, you are taught a lot about analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data. This sets you up for a successful career as a survey researcher. These researches are employed by polling organizations, nonprofits, corporations, government agencies, and research firms to design and conduct surveys, as well as create detailed analytical reports on the data discovered.

Market Research Analyst

Median Salary: $65,810 per year
Job Sector Growth: 22%

Before launching a product or service, businesses need to know whether or not a market exists for the product or service. This is where a market research analyst comes into play. In this role, you will study market conditions, analyze consumer behaviors, and create detailed reports around the viability of bringing a product or service to market.


Median Salary: $93,290 per year
Job Sector Growth: 33%

The use of data across industries is growing immensely, which creates the need for new statisticians. In this role, you will analyze data and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve problems. Statisticians are employed across corporations, federal government agencies, and scientific research firms.


Median Salary: $126,930 per year
Job Sector Growth: 9%

While it requires further education and serious dedication, many who earn their bachelor’s in sociology go on to pursue a law degree. The skills learned in a sociology degree pair well with the skills needed for a lawyer. As a lawyer, you will advise and represent both people and businesses on legal issues. This career path requires a high level of analytical reasoning skills and a finely honed ability to build an argument backed by data.

How to choose the right career path as a sociology degree holder

With such a vast array of career paths available for those with a sociology degree, it can be hard to know which job is right for you. Use the following tips when deciding on your post-graduate career path.

  1. Think about your passions. As you pursued your sociology degree, what projects made you feel the most alive? Did you enjoy hands-on studies, where you interacted with individuals? Did you love diving into the data, spending hours pouring over spreadsheets? Create a list of what tasks you are most passionate about, and use these to compare against job requirements. This can help you choose a career path that fits your personality and strengths.
  2. Consider your income needs. If you have a specific salary that you’d like to earn, you might want to focus on higher-paying roles, which tend to be those found in the private sector. However, if your passion for people outweighs your desire to make money, you might look into career paths focused on social work through government and public services.
  3. Evaluate the work/life balance. Some career paths related to sociology require long hours or necessitate weekend and evening work. If you are looking for a standard nine to five job, you might want to look for office roles rather than people-facing roles.
  4. Talk to professionals. If you aren’t certain which career path is right for you, take the time to reach out to a few professionals in areas of interest. They can help you understand what the day-to-day job is really like and what to expect from the career path.
  5. Seek out a mentor. Once you have an idea of which career path you’d like to pursue, look for a mentor who works in the field. A mentor can help you seek out the right roles for your skills and provide you with invaluable insights into how to succeed in your new career.