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Careers In Sociology


If you have an interest in helping others, making the world a better place, justice, or ensuring the health and safety of those unable to look after themselves, you might consider careers in sociology. Sociology is a broad field encompassing research and academics; direct care and social work; victims' rights and recovery, and a number of other related fields. Here, briefly, is a look at some of the career tracks available to those considering careers in sociology.

Direct Care

Direct care careers in sociology include social workers, case managers, home health work, substance abuse counselors, and protective services personnel, among others. Direct care providers can be office based, or work in the field. Healthcare clinics and mobile service providers serving the mentally ill, homeless, or mentally retarded often employ folks with a background in sociology as they provide the support and assistance needed by their target populations.

In these settings, you could provide something as simple and critical as good nutrition, or could provide medications, medical care, or counseling. Some of this work also involves tracking services provided and filling out reams upon reams of paperwork in order to help you clients and your agency access resources and funds available to help.

Education and Outreach

Beyond the obvious careers as guidance counselors in schools, sociology professors, and school teachers, careers in sociology pertaining to education and outreach include outreach specialists who reach out to many different target populations with a social or public health message. AIDS educators, domestic violence prevention specialists, various issues-based acting and performance troupes, or shaken baby prevention educators all scour the nation's towns and villages, reaching out to those most at risk for their issues of interest. This is good, but sometimes heartbreaking work, and it rarely pays well.

Victims' Rights, Recovery, and Prevention

There's some overlap with other areas here, but victims' rights, recovery, and prevention is critical work within sociology. Substance abuse counselors, suicide hotline specialists, adult and child protective service investigators, meth clinic counselors, and battered women shelter workers all fall under this broad umbrella.

Activism and Social Justice