The following career information is adapted from the American Sociological Association Website.

A B.A. or B.S. in Sociology is excellent preparation for graduate work in sociology for those interested in an academic or professional career as a professor, researcher, or applied sociologist. Sociologists study how people behave in social groups, families, tribes, communities and a great variety of social, religious, political, business and other organizations, which have arisen since people began to live together. They try to describe the origins, growth, structure, characteristics and functions of group life and analyze the influence of group activities on individual membership. Sociologists are found as teachers, researchers, employees of government agencies, research bureaus, welfare agencies and large companies.

The undergraduate degree provides a strong liberal arts preparation for entry level positions throughout the business, social service, and government worlds. Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides. Since its subject matter is intrinsically fascinating, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups. Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich foundation of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.

Today, sociologists embark upon literally hundreds of career paths. Although teaching and conducting research remains the dominant activity among the thousands of professional sociologists today, other forms of employment are growing both in number and significance. In some sectors, sociologists work closely with economists, political scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, social workers and others reflecting a growing appreciation of sociology's contributions to interdisciplinary analysis and action.

Career Opportunities Include:

  • Administrative Officer: Federal, State, County, Municipal
  • Advertising Manager
  • Business/Management Trainee
  • Community Organization Director
  • Editor/Journalist
  • Ethnologist
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Labor relations Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Medical Sociologist
  • Personnel Manager
  • Police Officer
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Relations
  • Public Survey Worker
  • Recreation Director
  • Social Welfare Worker
  • Statistician
  • Teacher
  • Urban Planner
  • Writer
  • Mental Health Researcher

With further graduate training:

  • Criminologist
  • City Manager
  • Industrial Sociologist
  • Medical Sociologist
  • Social Psychologist
  • Human Ecologist
  • Family Sociologist
  • Penologist
  • Occupational Sociologist
  • Urban Planning Corporations
  • Bureau of Census
  • Peace Corps
  • Welfare Departments
  • Professional Periodicals
  • Marketing Firms
  • Department of Corrections
  • News Media
  • Banks
  • Business & Industry

For further information you may want to contact:

American Sociological Association
1722 N Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

UMSL Career ServicesUniversity of Missouri-St. Louis 
278 Millennium Student Center 
8001 Natural Bridge Road 
St. Louis, Missouri 63121-4499 
(314) 516-5111 
(314) 516-6535 (Fax) 
career_services@umsl.edu