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MSU Home :: Sociology

Sociology as a Career 

Sociologists study the ways that social categories (for example, race, socio-economic class, and gender) or social conditions (like wealth, poverty, and discrimination) influence the  thoughts, behaviors, meanings of the people and groups that make up our society and vice versa. Put another way, sociologists expose how the human experience and social interactions are connected to the wider society. 

Combined with other skills and courses, a Bachelors and/or Masters of Arts in Sociology can prepare you for a career in human services, human resources, market research, public planning, public relations, and much more! 

With a focus on social conditions and their social impact, sociologists tackle such questions as why is there more privilege or poverty among one group or gender than another. How do patterns of power and oppression play out in our society? What are the bases of such inequities in our society, and how do they promote forms of social problems? The goal of many sociologists is to use their observations and research to not only understand but resolve social problems. 

Combined with other skills and courses, a Bachelors and/or Masters of Arts in Sociology can prepare you for a career in environmental activism, social justice participation, democratic participation on local and global levels, teaching (with appropriate teaching credentials or certification), and much more! 

How does Sociology compare to Social Work?  

Social workers have a dual focus. Social workers assist on the individual or micro level but also try to resolve the day-to-day impact of social problems on the societal or macro level. Bachelors of Social Work graduates are prepared for entry-level generalist practice in state, local, and regional agencies, where they can facilitate services such as health, hospice and elder care, rehabilitation services, shelter from domestic violence, and child protection.  Having a Masters of Social Work allows you to specialize in a specific area of social work, such as mental health, substance use, or community engagement.


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