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Today we will dive in and have a look at the Top Online Sociology Degree and Industry Salary, Careers, Opportunities, etc.
A sociology degree is a non-vocational degree. Instead of training you for a specific job, it is designed to teach you a broad range of skills and subjects that you can apply to many different careers.
Types of Online Sociology Degree
Here are a few of the most common paths for sociology majors. Click on the one you’re interested in to jump to that part of the page.
- Sociology – General
- Clinical Sociology
- Community Health
- Deviance and Social Control
- Gender Studies
- Race Relations
- Social Inequality and Mobility
You can earn a general, non-specific sociology degree, or you can specialize in a particular area of interest.
Sociology – General
A sociology degree can help you learn about society. From the way that civilizations have evolved to the way that social movements are formed, it’s a degree that focuses on human beings and how we see, judge, perceive, categorize, and structure ourselves.
You can earn a sociology degree at every level of education. However, a bachelor’s degree is usually considered the bare minimum, and the most lucrative jobs will most likely require a master’s degree or higher.
While it’s possible to obtain a two-year associate degree in sociology, it will probably only qualify you for entry-level jobs.
A general sociology degree is one where you haven’t specialized in something. While learning niche skills can help you with specific career tracks, it isn’t always necessary, so you shouldn’t concentrate just for the sake of specializing. Sometimes, a general degree will do.
Clinical sociology is sociology applied to the real world. It’s considered a “practice-oriented” science since it involves more than just academic research in an ivory tower.
Clinical sociologists often take that research and use it to write laws, create social programs, resolve workplace conflicts, and track health epidemics.
Do you enjoy working with people? Consider a career as a caseworker, guidance counselor, or public health educator. Do you prefer making things happen from behind a desk? Consider a government job and influence policies and procedures for social programs.
Clinical sociology isn’t a major. It’s a subset of sociology, so it’s usually offered through classes, specializations, or degree concentrations. You can also find it as a master’s degree program once you’ve already completed your undergrad studies.
You don’t have to become a doctor to go into the healthcare field. If you enjoy public interest work, you might find your calling in community health. It combines medicine, sociology, and advocacy to be a fascinating subject as well as a thriving job industry.
Community health is exactly what it sounds like: the study of communities and their physical and psychological well-being.
If you’re interested in this career, you might become a statistician, health educator, health advocate, community outreach specialist, or healthcare policy planner.
You might run campaigns for things like clean water and flu prevention. You might tour schools, hospitals, hotels, and private companies to teach people about nutrition and exercise. You might even create or manage social programs for mental health awareness.
Deviance and Social Control
“Social control” is a sociological concept that deals with the regulation of human behavior. Simply put, it’s about law and order, and it usually crosses over into “deviance” studies as well.
Why do people commit crimes? How should society handle it? How do you accurately and effectively collect that data, and how can you use it to prevent more criminal activity in the future?
If this sounds like a criminal justice major, you’re right. There’s a lot of sociology in the field of criminal justice and vice versa.
Majoring in sociology with an emphasis on social control can help you become well-equipped for careers in corrections, law enforcement, rehabilitation, and social welfare.
Gender studies look at gender from a social and cultural point of view. Going beyond biological differences, it examines how men and women are perceived by society and how those perceptions can impact things like education, science, healthcare, language, and mass media.
As you might imagine, gender studies is a broad field. It can intersect with many other academic disciplines, including psychology and anthropology, and it can encompass everything from women’s studies to LGBT studies.
Occasionally, these subjects will be offered together in classes or degree programs; you can major in them or simply study them as part of a sociology degree.
Your career as a gender studies specialist will depend on what you’d like to do after graduation. If you’re passionate about social justice, you might become an advocate, counselor, or program director for a nonprofit.
If you want to change the system from the inside, you might become an administrator or policymaker at a legal clinic. If you’re the creative type, you might consider a career in the arts.Gender studies is a big field with a lot of possibilities, especially if you’re approaching it from a sociological angle. It’s certainly a career path to consider.
Also known as “ethnic studies,” race relations is a subject that explores how race can impact everything from educational opportunities to employment trends. It can cover everything from the history of slavery to the modern, real-world problems faced by people of color.
Ethnic studies is somewhat rare as a major, but it does exist. However, it’s more commonly offered as a minor or degree concentration with subjects like psychology, sociology, social work, health services, and gender/sexuality studies.
If you’re interested in race relations, you’ll probably wind up in a social services career. Typical jobs include educator, researcher, social worker, and legal advocate. You could also consider becoming a writer or journalist who focuses on issues of race.
Regardless of your chosen career, a background in race relations can help you address some of the inequality in the world. You can take your knowledge and apply it to individuals and communities that need help.
Social Inequality and Mobility
Though they might sound like two different subjects, social inequality and social mobility are strongly linked. If you’re poor or part of a lower class division, you’ll find it much harder to be upwardly mobile.
Sociology courses can teach you about this. Common studies for this degree include things like poverty, diversity, economics, caste systems, and social hierarchies. These studies can help you gain an understanding of how and why cultures form groups that inevitably result in inequality.
This is another area of study that isn’t usually offered as a major. If you want to learn about it, you’ll need to be a sociology or social services major.
It’s a fascinating subject, however, and it can serve you well with community-oriented jobs, so it’s worth looking into your school brochure and seeing what classes that they have to offer about social inequality and mobility.
Courses for an Online Sociology Degree
What will you study when you’re a sociology major? While every degree program is different, there are a few courses that you can find in many school catalogs:
Introduction to Sociology
Also known as “Sociology 101” or “Freshman Sociology,” this is a basic, entry-level course that is designed to introduce students to sociological concepts. Common studies include how human beings form and organize social groups, as well as studies on social trends, institutions, hierarchies, and inequalities.
Once you understand the fundamentals, classes like Sociological Theory can take you into the research and analysis of sociology. You might read books from famous scholars, or you might debate about current, relevant issues in society by applying the new concepts that you’ve learned.
Sociology can involve a lot of research, and you’ll need to know how to interpret that data. Research methods is a required course for many sociology degree programs since it can help students learn how to find, organize, and analyze information as well as re-structure it in charts and reports.
Another technical class, statistics might be difficult if you’re not good with numbers, but they can play a significant role in sociological studies. From censuses to surveys, you might need statistics for work in retail, education, healthcare, economics, and addiction counseling.
When you’re done with these core requirements, you may be able to expand your areas of interest into specialized topics such as:
- Gender and sexuality
- Crime and punishment
- Life cycles
You might also dip into other majors like psychology and communications since there’s often crossover between the subjects.
What Sociology Degree Jobs Are Available?
A degree in sociology can open a lot of doors. Not only will you have the option of working in diverse, wide-ranging fields, but since the life, physical, and social science field is expected to grow at a rate of 5%, there should be plenty of new jobs for graduates.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the sociology field include:
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Social and Community Service Manager||$69,600|
|Market Research Analyst||$65,810|
|Human Resources Specialist||$63,490|
|Public Relations Specialist||$62,810|
|School and Career Counselor||$58,120|
Just keep in mind that these are median salaries. A sociologist, for example, can earn anywhere from $52,640 – $143,020 per year. That $86,110 is simply a median figure.
Professional Organizations for Those with a Sociology Degree
You don’t have to join a professional organization as a Sociology student, but they may be valuable resources for your education and career.
They offer all kinds of workshops, seminars, conferences, academic journals, and job boards, so they can help you get off the ground as a sociology major.
American Sociological Association
Founded more than 100 years ago, the American Sociological Association is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations for sociology.
They publish a dozen scholarly journals per year, including Contemporary Sociology and The American Sociological Review, and they have an entire community for students, teachers, graduates, professionals, and industry leaders.
Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology is dedicated to clinical sociology. It hosts an annual conference and publishes a peer-reviewed journal, and it also offers certification programs if you want to become a Certified Clinical Sociologist (CCS) or Certified Sociological Practitioner (CSP).
Association of Black Sociologists
As its name implies, the Association of Black Sociologists is for sociology professionals of African-American descent.
It’s dedicated to support, education and advocacy, and it has a thriving mentorship network for students at every educational level and professionals at every career stage.
Association for Humanist Sociology
The Association for Humanist Sociology is an organization that brings together the principles of humanism and sociology.
It offers many resources for sociology majors, including meetings, conferences, awards, and publications that are dedicated to everything from academic research to social justice advocacy.
Society for the Study of Social Problems
The Society for the Study of Social Problems doesn’t revolve around sociology, but it’s a public service organization that explores sociological concepts along with things like law, advocacy, diversity, and social justice.
You might be most interested in its scholarships and fellowships, but it has other resources for students as well.
Accreditation for an Online Sociology Degree
If you’re looking at colleges, you’ve probably read something about accreditation. It’s a verification process for schools that is carried out by individual accrediting boards. They ensure that the school meets specific educational standards and that they aren’t a fake or scam.
There are six regional accrediting boards in the United States:
- Higher Learning Commission
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
As you can see, they divide the country by region, so colleges in Nebraska are accredited by a different organization than colleges in New York. However, they carry equal weight, and they’ve all been vetted by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Financial Aid for Bachelor Degree in Sociology Online
Many students turn to financial aid to help them offset the costs of college. You may have several options depending on your grades, circumstances, and incomes.
Grants are given to college students based on financial need. They’re usually issued by the federal government through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but they can also be obtained from schools and scholastic foundations.
They don’t have to be paid back, so they’re essentially free money for your degree.
Loans come in two types:
- Subsidized loans are issued through FAFSA. They’re based on financial need, and while they do have to be paid back, the government will pay the interest while you’re in school. They’re usually only available to undergraduate students.
- Unsubsidized loans are open to all college students regardless of financial need. They’re also issued through FAFSA, but you’ll have to pay the interest yourself. They can be applied to both graduate and undergraduate degrees.
A subsidized loan is the better deal, but if you don’t qualify for it, you might need to take out an unsubsidized loan. Additionally, you can look into private loans from banks and other lenders.
A common misconception about scholarships is that they’re only offered to high-achieving students. While it’s true that many are merit-based, there are also need-based scholarships for low-income students.
There are also special scholarships based on race, gender, sexuality, nationality, military status, and degree type.
For example, there are scholarships dedicated to community college students who are seeking an associate degree. There are scholarships for students majoring in different subjects. There are even scholarships earmarked specifically for sociology students.
Long story short, don’t discount the possibility of a scholarship just because you aren’t an honor roll student.
The federal work-study program can help you find a part-time job while you’re in college. You’ll need to apply for FAFSA to be eligible.
It operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so you aren’t guaranteed any placements within the program, but it’s something to consider. Many of the jobs are conveniently located on campus.
Tuition reimbursement is sometimes offered by employers. Depending on the arrangement that you make, your employer might be directly charged for your tuition, or you might pay it yourself and be reimbursed at a later date.
Tuition reimbursement is awarded by many big-chain companies such as BP, Starbucks, Verizon, and Home Depot. It’s also common in technical industries where companies are willing to pay for their employees to learn new skills or qualify for further certifications.
Talk to your bosses and see if there are any reimbursement opportunities for you as a sociology student.
Questions Related to Earning a Sociology Degree Online
Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.
Can You Get a Sociology Degree Online?
Yes, you can get a sociology degree online, including a masters in sociology or even a PhD in Sociology online. Some programs are the online version of the same degree that you’d get from on-campus instruction; others have been specifically created or tailored for online learning platforms.
In many cases, earning a sociology degree online is no different than earning one in a classroom. Your degree probably won’t have the word “online” stamped on it, so it is unlikely that anyone will know that you did your learning remotely.
In addition, many schools may allow you to receive an accelerated sociology degree online if you are one who wants to finish quicker than the average student.
Is Sociology a Good Degree?
Yes, sociology is a good degree for many undergraduate students. While everyone has their own definition of “good,” a sociology degree can be considered a worthwhile investment for the future.
The life, physical, and social science sector is expected to grow 5% in the upcoming decade, which is faster than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The only downside to the field of sociology is that most employers will want you to have a master’s degree or higher. You’ll need to commit to this career path if you want to rake in the big bucks.
What Can I Do with a Sociology Degree?
You can find work in many different industries with a sociology degree.
If you’re good with people, you might consider a career as a teacher, counselor, case manager, public relations director, or social justice advocate. If you like working behind the scenes, you could pursue a job an economist, media planner, market analyst, or human resources specialist.
You can even enjoy creative sociological careers in media and marketing. You don’t have to become a sociologist just because you earn a sociology degree. Your career options should be quite vast, so it’s just a matter of finding something that suits you.
What Master’s Degree Can I Get with a Bachelor’s in Sociology?
Once you’ve achieved a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a common track is to get a master’s degree in sociology as well.
You can choose to specialize in something like public relations or human resources, or you can get a general sociology degree to serve your interests in wide-ranging fields.
Another option is to get a master’s degree in something that will help your career. For example, you can get a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) if you want to become a case manager or a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) if you want to go into public health education.
You can even get a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) if you want to apply your sociological skills to a corporate position.