What Are Common Jobs for People with Social Science Degrees?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a degree in the social sciences. Read on to learn more about career options and earning potential in the various fields included in the social sciences. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is A Social Science Major?

A social science major is someone who has completed a bachelor's degree with a primary focus on studying social science subjects, which include political science, history and sociology. Social sciences involve studying human behavior and society. It's possible to focus on how society is impacting in significant events such as war, economic crisis or a natural disaster. It's also possible to focus studies on human behavior and what influences behavior or contributes to deviant behavior. Social science majors often pursue careers in fields such as political science, social work and education. They are ideally suited for careers that involve analyzing historical events, such as historians, addressing human needs, such as social workers, and careers in politics or political commentary.

Archivist Social Worker Political Scientist
Degree Required Bachelor's degree required; master's or doctoral degree recommended Bachelor's degree required; master's degree desirable Bachelor's degree required; master's or doctoral degree recommended
Education Field of Study History Social work Political science
Key Responsibilities Researching; preserving or restoring documents and other materials; creating displays Working directly with families; linking clients with public services; serving as a liaison to schools and teachers Conducting and analyzing public opinion polls; meeting with elected officials; cultivating donors; speaking at public events; creating campaign strategies
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% 12% -2%
Median Salary (2015)* $50,250 $58,560 $99,730

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Careers Can I Consider with a Degree in History?

A degree in history could lead to a variety of careers in that branch of social science. As an archivist, you could work in a museum or library, preserving history for future generations and scholars. As a historian, you could focus your research on a particular time period, culture, religion or part of the world. You could record your research findings and present them in scholarly journals and books. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), historians made a median annual salary of $55,180 in 2015 (www.bls.gov); the figure for archivists was $50,250.

You might also consider a career as a high school history teacher. Although requirements can vary by state, most secondary teachers possess at least a bachelor's degree and a teaching license. If you're interested in teaching at the college level, you'll need a master's or doctoral degree.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Sociology?

Human services is a common career path for those with a degree in social science, particularly sociology. As a social worker, you could work to help families in need, providing access to social services such as job training, family planning and financial aid. According to the BLS, child, family and school social workers earned a median annual salary of $58,560 in 2015. You might also consider a career as an urban planner, a career path that would allow you to develop social, environmental and economic programs that support the sustainability and growth of local communities.

You could also consider a job as a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist. As a probation officer, you could monitor the activity of offenders and ensure that they follow the terms of their probation. As a correctional treatment specialist, you could supervise, assist and protect inmates at juvenile and adult correctional facilities. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned a median annual salary of $49,360 in 2015, according to the BLS.

What Jobs Are Available in the Field of Political Science?

As a political scientist, you could work to understand political systems and social changes. You could work to improve international relations and push the government to implement changes to legislation. Common job titles for those with a degree in political science include lobbyist, campaign manager and political analyst. Before embarking on this type of career, it's helpful to secure an internship at a local or state government agency after graduation. The BLS reported that the median annual salary of political scientists was $99,730 in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Anthropologists and archeologists are similar to historians and sociologists, because they focus on studying the origins of civilization and human behavior. Archeologists, anthropologists and sociologists all need a master's degree. Other professions to consider may be a high school teacher concentrating on history or sociology. These positions require a bachelor's degree and a teaching license.

Other careers can be found within the field of medicine, such as mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, and substance abuse counselors, which all require varying levels of postsecondary study, from a bachelor's to a master's degree. These positions focus on helping individuals identify issues in their life and develop coping strategies to address those issues effectively. Part of their focus is on helping people achieve typical behavior. Lastly, social and human service assistants, police officers and market research analysts all also benefit from a social science background, as their jobs involve dealing with or understanding human behavior.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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