Social Sciences Careers

Working in the community

Many students assume an education in the social sciences automatically leads to an academic career, but that's far from the truth! In fact, a social sciences education teaches analytic and research skills that are useful in a variety of positions, including:

  • Administration
  • Anthropology / ethnography
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  • Corporate business
  • Criminal justice
  • Government and political science
  • Market research
  • Museum and library
  • Non-profit
  • Publishing

Many social scientists end up in government-funded positions, where they study communities and provide needs analysis. Research tends to be one of the primary responsibilities in this field.

People and the Community

While the career options open to a social sciences student vary widely, for the most part you'll find almost all of them involve working closely with the public - either individually or in groups. For example, you may be involved in addressing social problems in the community, or counseling community members at risk for crime, violence or substance abuse.

Interpersonal and communication skills are necessary to be successful in the social sciences. You'll often be placed in situations that bring together diverse experiences and personalities, and you'll have to learn to deal efficiently with conflict and opposing expectations. This is as true for all careers in social sciences, from those working in the publishing industry to those in the criminal justice field!

Careers in Education

While there are a number of career options open to a social sciences student, education and government service are two of the most commonly chosen paths. Compared to other professions, those involved in the social sciences tend to strive for the highest education level possible - this means there are more graduate degrees attained by social scientists than in many other fields.

Graduate degrees in social sciences often lead to careers in post secondary education. Most colleges require their instructors to have, at minimum, a Master's Degree, while universities expect their professors to have completed a PhD.

If you want to work in the education sector but you're not interested in pursuing additional education, you can still get involved in business or department administration, student life resources (such as housing, study skills, special needs or counseling) or admissions.

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