Sociology provides a broad liberal arts base from which to explore a world of job opportunities. Sociology majors also develop a broad knowledge of society, critical thinking skills, and the ability to evaluate and write about quantitative and qualitative evidence. If you are intrigued by how and why people interact as they do with others, then you can certainly consider Sociology honors or major. In this article, guest blogger Sujoy will discuss the sociology careers and jobs in India.
Introduction to Sociology
Sociology is the subject that involves the process and causes of interaction between people. Social problems and phenomena which are very critical and complex can be well understood by studying sociology.
This broad subject includes the study of topics such as family issues, marriage advantages & disadvantages, deviance, divorce causes, criminology (studying crime-oriented incidents), group interaction (studying how people interact in a group), gender roles (studying and analyzing the activities of people having different gender), sexuality, work roles (studying the working condition & features of people), public policy, aging, social inequality, attitude development and much more.
The behavior of mankind changes in a variety of situations which is a subject matter of sociology. Different social structure groups, organizations, communities, social categories (such as class, sex, age or race), and various social institutions (economic, political or religious) influence human behavior and actions and give them opportunities in several ways and occasions. Sociology study and explore these ways.
The findings of sociology are applicable in some social areas such as health, crime, education, families, population, gender, poverty, aging, race and ethnic relations, urban sociology, political sociology, sociology of the family and social psychology.
The very nature of human beings is to assemble together in groups, organizations, and societies in order to execute different social, religious and cultural activities. Sociology studies these social aspects of human beings. Different social disciplines like History, Economics, Psychology, Political Science and Anthropology contribute to the study of sociology. Hence students who are interested in a wide variety of subjects and academic fields can choose sociology as their career subject.
About 85% of Sociology Majors who graduated in 2015 and 2016 said that they would recommend the major to an incoming freshman. According to the Sociology graduates, the major’s flexibility and the opportunity to explore topics are really exciting. And, about 75% of recent graduates said that the major is very relevant for understanding and addressing current social issues.
Eligibility Criteria to Pursue Sociology Major
Aspirants can pursue Sociology at Graduation, Post-Graduation, and Doctorate levels. A candidate must have passed a 10+2 course (Higher Secondary) in Social Science subjects with at least 50% marks to pursue a Sociology course at Graduation level. The duration of Graduation is 3 years.
Similarly, to study Sociology at the Post-Graduation level a candidate needs to complete a Graduation course securing at least 50% marks. The duration of the Master’s course is 2 years. Many Employers and Institutions require Master’s degree holders.
Some employers also want P.hd degree holders. The candidates with good academic records at the Post-Graduation level (at least 55% marks) can pursue a Sociology courses at the Doctorate level. The aspirants with 55% marks at Post-Graduation level can appear for University Grants Commissions National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) & CSIR-UGC NET currently conducted by National Testing Agency for the recruitment of Lecturers in different Indian Universities and Junior Research Fellows in different Laboratories of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) throughout India.
Required Skill Set to Pursue a Career in Sociology
The primary skills that a Sociologist must possess are the ability to think, create and help specified by Holland Code Framework. The Sociologist should possess a habit of researching, investigating and understanding the natural laws. This feature comes under thinking skill. By creating means the Sociologist should remain original and imaginative. By helping it means that a sociologist must always assist, serve and do the work of counseling and teaching other people. Besides these three key skills the Sociologists should also possess the following skills:
- Ability to analyze data and other information is required by Sociologists. They also use statistical processes to examine the theories made by them. He has to draw conclusions from the available data. He should also have an innovative mind.
- Sociologists have to perform the tasks of conducting interviews, collaborating with the colleagues (other sociologists or social scientists) and presenting research results to the public. For doing these he must have strong communication skills. They collect data through surveys, observations, interviews and other sources.
- Sociologists need to think critically about all aspects of research. Designing a research project is his job. Collecting, processing and analyzing information in order to draw logical conclusions about society is also his job.
- Sociologists must have problem-solving skills so that he can study, identify, and solve sociological problems.
- Sociologists must have good writing skills and write reports about his research findings from time to time. His writing should have expressions and able to persuade everybody.
- He should have the ability to understand different cultures.
- The Sociologists discuss and guide the clients and policymakers about sociological issues based on research findings. The administrators, educators, lawmakers, policymakers and social workers solve complex social problems and make public policy by using research findings of Sociologists.
- Sociologists study the behavior, interaction between different people and organizations. They monitor different activities of social, religious, political and economic groups, organizations and institutions.
- The mind of Sociologist should be flexible enough. Finding out the origin and growth of these groups and interactions is also his task.
- You should have the ability to identify important points from a text.
- A sociologist should possess an appropriate skepticism while conducting research and evaluating sources.
- S/he should have a practice of actively participating in discussions and also leading it if needed. Additionally, you s/he should have the capability of giving opinions and proposing ideas and theories.
- S/he must have confidence in the opinions placed by herself/himself.
- You should perform statistical research before giving conclusions. Strong statistical skills can take you a long way.
Top Employment Sectors for Sociology Degree Holders
- Public Relations
- Marketing & Sales
- Consumer Research
- Human Resources (Personnel Management)
- Real Estate
Community Services Sector
- Non-profit Agencies
- Urban Planning
- Child Care
- Community Development
- Environmental Groups
Health Services Sector
- Family Planning
- Substance Abuse Education
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Hospital Admissions
- Health Insurance Providers
Higher Education Sector
- Alumni Relations
- Administrative Support
- Law Enforcement
- Probation and Parole Administration
- Criminal Justice
- Judicial Affairs
- Professional Writing
Social Services Sector
- Case Management
- Youth and Elderly Services
- Social Work
- Local, State and Federal Agencies
- Elementary Teaching
- Secondary Teaching
- Special Education
- Teaching English as a second language
Best Career Options and Job Profiles for Sociology Graduates
School Counselor or Guidance Counselor
The School or Guidance counselor acts as the guide of the students. They interact with the families of the students so that the family members remain supportive of the achievements of the students. The counselor interviews the students in order to help them choose the right career. Social problems and conflicts within schools are solved by the Guidance Counselor. From time to time group discussions are conducted by Guidance Counselor. The aim of these discussions/sessions is to give instructions to students about social matters like bullying, substance abuse, and safe sex.
Human Resources (HR) Specialist
Interaction with a huge number of people on a daily basis is the work of an HR Specialist/Representative. He needs to analyze the work roles and decide whether a particular candidate is suitable for a particular job. He will interview the candidates and assess their suitability. While studying Sociology s/he has learned the technique of taking an interview. The HR staff members by using their problem-solving skills solve problems between staff of an organization. They also develop alternative structures for employee benefits.
Management Consultants give solutions to clients after analyzing business issues. Sociology teaches the students about every aspect of a business problem and possible solutions. By using problem-solving skills Sociology professionals work out viable solutions for every business problem. They present the solutions to clients either in writing or giving a speech in public.
Survey Researcher (Pollster)
Survey Researcher conducts surveys in areas like social and political issues, health & culture, and consumer products. During this process, they analyze the opinions of different groups of people. They make and ask specific questions to the people to get clear answers. Data collection and statistical analysis is a technique that can be learned while studying Sociology major course. The survey researcher uses this technique. They communicate with their clients in the form of written reports in order to make them aware of their research findings. While studying the opinion of a targeted population Survey Researcher use the knowledge of groups and sub-cultures which can be obtained by studying Sociology.
Different social issues affect the public in their daily lives. Policy Analyst analyzes these social issues and gives recommendations to the legislators to address those social problems. The knowledge of sociological research data helps the Analysts to know whether the legislation has brought good results on social problems and various populations. The subject Sociology deals with the study of social matters like public welfare, poverty, substance abuse, job training, education, healthcare, and gay marriage. Policy Analyst has strong writing skills. They write different expressive and persuasive articles about their research findings and also convince both the legislators and public about the viability and importance of their recommendations.
Public Relations (PR) Specialist
PR staffs have sound interpersonal skills. They talk to different electronic and print media authorities and make them aware of the viability and utility of the products or services of their clients or organization and also convince them to publish stories about the products or services of their clients or organizations. Thus, they convey their ideas to their clients and organizations and also get support and consent for their ideas.
The task of Media Planner is to work out whether their client should advertise for a product. According to the need, they devise a media plan to boost up sales to various groups of people. The companies target a particular population to sell their product or service. During a survey, the preferences of this population are kept in record. The Media Planners analyze this data and guide their clients about the advertising needs and improvement of the product or service accordingly. They use sociological research to study the characteristics of different groups and choose the best media to advertise their product.
Market Research Analyst
Products and services of a particular company are examined by a Market Research Analyst. They also look after whether the marketing campaign is successful. They collect data by conducting interviews and surveys which are techniques that belonged to Sociology. They use statistics to analyze this data. Specific consumer groups are often targeted by Market Researchers. The crucial data such as gender, youth, aging, race, ethnicity, social class, and their opinions help the Market Researchers to bring enhancements to a certain product or service.
Solicitor or Lawyer (further studies/training needed)
The job of Lawyers is to research and litigate the cases of their clients. For this, they need to think critically and use their analytical skill. Legal practices such as marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, criminal law, personal injury, worker compensation, employment benefit are related to Sociology. Researching and writing is indispensable part of the practice of law. There is a similarity between Lawyers and Sociologists. Lawyers search, gather and produce facts and evidence to support a thesis which is also done by Sociology students while doing their position papers. Sociology students deliver their presentations in Sociology classes in a persuasive and compelling manner which is also done by Lawyers while presenting their findings and placing their arguments in order to convince a judge, jury or the opposing attorney.
Sociology Salaries in India
Please be advised that the salaries will depend a lot on the skill set, and also on your alma mater to a huge extent. If you have a limited skillset and haven’t attended a Tier 1 institute, your salary could be as low as INR 6,000 – 8,000 per month at the entry level – the fresh graduates. However, graduates with sufficient experience can draw something around INR 4,89,000 annually (payscale.com). In the US, a sociology graduate draws around $64,000 a year. The average salary of a professional sociologist in India is INR 6,90,000 (as on September 2021).