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Sociologists Job Outlook

Employment of sociologists is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment gains will be driven by a growing interest in using sociological research to further understand society and human social interactions. Specifically, social, political, and business organizations will need sociologists to research, evaluate, and address many different social issues, programs, and problems.

In addition, sociologists will be needed to apply sociological principles and research to other disciplines. For example, sociologists may collaborate with researchers in other fields to study how social structures or groups influence policy decisions about health, education, politics, business, or economics.

Job Prospects

Jobseekers can expect to face competition for most sociologist research positions. Sociology is a popular field of study, with a relatively small number of research positions.

Instead, many bachelor’s and master’s degree holders will find positions in related fields, such as social services, education, public policy, or other areas. Although these fields require the skills and concepts that sociologists learn as part of their education, workers should face less competition for positions not specifically labeled as “sociologists.”

Candidates with an advanced degree, strong statistical and research skills, and a background in applied sociology will have the best job prospects.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition