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SOCIOLOGY CAREER PATHS Where to go with your Sociology Degree and Suggestions on How to Get There! What is a Career Path? Building educational and job experiences that ultimately lead to your ideal career field. But, what is that ideal career? Things to Consider Need to ask yourself:

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sociology career paths

SOCIOLOGY CAREER PATHS

Where to go with your Sociology Degree and Suggestions on How to Get There!

what is a career path
What is a Career Path?
  • Building educational and job experiences that ultimately lead to your ideal career field.

But, what is that ideal career?

things to consider
Things to Consider
  • Need to ask yourself:
    • What skills do I have? (communicating, face-to-face interaction, analysis, critical thinking, etc.)
    • What is something I enjoy doing for long periods of time?
    • How important is work environment to me?
    • Do I need ongoing personal interaction, or am I satisfied to work independently?
    • Do I need my job to help fulfill a sense of purpose, or can I find that elsewhere in my life?
things to consider4
Things to Consider
  • Be honest when you answer those questions as they help guide you to your career path.
    • However, as you continue along your career path, the answers to those questions may change—and that is ok!
    • Your Sociology degree is flexible and offers many wonderful career paths!
things to consider5
Things to Consider
  • Many fields will require an advanced degree.
    • Begin early – Sophomore or junior year to research graduate schools
    • Identify graduate school requirements
      • Grade Point Average
      • Testing Requirements – GREs, LSATs, etc.
      • Pre-requisite undergraduate classes
      • Application Deadlines
career path opportunities
Career Path Opportunities
  • Sociology offers students much flexibility in choosing a career path but most graduating students follow one of the these paths:
  • See the chart on the next page to explore career paths!
cj job opportunities
CJ – Job Opportunities
  • Many different opportunities in law enforcement, corrections, courts, juvenile justice, and allied business
    • Police Officer
    • Federal Law Enforcement
      • US Marshals
      • ATF
      • DEA
      • FBI
      • CIA
cj job opportunities10
CJ – Job Opportunities
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Juvenile Probation Officer
  • Victim Services Specialist
  • Mediation Specialist
  • Attorney
  • Corrections Counselor
  • Private Security/Background Investigation
  • FBI Analyst
why sociology background fits
Why Sociology Background Fits
  • Sociology provides students with insight to structural and cultural causes of crime.
  • Criminology/Deviance Concentration provides relevant courses into theories of crime, trends in crime rates, and institutions involved in crime prevention, law enforcement and corrections.
why sociology background fits12
Why Sociology Background Fits
  • Sociology students could make good employees in this field because their coursework requires:
    • Good communication skills
    • Good analytical skills
    • Good research skills
    • Openness to cultural diversity
    • Understanding of structural constraints such as poverty and its relevance to crime
cj how to get there
CJ – How to get there
  • Federal Law Enforcement (FBI, ATF, etc.)
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • ATF, US Marshals, Secret Service, FBI
        • Keep in mind that background check is intensive, you should allow a six-month window to set up opportunity
      • Local Police Departments (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Christiansburg)
cj how to get there14
CJ – How to get there
  • Federal Law Enforcement – (Continued)
    • Consider a double major in Computer Science, Accounting, Foreign Language or Mathematics
      • These are needed skills for FBI—could increase your likelihood of obtaining a position
    • After graduation, first obtain job experience in local law enforcement agencies such as local police departments
cj how to get there15
CJ – How to get there
  • Local Law Enforcement
    • Complete internships with local police departments Junior or Senior year
    • Consider taking part in the Virginia Tech Student Police Academy http://www.police.vt.edu/VTPDnew/SPA.htm
    • Pass physical, psychological, and other background requirements (should check with local Police Departments to find out requirements) as part of job application process
cj how to get there16
CJ – How to get there
  • Courts related professions
    • Complete internship with probation and parole, county clerk’s office, prosecuting attorneys, victim’s services departments, etc. your junior or senior year
    • Be prepared to have a background check, including questions about drug and alcohol use
    • Search for jobs at http://www.usajobs.gov/ or Virginia jobs at http://cfm.vadoc.virginia.gov/ or https://jobs.agencies.virginia.gov
    • As a tip, entry-level positions typically have the phrases “coordinator,” “assistant, ” or “I” in the title
cj how to get there17
CJ – How to get there
  • Courts related professions (Cont’d)
    • For law profession, begin researching law schools and prepare for the LSATs.
    • Consider a Master’s Degree (2 year) in Criminal Justice, Criminology or Sociology
real people real jobs
Real People, Real Jobs!
  • Some examples of jobs obtained by recent VT Sociology graduates employed in this field:
    • Virginia Tech Police Department
    • Virginia State Police
    • FBI, Intelligence Analyst
    • Target, Team Leader of Assets Protection
    • Fairfax Police Department
    • Roanoke Probation & Parole (District 15)
slide20

HS – Job Opportunities

  • Many different opportunities in community organizations, social service agencies and private practice
    • Counselor
      • Youth
      • Domestic Violence
      • School
      • Private Family or Family and Marriage Counseling
      • Vocational or Rehabilitative
      • Career or Higher Education
slide21

HS – Job Opportunities

  • Social Work
    • Counseling
    • Healthcare Settings (Nursing Homes, Hospitals)
    • School
    • Private Community Agency
    • Criminal Justice (Corrections, Courts)
    • Government Agency
  • Community Outreach
  • Activities Coordinator/Director
  • Also see “Non-Profit Business"
why sociology background fits22
Why Sociology Background Fits
  • Sociology students could make good employees in this field because their coursework requires:
    • Good communication skills
    • Good analytical skills
    • Good research skills
    • Openness to cultural diversity
    • Understanding of structural constraints such as poverty and its relevance to life circumstances, mental health, job opportunities, educational goals, etc.
hs how to get there
HS – How to get there
  • Counseling
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • Some examples include: RAFT Crisis Hotline, Better Agreements, Inc. Mediation Service, Youth Villages (summer only), Psychological Health of Roanoke
    • Consider a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling, Family & Marriage Counseling, Education/School Counseling or Social Work (with counseling emphasis)
hs how to get there24
HS – How to get there
  • Social Work
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • Some examples include: RAFT Crisis Hotline, YMCA Student Programs, Women’s Resource Center, Mont. Count. Dept. of Social Services (Spring only), Free Clinic, etc.
    • Consider a Master’s Degree in Social Work
hs how to get there25
HS – How to get there
  • Community Outreach
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • Some examples include: YMCA Student Programs, Women’s Resource Center, Free Clinic, etc.
    • Consider a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Sociology or related field
slide26

Real People, Real Jobs!

  • Some examples of jobs obtained by recent VT Sociology graduates employed in this field:
    • Hopetree Family Services, Residential Counselor
    • Centura College, Career Advisor
    • Virginia Tech, Assistant Academic Advisor
    • Lewis Gale Medical Center, Mental Health Tech
    • New River Community Services, Family Counselor
slide28

Education – Job Opportunities

  • Elementary Teacher
  • High School Teacher
  • Community College or University Instructor
  • University Professor
why sociology background fits29
Why Sociology Background Fits
  • Sociology students could make good employees in this field because their coursework requires:
    • Good communication skills
    • Good analytical skills
    • Openness to cultural diversity
    • Understanding of structural constraints such as poverty and its relevance to educational goals and attainment
educ how to get there
Educ. – How to get there
  • Elementary School Teacher
    • Identify necessary general education requirements that must be completed. Contact VT School of Education for information www.soe.vt.edu
    • Obtain a Master’s of Arts in Education, Curriculum & Instruction from state-approved university program
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • Some examples include: YMCA Student Programs (tutoring), Local Elementary Schools, Head Start
educ how to get there31
Educ. – How to get there
  • High School Teacher
    • Identify acceptable undergraduate major. Contact VT School of Education for information www.soe.vt.edu . (For Social Science, will need to also major in History or Political Science.)
    • Obtain a Master’s of Arts in Education, Curriculum & Instruction from state-approved university program
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year
      • Some examples include: YMCA Student Programs (tutoring), Local High Schools, Head Start
educ how to get there32
Educ. – How to get there
  • College or University Instructor or Professor
    • Instructors generally have Master’s Degree in Sociology or related field
      • Typically not “tenure track,” however, many universities are now considering “career tracks” for instructors
    • College or University Professors typically have a Doctorate of Philosophy in Sociology or Related Field
educ how to get there33
Educ. – How to get there
  • College or University Instructor or Professor
    • University Professors take part in academic research
      • Consider taking undergraduate research credits and complete a major research project
      • Participate in the Undergraduate Research Conference
      • Submit a research paper to Philogia (www.philogia.clahs.vt.edu), the student journal from the College of Arts and Human Sciences
slide34

Real People, Real Jobs!

  • Some examples of jobs obtained by recent VT Sociology graduates employed in this field:
    • Teach For America, Elementary School Teacher
    • Virginia Tech, Graduate Student/Assistant Sociology
    • NC State, Graduate Student/Assistant Sociology
    • Potomac Senior High, Vocational Resource Teacher-Special Education
slide36

Research – Job Opportunities

  • Many different opportunities in the private and public sector
    • Research/Data Analyst
    • Data Coordinator
    • Research Assistant
    • Research Coordinator
    • Data Collection Specialist
    • Marketing Research Analyst
    • Planning/Policy Analyst
slide37

Why Sociology Background Fits

  • Sociology students could make good employees in this field because their coursework requires:
    • Good communication skills
    • Good analytical skills
    • Specific coursework in research design, including survey construction and data analysis
      • SPSS
    • Students exposed to a variety of policy topics including crime, poverty and healthcare
slide38

Research – How to get there

  • All Research and Policy Related Careers
    • Complete internships Junior or Senior Year, particularly summer placements at government agencies
      • Some examples include: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Government Accounting Office (GAO), Energy Information Administration, etc.
    • Complete Undergraduate Research credits
    • Participate in Undergraduate Research Conference
slide39

Research – How to get there

  • All Research and Policy Related Careers (Cont’d)
    • Consider an advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) in Applied Sociology or Sociology, Public Administration, Policy Studies or Statistics
    • Search for research jobs at http://www.usajobs.gov/
slide40

Real People, Real Jobs!

  • Some examples of jobs obtained by recent VT Sociology graduates employed in this field:
    • U.S. Census Bureau, Statistician/Analyst
    • MacroSys Research & Technology, Research Assistant
    • U.S. Sentencing Commission, Data Analyst
    • Department of Transportation, Program Management Analyst
slide42

Business – Job Opportunities

  • Many different opportunities in the non-profit and for-profit sectors
    • Non-profit
      • Volunteer Coordinator
      • Marketing Coordinator
      • Development (Fundraising) Assistant
      • Donor Assistant
      • Grant Coordinator
      • Program Coordinator/Assistant
      • Public Relations Coordinator
slide43

Business – Job Opportunities

  • For-profit
    • Marketing Coordinator
    • Sales
    • Management Trainee
    • Business Assistant/Coordinator
    • Human Resources Coordinator/Assistant
    • Public Relations Coordinator
    • Staffing Coordinator/Specialist
slide44

Why Sociology Background Fits

  • Sociology students could make good employees in this field because their coursework requires:
    • Good communication skills, including face-to-face speaking, writing and presentation skills
    • Good analytical skills
    • Experience with group work
slide45

Business – How to get there

  • Non-profit
    • Complete internships Junior and Senior Year
      • Some examples include YMCA Student Programs, local non-profit agencies, etc.
    • Consider an advanced degree (Master’s) in Nonprofit Management or MBA with non-profit emphasis
    • Search for nonprofit jobs at www.opportunityknocks.org or www.philanthropy.com
slide46

Business – How to get there

  • For-profit
    • Complete internships Junior and Senior Year
      • Some examples include local businesses, local staffing agencies
    • Consider obtaining an MBA
    • Search for business jobs at www.monster.com
slide47

Real People, Real Jobs!

  • Some examples of jobs obtained by recent VT Sociology graduates employed in this field:
    • YMCA, Director
    • Meadowkirk Camp & Retreat Center, Program Assistant
    • Newell-Rubermaid, Sales and Field Marketing
    • SWI Digital, Sales Associate
    • Bank of America, Strategic Sourcer
    • Cintas Corporation, Management Trainee