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Jobs and Salary Info for a Bachelors in Social Science Degree

Social sciences are generally degree programs that help graduates understand human behavior. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree in social sciences can include majors such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, geography, criminology or cultural studies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a master's or doctorate degree will open up many more job options in a social science area and may be a necessary step for advancement. However, not all social sciences students pursue graduate education.

CareerResearch AssistantMarket AnalystSocial Worker
Education Requirements At least an associate's degree Bachelor's degree At least a bachelor's degree; master's degree often required for clinical positions
Licensure/Certification N/A N/A Social workers in many states need to be licensed
Job Growth (2012-2022)* 15% 32% 19%
Median Annual Salary (2013)* $38,310 $60,800 $42,120 for family, child & school social workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Because social science degrees relate to the study of human behavior, societies and other aspects of humanity, graduates are often suited for jobs in public service. Career options may include those of research assistants, market analyst and social workers. Job information for these options is discussed below.

Research Assistant

Research assistants who have earned a bachelor's degree may find work with colleges and universities. Job duties include conducting studies via hands-on fieldwork and using computers to analyze the data. Research assistants may also be responsible for preparing reports for different groups about their results. Those who obtain higher levels of degrees such as master's and doctorate may qualify for promotions to research associate positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for social science research assistants in 2013 was $35,870.

Market Analyst

Sometimes called market research analysts, these individuals use their bachelor's degrees in social sciences to qualify for entry-level analyst positions that benefit from a knowledge of human behavior. These professionals create surveys to gauge consumer attitudes and preferences. Everything from the design of a product's packaging to how it is promoted and where it is distributed is decided based on the results of consumer surveys. The BLS notes that market research analysts earned a median of $60,800 annually, per BLS data.

Social Worker

Many large agencies require a bachelor's degree in social work for their entry-level positions, but smaller community agencies might be more lenient and allow those with degrees in sociology, psychology and related social sciences to fill these jobs. A social science major's understanding of human behavior and thought processes can prove quite valuable to a social worker. A social worker often chooses to specialize in a certain area such as children, family and school or medical and public health, but the goal of all of these professionals is to help clients improve quality of life by dealing with personal problems.

In 2013, family, child and school social workers earned a median wage of $42,120 per year, while the median annual salary for social workers specializing in mental health and substance abuse was $40,970, according to the BLS.

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