Career Information for a Degree in Social Sciences

Degrees in social sciences typically cover psychology, sociology, anthropology, history and political science topics. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for social sciences graduates.

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A graduate with a degree in social sciences has the opportunity of becoming a sociologist, anthropologist, or general counselor, as these jobs involve human behavior and cultural patterns.

Essential Information

Social science is the study of people's behaviors as they are shaped by cultural patterns. In addition to learning about these and other phenomena, students of social sciences programs can choose from several areas of specialization.

Career Titles Sociologists Anthropologists Counselors
Education Requirements Master's or Ph.D. in Sociology Master's or Ph.D. in Anthropology Master's degree in psychology or counseling
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -1% 4% 20% for mental health counselors
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $73,760 $61,220 $41,880 for mental health counselors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Once a student has successfully completed a social sciences degree program, he or she could follow multiple career paths. A degree in social sciences could lead to a career as a sociologist, anthropologist or counselor.

Sociologist

Sociologists work for governmental agencies, research companies and social advocacy organizations. They study organizations, social institutions and groups in order to better understand human social behavior, its development and influences. Sociologists may also complete research work for political parties or teach at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for sociologists were expected to decrease 1% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Median earnings for sociologists in 2015 were $73,760 per year. Those employed by scientific research and development services received the highest wages, with yearly average earnings of $97,920.

Anthropologist

Anthropologists study human cultural behaviors in urban, rural and other settings. These professionals also study human physical, social and cultural developments. Like other social scientists, anthropologists may find employment with government agencies and educational institutions.

Career Information

According to the BLS, anthropologists and archaeologists will enjoy excellent prospects in the private sector in the years from 2014-2024, with job openings expected to increase by 4%. As of May 2015, the bureau also reported that the median annual salary for these professionals was $61,220.

Counselor

Students who major in social sciences during their undergraduate years may choose to use their knowledge of human behavior and habits to pursue graduate education in counseling. Counselors assist people with educational, professional and social problems. They may use therapy, group meetings and other strategies to broaden their clients' perspectives and increase their feelings of self-worth and well-being.

Career Information

In the period from 2014-2024, the BLS expected employment growth of 20% for mental health counselors. Median salary for mental health counselors was $41,880 as of May 2015.

Social sciences is a broad discipline and students can take concentrations in a specific area they're interested in, which may influence what job they'll go after later on. They may wish to have a career in anthropology, counseling, or sociology.

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