Those with a background in sociology can work in a variety of fields, including business, education, law, and social services. Some of these careers may require or accept a master's degree in sociology, and these degree programs typically allow students to choose a specific concentration to prepare for a future profession. Learn about a few of the career options for those with a master's degree in sociology.
Career Options for a Master's in Sociology
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Market Research Analysts||$62,560||23%|
|Postsecondary Education Administrators||$90,760||10%|
|Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists||$50,160||6%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Sociology-Related Jobs Requiring a Master's
Sociologists typically need a master's or doctorate degree in the field. These scientists study social behavior and social issues by conducting observations, surveys and interviews to collect data. They analyze this data concerning culture, social institutions and other factors and then present their findings in reports. Some sociologists may specialize in a particular social topic, such as poverty and crime or health and education.
Market Research Analysts
Market research analysts need at least a bachelor's degree, but many positions may require a master's degree and a background in statistics and the social sciences, which a master's degree in sociology could fulfill. Market research analysts examine sales trends and market conditions to try to determine what products consumers are buying and predict what they will want in the future. Their findings are usually presented in detailed reports and can be applied to further improving marketing strategies for their clients.
Postsecondary Education Administrators
Those with a master's degree in sociology who may have focused their studies in the field of education might enjoy a career as postsecondary education administrators. These administrators usually need a master's degree and can work in various areas of a postsecondary institution, including admissions and student affairs. Their specific job duties depend on their particular area of work, but in general these administrators assist students by connecting them with school resources and advising them in their academics, as well as communicating with parents as needed. These professionals may also be responsible for analyzing student data, planning programs, scheduling classes and meeting with prospective students, depending on their particular position.
Survey researchers usually need a master's or doctorate degree in survey research, the social sciences or other related fields. These researchers, as their name implies, specialize in creating various surveys to collect desired data for a particular topic. Survey researchers conduct research into the survey topic, design the survey and then begin testing the questions to make sure that everything is easily understood. Once data is collected and sampling errors have been accounted for, they analyze the data using statistical software and present their findings in detailed reports.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
Positions as probation officers or correctional treatment specialists may be good career choices for those with a background in sociology and an emphasis in criminology. Although these professionals usually just need a bachelor's degree, a master's degree is often required for advancement to supervisory positions. Probation officers meet and work with those on probation to ensure they are following their treatment plan and are not a danger to those around them. Correctional treatment specialists help develop rehabilitation plans for probationers and parolees and maintain detailed case files on each one.
A master's degree in sociology qualifies students to work a variety of advanced positions in research, law enforcement, education and other areas, depending on a student's chosen area of emphasis. These careers typically draw upon the research, critical-thinking and communication skills that students with a master's in sociology have gained.