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General Social Sciences Major

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General Social Sciences

721 Master's Degrees Annually
21 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#127 in Popularity (Master's)
$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Social Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general social sciences graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 721
Graduate Certificate 71
Doctor’s Degree 21

What General Social Sciences Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, social sciences majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Social Sciences Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Social Sciences Majors

When studying social sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Social Sciences Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a social sciences student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a General Social Sciences Major?

People with a social sciences degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
City and Regional Planning Aides 4.4% $46,640
Clinical Data Managers 33.9% $87,780
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480
Social Science Research Assistants 4.4% $46,640
Social Sciences Professors 9.8% $71,600
Statisticians 33.9% $87,780
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Survey Researchers 2.1% $57,700
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in General Social Sciences?

721 Master's Degrees Annually
62% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 62% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of social sciences majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Social Sciences Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 31
Black or African American 121
Hispanic or Latino 56
White 289
International Students 141
Other Races/Ethnicities 83

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Social Sciences, too. About 19.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan

How Much Do General Social Sciences Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of general social sciences students with a master’s degree is $36,200 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $33,900 (25th percentile) and $40,900 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to social sciences so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Social Sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $63,240 to $90,290 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Social Sciences Major  ( 63240 to 90290 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with social sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to social sciences have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.8%
Some College Courses 1.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 51.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.3%
Master’s Degree 29.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.7%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 7.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.3%

Online General Social Sciences Programs

In 2018-2019, 533 schools offered a social sciences program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 17 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 163 38
Bachelor’s Degree 25 1
Post-Baccalaureate 17 1
Master’s Degree 56 9
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Social Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a social sciences grad is $85,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 115% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $917,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to social sciences.

Major Number of Grads
Economics 5,699
International Relations & National Security 5,214
Political Science & Government 2,896
Geography & Cartography 2,299
Sociology 2,092
Anthropology 1,657
Criminology 941
Other Social Sciences 544
Urban Studies 518
Demography & Population Studies 72
Archeology 68
Sociology & Anthropology 4

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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