Types of Degrees Sociology Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many sociology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Sociology Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, sociology 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 Sociology Majors
Sociology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- 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.
Skills for Sociology Majors
When studying sociology, 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:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Sociology Majors
As a sociology major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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 Sociology Major?
People with a sociology degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Investment Fund Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Sociology?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sociology majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||185|
|Hispanic or Latino||207|
Students from other countries are interested in Sociology, too. About 13.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
How Much Do Sociology Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that sociology students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $40,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $40,800 (25th percentile) and $40,800 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in sociology, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Sociology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $83,310 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Sociology
Some degrees associated with sociology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to sociology have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.6%|
|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)||1.2%|
|Some College Courses||0.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.7%|
|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.||1.3%|
|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.||1.2%|
Online Sociology Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,193 schools offered some type of sociology program. 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)||28||1|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||121||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Sociology Worth It?
The median salary for a sociology grad is $90,290 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 126% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,007,800 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Sociology
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sociology.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Political Science & Government||47,035|
|General Social Sciences||19,694|
|International Relations & National Security||15,207|
|Geography & Cartography||8,673|
|Other Social Sciences||2,729|
|Sociology & Anthropology||543|
|Demography & Population Studies||77|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Kontos under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.