The field of sociology focuses on how people shape societal groups and how these social structures influence individuals. Sociologists research human social behavior, such as the evolution of human societies, criminal conduct, and so on.
Social work and counselling careers often require some background in sociology, but you will need a doctorate to become a professional sociologist. A job as a sociologist may be a good fit if you’re interested in people and how they arrange themselves into groups and societies.
What does a sociologist do?
Sociologists examine human social behavior and research many types of social formations, including families, nations, religions, organizations, cultural groups, and institutions. These experts are curious about how societies grow, how segments within societies are formed, and how they interact with one another. They also study the effects that laws, social institutions and societal norms have on individuals within groups.
Step-by-step to become a sociologist
Complete an undergraduate degree
Obtaining a degree in sociology, such as a bachelor of arts in Sociology, which covers courses in sociology, social statistics, research techniques, and social theory, is the first step in becoming a sociologist. Candidates can also pursue degrees in anthropology, psychology, or political science, as these fields are all concerned with human behavior and intersect with sociology.
Choose a career field
Before you continue your studies, decide whether you want a career in academia, which entails working as a professor or as an independent researcher at a university or an institute, or if you want to enter the workforce.
Candidates who study sociology get a variety of relevant abilities, including the ability to organize research projects, gather and evaluate data, and work with data analysis tools. These abilities might be useful in a variety of fields, including higher education, social services, and government agencies, etc.
Get a master’s degree
When you reach the graduate level, you have the option of choosing between two types of programs: traditional or applied. A typical master’s degree prepares students for a PhD and is appropriate for individuals who wish to teach at universities or colleges or undertake independent research.
Master’s programs vary in requirements and focus but most programs consist of a core set of foundational courses and a thesis or independent research component. Classical and current theory, research methods, and statistical analysis are generally included in the basic curriculum.
Gain practical experience
Students can get opportunities to gain practical experience through internships. Students in a typical master’s program could work as a research assistant for a sociologist, but those pursuing an applied master’s degree might conduct interviews for a marketing firm.
Opt for a PhD
A PhD program usually focuses on sociological ideas and research methodologies, as well as familiarizing students with the work of influential sociologists and theorists. After students have completed their coursework and demonstrated their knowledge in an exam, they write a dissertation that must contain original research.