Types of Degrees Social Sciences Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many social sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Social Sciences Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to social sciences and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Social Sciences Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in social sciences should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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.
- 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.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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 Social Sciences Majors
As you progress with your social sciences degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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 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 Social Sciences Major?
People with a social sciences degree often go into the following careers:
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of social sciences majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||14,106|
|Hispanic or Latino||24,765|
Social Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 7.8% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Social Sciences Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that social sciences students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $32,000 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $27,900 (25th percentile) and $37,500 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in social sciences, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Social Sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,340 to $94,080 (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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Social Sciences
Some careers associated with social sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 social sciences have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.3%|
|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)||1.4%|
|Some College Courses||0.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.9%|
|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.||1.6%|
|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.||1.8%|
|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.||0.9%|
Online Social Sciences Programs
In 2017-2018, 1,714 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)||260||27|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||87||5|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||9||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||668||3|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in 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!
Majors Related to Social Sciences
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to social sciences.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Communication & Journalism||120,570|
|Family, Consumer & Human Sciences||60,305|
|Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies||14,883|
- 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 AndrГ© KГјnzelmann under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Featured Social Science Schools
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