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Social Sciences Major

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Social Sciences

$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Social Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many social sciences graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 155,417
Associate Degree 25,728
Master’s Degree 16,724
Doctor’s Degree 3,621
Graduate Certificate 1,967
Basic Certificate 1,943
Undergraduate Certificate 326

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:

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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.
  • 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

A major in social sciences prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Anthropologists 3.9% $62,410
Anthropology and Archeology Professors 9.9% $83,940
Archeologists 3.9% $62,410
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 19.0% $64,430
City and Regional Planning Aides 4.4% $46,640
Clinical Data Managers 33.9% $87,780
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Economics Professors 10.9% $101,480
Economists 6.1% $104,340
Environmental Economists 6.1% $104,340
Geographers 13.3% $80,300
Geography Professors 8.0% $80,350
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 23.2% $63,120
Political Science Professors 10.4% $83,370
Political Scientists 2.7% $117,570
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
Sociology Professors 9.5% $74,140
Statisticians 33.9% $87,780
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Survey Researchers 2.1% $57,700
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340
Urban and Regional Planners 12.8% $73,050
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences?

155,417 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 11,702
Black or African American 13,824
Hispanic or Latino 27,613
White 78,373
International Students 12,326
Other Races/Ethnicities 11,579

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Social Sciences, too. About 7.9% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Social Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences 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).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to social sciences.

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.

Median Salary for a Social Sciences Major  ( 68340 to 94080 )
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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 degrees associated with social sciences may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for social sciences careers below.

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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%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.4%
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%
Master’s Degree 27.0%
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%
Doctoral Degree 33.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.9%

Online Social Sciences Programs

In 2019-2020, 1,700 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 91 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 9 2
Associate’s Degree 1,035 137
Bachelor’s Degree 361 58
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 1,546 106
Post-Master’s 69 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 708 8
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 2 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 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!

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

Major Number of Grads
Education 310,601
Psychology 183,889
Communication & Journalism 121,387
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 56,273
History 32,905
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 16,240
Library Science 5,894

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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