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General Social Sciences

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General Social Sciences Major

18,983 yearly degrees
#58 in popularity
$86,000 median salary

General social sciences is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 165 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in social sciences, 350 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 53 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 9 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Social Sciences Degree?

General social sciences runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #59 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 7,500 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. The major attracts more women than men. About 62.7% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 4.6%
  • Black or African American: 14.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 13.8%
  • White: 52.2%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 3.1%
  • Other Races: 12.3%
General Social Sciences Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in social sciences. About 3.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending social sciences majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Canada.

What Will You Learn as a General Social Sciences Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to social sciences to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Social Sciences Majors

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

Important Knowledge Areas for General Social Sciences Majors

Skills for Social Sciences Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to social sciences:

Important Skills for General Social Sciences Majors

Abilities for Social Sciences Majors

A major in social sciences will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for social sciences Majors

What Can You Do With a Social Sciences Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with social sciences:

Careers Related to General Social Sciences
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

City and Regional Planning Aides



Transportation Planners



Compliance Managers



Regulatory Affairs Managers



Clinical Data Managers



Security Managers



Social Science Research Assistants









Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education



General Social Sciences Major Salary

Average salaries range from $63,000 to $90,000 for careers related to social sciences. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Social Sciences Major  ( 63000 to 90000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for General Social Sciences Major Jobs

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 education 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 Levels for Careers Associated With General Social Sciences
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online General Social Sciences Programs

There are 350 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in general social sciences, with 49 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a General Social Sciences Major Worth It?

The median salary for a social sciences grad is $86,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 120% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $937,000 after 20 years!

general social sciences salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Manfred Werner (Tsui) via License

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