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General Social Sciences Major

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General Social Sciences

6,753 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
693 Master's Degrees Annually
#65 in Popularity
$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Social Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general social sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 11,500
Bachelor’s Degree 6,766
Master’s Degree 693
Graduate Certificate 76
Basic Certificate 58
Doctor’s Degree 24
Undergraduate Certificate 6

What General 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

Social Sciences majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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.
  • 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Social Sciences Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a social sciences student include the following:

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  • 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 Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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 General Social Sciences Major?

People with a social sciences degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
City and Regional Planning Aides 4.4% $46,640
Clinical Data Managers 33.9% $87,780
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
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
Statisticians 33.9% $87,780
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Survey Researchers 2.1% $57,700
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340

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

6,766 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
63% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 6,753 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general social sciences in 2018, making it rank #65 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 63% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Social Sciences Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 309
Black or African American 953
Hispanic or Latino 933
White 3,531
International Students 208
Other Races/Ethnicities 832

Geographic Diversity

Social Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 3.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan

How Much Do General 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 general social sciences made a median starting salary of $30,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,700 (25th percentile) and $34,700 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a social sciences degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Social Sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $63,240 to $90,290 (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 General Social Sciences Major  ( 63240 to 90290 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
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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250K

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) 0.7%
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) 0.8%
Some College Courses 1.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 51.6%
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. 3.3%
Master’s Degree 29.6%
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. 1.7%
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. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 7.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.3%

Online General Social Sciences Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 539 schools offered some type of general social sciences 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) 16 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 165 42
Bachelor’s Degree 22 3
Post-Baccalaureate 16 2
Master’s Degree 53 7
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General 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
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
Sociology 37,615
International Relations & National Security 14,908
Anthropology 12,008
Criminology 9,624
Geography & Cartography 8,717
Other Social Sciences 2,935
Urban Studies 1,524
Sociology & Anthropology 499
Archeology 335
Demography & Population Studies 76
Rural Sociology 33

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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