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Sociology Major

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Sociology

29,915 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,442 Master's Degrees Annually
#19 in Popularity
$90,290 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Sociology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many sociology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 29,920
Associate’s Degree 5,523
Master’s Degree 1,442
Doctor’s Degree 626
Basic Certificate 76
Graduate Certificate 24

What Sociology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to sociology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Sociology Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in sociology 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.

Skills for Sociology Majors

When studying sociology, 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:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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 Sociology Majors

Sociology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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 Sociology Major?

People with a sociology degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Sociology Professors 9.5% $74,140

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?

29,920 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
74% Percent Women
53% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen undergraduate majors. It is the 19th most popular in the country with 29,915 students graduating with a bachelor’s in sociology in 2019. The major attracts more women than men. About 74% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Sociology Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,815
Black or African American 4,720
Hispanic or Latino 7,695
White 12,426
International Students 961
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,303

Geographic Diversity

Sociology appeals to people across the globe. About 3.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Turkey

How Much Do Sociology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that sociology students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $29,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,900 (25th percentile) and $32,200 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in sociology, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $83,310 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sociology. 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 Sociology Major  ( 83310 to 115590 )
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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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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with sociology 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 schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to sociology have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.6%
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) 1.2%
Some College Courses 0.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 33.4%
Master’s Degree 27.2%
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. 1.3%
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. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 33.0%

Online Sociology Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,193 schools offered a sociology 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) 28 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 196 30
Bachelor’s Degree 18 3
Post-Baccalaureate 28 1
Master’s Degree 236 12
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 121 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Sociology Worth It?

The median salary for a sociology grad is $90,290 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 126% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,007,800 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
General Social Sciences 19,694
International Relations & National Security 15,207
Anthropology 11,703
Criminology 9,783
Geography & Cartography 8,673
Other Social Sciences 2,729
Urban Studies 1,647
Sociology & Anthropology 543
Archeology 364
Demography & Population Studies 77
Rural Sociology 36

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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