Social science degrees offer a wide range of career paths for graduates. The social science classes that you take en route to a degree will dictate how you can use your degree in the professional world.
Whether you want to find a job with a focus on one topic that affects the human species or if you hope to discover more about subjects that affect the entire world population, social sciences subjects are united in their interest in people.
What Is Social Science?
Social sciences examine and explain human beings. That is a weighty subject. The many ways a student can use a social science degree is as varied as the types of people that populate the world from pole to pole.
It can be as narrow of a subject as studying how an individual mind works or as broad as studying how a section of people function as a whole.
Reasons to Study Social Science
If you are curious about the world as a whole or how individuals get by in day-to-day life, then a social science major or minor can open new worlds of possibilities for your career prospects.
Social science subjects allow a student to explore looking inward through psychology or at a particular society as a whole. The subjects related to social science set an undergraduate up for digging deeper into areas of interest that spark their passion.
Graduate Degrees in Social Sciences
Many social science students go on to pursue higher degrees in their area of interests. They may find a passion for people or research that they hadn’t known was there before exploring social sciences at an undergraduate level.
A student who has successfully completed all the coursework that goes into getting a social science degree has shown they have the requirements to do the job. These include:
- Research skills
- Analytical ability
- Flexible approach to learning
- Logical thinking abilities
- Ability to adapt and meet deadlines
- Work with a team
- Communication skills
Social Science Majors
Career options abound for social science graduates. The accepted branches of social science range from working with individuals to an entire community. The social science majors include:
- American ethnic studies
- Political science
- Women’s studies
- Public Health
Why Social Science Is Popular
As humans, people learn by observing. You are constantly asking questions that explore what makes you do what you do and why. Humans are innately problem solvers, and social science studies dig deeper into this penchant for finding a better solution to what affects our world.
Employers look to recruit social science graduates fresh from college in both the public and private sectors. Graduates of social science programs have keen analytic skills as well as communication skills that are needed in economies and societies around the world.
Prospects for Social Science Degree Graduates
Graduates of social science degree programs are generally employed in a position in their chosen field within four years of graduating. They tend to land in managerial, educational and senior official roles in corporations, government agencies or national non-profits.
Skills That a Social Science Degree Offers
The coursework that a student will be introduced to when pursuing a social science degree offers a strong academic foundation and skills that will serve the graduate well. These include:
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem solving
- Oral and written communication
- Critical thinking
Top 10 Jobs for Social Science Majors
Once you graduate from college, there are many lucrative careers you can pursue. These include:
- Marketing manager
- Supply chain analyst
- Account manager
- Land surveyor
- Financial/securities or investments analyst
- General operations manager
- Operations director
- Executive director for community non-profit organization
- Business analyst
Psychology Courses for Social Science Degrees
The study of the human brain and the behaviors of the species can be a good foundation for the study of social sciences. Students who take a healthy amount of psychology classes will study the development of a normal brain. Psychology classes dissect personality and socialization through case studies as well as study major theories formed by recognized experts that have affected the field.
Classes for undergrads include the study of abnormal psychology. This will include further study of mental illnesses, including the roots of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia among other disorders that affect a large part of the population.
Graduate Degrees in Social Sciences
A student who decides to go the distance and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can go on to work in human services in many different areas. For those who want to pursue a higher position in the field of psychology should seriously consider going on to get a graduate degree and other certifications.
Jobs for graduate degree holders include private counseling or school guidance counselors among other helpful career options.
Sociology Course Work
The study of how people as individuals interact within the societies that they live in is considered the base of sociology.
Classes for sociology include research methods, which are useful across many career choices, sociological theories, deviance and the sociology of gender and families.
Students who graduate with a degree in sociology or anthropology can move into the human resources field. It can provide a strong background for students who plan to go on to graduate studies in a wide range of professional paths, from library science to more.
Anthropology Course Work
Anthropology is the study of societies within certain periods of time and in far flung areas of the world or in their neighborhood. It is fairly closely related to sociology but looks more closely at how humans interacted in the past rather than the present.
There are four major subfields within anthropology course work. These include:
- Cultural anthropology
- Biological anthropology
It can be very beneficial for students who study coursework to understand the history of how humans have behaved and reacted to situations both culturally and as a species.
Geography Courses for Social Science
If the physical characteristics of the land, and the people who build and live on the landscapes fascinate you, then geography is a great fit. Geography students observe and study cartographic or mapping methods as well as populations and cultural geography.
Geography can prepare a social science major to work in a teaching capacity or in museums or other educational arenas.
Courses in History for Social Science Degrees
The study of past events and how they relate to current events or impact people currently living can be an enthralling endeavor. Basic history classes are typically required for most undergraduate degrees.
Understanding the past can help you understand the present regarding current events and more. History can prepare a social science student for careers in the teaching field among other educational career paths.
Government and Political Science Studies
The wide world of social science includes government and political science studies to round out this diverse degree. Social science undergraduates should study all major forms of government across the world as well as the United States.
Classes dissect the importance of international relations, research methods for discerning laws and legislation, voting behavior among populations and much more. Those who hope to graduate and slip right into a role in local, state or federal government where they can directly impact the lives of others can benefit greatly from government classes that are included or required to obtain a social science degree.
Economics Classes for Social Science Degree
Studying the financial systems that support societies can greatly assist a social science major in understanding what makes a successful society sink or swim.
Social science courses in college let students dive into major theories that affect economics within governments around the world, past and present as well as analyze current world events that are affecting economies in countries around the globe.
An economics major can find work as an economist, accountant at a small or large firm financial analyst or advisor.
Law Classes for Social Sciences
By studying laws, students are given the opportunity to look at a wide variety of legal systems. They can focus on a particular area that grabs their interest, such as criminal law, patent law, contract law or the highly charged international law.
The basic types of law courses in undergrad programs can give a social science student a foundation in the parameters that people must live in when facing a difficult time or overcoming obstacles that can happen in life.
Linguistics for Social Science Degree
The study of language can bring a student closer to how people communicate. It studies the form, context or meaning of a particular language. Linguistics is not about how to speak a certain language fluently but rather how a language works in general.
This can be a fascinating field of study for the right undergraduate. It is a broad range of study. Linguistics looks at grammar, the evolution of language in general and language acquisition.
Top Online Schools for Social Science Degrees
- University of Central Florida – More than 65,000 students attend this modern campus just 13 miles east of downtown Orlando, Florida. The bachelor of science in social science degree takes a multidisciplinary approach and provides a broadly-applicable education in theoretical knowledge, research skills and communication strategies. There are 13 majors available with minors in communications, political science, psychology, sociology and anthropology.
- University of Washington – The bachelor of arts integrated social sciences program requires 185 credits. The heavy coursework is divided into seven core thematic areas. Each explores various aspects of the social science field with classes that address a variety of diverse and engaging topics.
- Dickinson State University – This social science bachelor’s degree requires 120 credits and introduces foundational critical thinking skills along with social science theories and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students must complete a foreign language requirement along with mandatory general, major and elective coursework with a declared minor.
- New York University – The bachelor of arts in social sciences degree is designed to develop analytical, critical thinking and writing skills. The core curriculum is set up to strengthen fundamental competencies in expository writing, mathematical reasoning and critical thinking. The degree requires that students complete a minimum of 20 credit hours of concentration coursework that is related to their chosen sub-field within the discipline of social science.
- Washington State University – There are many resources for students who are enrolled in the bachelor in social science online degree program. Students can select up to three concentrations in comparative ethnic studies, economics, anthropology, criminal justice or other discipline. A foreign language requirement and 12 credits in humanities are also required for this lengthy program that includes completing 24 credits in the student’s primary area and 15 in their chose secondary.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.