It can be assessed that the study of the society, not only gives one, an insight into the social groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these but also how power is generated, distributed, and practiced across the world. Sociology as a discipline helps one observe and challenge the familiar world and associated everyday practices that are normalized like- objectification of women by media, contempt against a particular religion, the preference for fair complexion, over-arching patriarchy, and the like, through a new window. It not only defines the rationale behind an individual’s actions like- reasons for suicide along with how the world works but gives opportunities to change it. As a student of Sociology, one must be poised to engage in fieldwork related to social inequalities like- poverty and present alternatives to ameliorate them. The discipline thus assists the individuals with both tangible and intangible skills.
Which colleges can I apply to?
There are legions of great colleges to choose from when it comes to an undergrad course in Sociology. With a wide scope of career prospects in various sectors like- Education, the Public sector, community work, and the like, Sociology remains a popular choice among students. If you are looking for universities in the UK popular choices like- the University of Cambridge, Manchester University, University of Warwick, University of Glasgow, London School of Economics, Oxford University, and the University of Lancaster may capture your interest. However, there are other great universities too for liberal arts studies in the UK, like- the University of Birmingham, King’s College London, University of Bath, University of Surrey, and University College London (UCL) that offer a wide range of academic opportunities.
In Canada, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia present themselves as great options.
Outside UK and Canada, many universities in the USA like the University of California, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Harvard University, University of Chicago, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have well-rounded programs.
Alternatively, Trinity College Dublin- Ireland, the University of Canterbury and Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Tilburg University and Leiden University College in the Netherlands, the National University of Singapore, the University of Antwerp the University of Stirling also attract many potential students. We can list at least a hundred other options for you but can’t, due to space constraints. Here’s your cue to Google it!
Which Subjects to take?
Sociology is an umbrella discipline and offers a wide array of programs to choose from. That is why it is pertinent to have clarity about what you are looking for. Sociology envelopes programs from various other disciplines like Economics, Law, Environment, politics, and the like, one of the many reasons it is popularly called the ‘crowning edifice’ of the sciences. Thereby, it is important to choose carefully from bountiful options like- Sociology, Media and Politics, Criminology and Sociology, Arts, Media, and Society, etc that it offers.
UCLA is deemed one of the prestigious universities in the world and offers interesting courses like- Sex from Biology to Gendered Society, Introduction to Mathematical Sociology, social data science, Environmental Sociology, Social Demography, Mind and Society, Sociology of Emotions, Sociology of Time, Death, suicide, and trauma, etc. The sociology department at the University of Sheffield provides single and dual honors courses. The single honors courses like- Digital media and society, Sociology with social policy, etc focus solely on developing expertise in a subject of interest. While the dual honors courses like- History and Sociology, Politics and Sociology help one discover how two disciplines fit together in the real world. The National University of Singapore is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and is famous for equipping students with core theoretical and methodological skills offers courses like- Making sense of Society, Social Thought and Social Theory, Practising Anthropology and Sociology, and is at a shorter distance with the home country.
Thereby, with its interdisciplinary nature and wide academic potential, it allows one to understand all the dimensions of society while at the same time can confuse in choosing a definite path. It is, therefore, necessary for aspiring candidates to decide where they want to see themselves in the future, i.e to skim through the various courses and the associated career prospects before applying.
For someone interested in Policymaking, courses like Sociology with social policy(University of Sheffield), inequality, society and the self (The University of Queensland), etc can be good options. Similarly, a student with a penchant for gender studies may opt for Sex from Biology to Gendered Society (UCLA), Sex, Gender and Social Relationships (University of Queensland), etc. In a nutshell, it is important to set preferences according to the career prospects one finds interested in and then choose from the legions of courses that are offered.
With a major in Sociology, one learns about the intersectional aspects of society and the world like- caste, class, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, demography, morphology, inequality, and the relevance and the shortcomings of structures like- hierarchy and Power in everyday life. Thus, the subject has the scope to build up essential skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, statistical reasoning ability, and research skills, both qualitative and quantitative. Consequently, it doesn’t just shape one’s perspective of the world and give them a wider lens to look at things but also presents plentiful career prospects to choose from. A student with a major in sociology can work in sectors like- welfare, education, social research, and local and central government. With an undergraduate degree, you can work as a social research analyst, case manager, or research assistant in an NGO or non-profit organization. As a research assistant or analyst, you would be working along with the academic sociologists on social issues like labor rights, homelessness, juvenile crime, drugs, and suicide, and providing precise analysis to the appropriate government departments. You may get appointed as an Educator at National parks to assist the visitors, or at military schools, and prisons for counseling and education. However, many countries prefer their citizens or green-card holders, for government jobs.
It is important to assuage your skills and education qualification to broaden your career prospects like-with a graduation degree you can work as a college lecturer, or incorporate, non-profit, and government worlds as directors of research, policy analysts, and consultants.
As a sociologist with an undergraduate degree, you can also work with advertising, marketing, and consumer research sectors or with Environmental groups, or as a journalist. You can work as a Family Support worker wherein you would offer help and emotional support to the families experiencing short or long-term difficulties by collaborating with police and schools. There are other exciting careers too, crime scene investigation, policymaker, public relations and communication, urban planner, Human-rights officer, etc.
If you have an appetite for exploring the different dimensions of society and for revamping them, A major in Sociology is the check for you. So, go ahead and explore the suggested options and be the agent for the change you want to see in the world.