Overview of a Bachelor’s in Sociology
Sociology is the study of humans and the ways in which they interact. Sociology studies the way humans create groups, tribes, and other types of social factions. Educators place sociology in the humanities group and the field involves many social and scientific subjects.
Sociology can be a highly sought degree by businesses, non-profits, and government employers. Because it involves things like human motivations and understanding human behaviors, the field has multiple uses in commercial and public policy settings. From marketing to corporate management, the knowledge of human interactions that come from sociological studies is a valuable set of skills and knowledge.
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The bachelor’s degree offers a financial advantage over a high school education. The total lifetime earnings of a bachelor’s degree holder may be as much as $1 million greater than a high school graduate. A bachelor’s degree can open many career and job options. They include opportunities for further edcation, training, and certifications.
Some surveys show salary advantages for Bachelor of Science degrees over Bachelor of Arts degrees. This may reflect the demand for technical skillsets in the current marketplace. The Bachelor of Science in Sociology may favor those that intend to work in the field of sociology. The BA would prepare students for other fields as well, such as law, politics, and management.
A bachelor’s degree requires three to four years of study and covering the costs of education. Some certificate programs might put the student in the workforce faster but at a lower level. A bachelor’s degree may not be the preferred level for many occupations and employer preferences. Many positions ask for extensive experience or a master’s degree. The bachelor’s degree may not qualify you for some specializations. Students will have to gain additional credentials such as through certifications that offer graduate level education and require a bachelor’s degree as a pre-requisite. Students can use a bachelor’s degree to get graduate certifications.
Certificate vs. Bachelor's
What sociology Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?
- Bachelor of Arts vs. Bachelor of Science:
The Bachelor of Arts degree is a strong preparatory degree for further education. In the field of sociology, higher level degrees include professional degrees like a Juris Doctor and advanced degrees such as master’s or doctoral level degrees. The BA provides a wide range of general education and humanities courses in other disciplines as well, such as political science. The Bachelor of Science may be narrower in the range of courses and stronger in the technical studies that the BA program.
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology:
A BA degree is a liberal arts degree that exposes students to a general education and a wide range of social and humanities courses. The goal of these programs is to prepare students for graduate study and entry-level positions in policy and management roles. BA degrees are often best for students that do not intend to work at advanced levels in the field of sociology.
- Bachelor of Science in Sociology:
A BS degree typically has a greater emphasis on technical, scientific, and math-based aspects of the field. The BS degree in sociology might offer students greater opportunities in statistics and research methodology than the BA degree. Students that seek careers in research or analysis may select the Bachelor of Science track to get a deeper level of knowledge in research, statistical analysis, and information analysis.
High school graduates can qualify for entry into a four-year sociology degree program either online, on-campus, or in a blend of online and on-campus courses. Colleges typically require transcripts of all coursework, the SAT or ACT, and letters of recommendation. Most schools ask for a student statement that expresses the student’s career or educational goals.
Some degrees are completion degrees that require students that have already completed between 60 to 70 hours of coursework. These programs typically provide about 40 hours of sociology coursework to complete the degree requirements. Completion programs may favor community colleges with existing articulation agreements with the four-year program.
How long does it take to earn a Sociology Bachelor's?
The traditional on-campus, four-year sociology degree should take eight semesters. In traditional campus programs, a student may be able to reduce the time frame for completion by one semester if they take an extra course each semester and attend summer sessions. Online degrees also require eight semesters, and students can also shorten the online term of attendance by adding additional courses and taking summer session classes. Some online schools also award credit for experience in the field and life experience. Using all available types of credits, students may be able to reduce the time required to complete their bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Potential Careers in Sociology with a Bachelor’s
Sociology is an academic foundation for a wide range of careers. Students may wish to research the job and career marketplace while in the bachelor's program to guide their choices of coursework. The traditional social worker is only one of many career choices supported by an accredited bachelor’s degree in sociology. Social worker occupations reflect the broad range available as they work in a variety of settings, including public policy, community-based organizations, and private corporations.
- Management Consultants analyze business and policy issues in private sector settings. They often assess situations and develop recommendations for clients to resolve their issues.
The average wage for a management consultant is about $86,100.
- Market Research Analysts assess the effectiveness of messaging and advertising campaigns. They work in many settings, including business, politics, social media, and information.
The average wage for a market research analyst is about $52,900.
- Guidance Counselors apply principles of sociology to learning and educational settings. They must communicate with students and families as well as organizational personnel to affect student outcomes.
The average wage for a guidance counselor is about $49,700.
- Policy Analysts can research issues that impact the population and develop ideas to make a positive difference. Policy analysts recommend legislative proposals, policy ideas, and affect rule making.
The average wage for a policy analyst is about $56,800.
- Public Relations (PR) Specialists manage communications both within and external to their organization. They work with the press, media concerns, and the public. The background in sociology aids the task of understanding the audience and the best way to successfully meet their needs and preferences.
The median wage for a Public Relations (PR) Specialist is about $47,300.
Options to Advance
Sociology occupations involve creative abilities, problem-solving, and communications. As sociology grads gain experience, they can grow stronger in these vital skill areas. Sociologists can achieve higher salary, advancement, and greater responsibility through further education, certifications, and continuing education. Sociology grads can get certifications during the bachelor’s degree program. Certifications in the field of sociology offer proof of knowledge and ability in a specific area of study.
The master’s degree in sociology can qualify bachelor degree holders for advanced positions in their organizations as well as educator roles. The master’s degree can establish a focus and higher value on the market as an expert. This degree is a flexible and versatile platform for building a career. The needs of employers can change rapidly. The American Sociological Association offers guidance on careers and the association notes that, for some undergraduates, the jobs they will hold may be in industries yet to be created.
Best Bachelor of Science in Sociology Programs
Traditional, on-campus learning is classroom and lecture hall instruction. A group of students gathers to learn at the same time. This is called synchronous learning, differing from online learning, which is asynchronous. Traditional education has the highest average cost and tends to take more time to complete than online learning. Some students mix the types of learning into a combination or hybrid.
Princeton, New Jersey
The Princeton sociology program equips graduates to enter a wide range of fields including corporations, law, managerial positions, and public policy roles.
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago offers a comprehensive curriculum for a major or minor in sociology. The program equips students for graduate study and for careers in a wide range of fields including law, management, urban planning, and corrections.
- Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology
- Bachelor of Arts with a Minor in Sociology
the University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
The department of sociology offers students an opportunity to engage in intensive learning experiences. They include an honors section that fosters independent research projects.
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
A large, regionally-accredited institution, Duke offers exceptional opportunities in the field of sociology. Its location and reputation offer many opportunities for research further education and employment.
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology
University of California at Berkeley
The curriculum for the bachelor’s degree offers analytic insights into the dominant issues of the current period as well as meaningful historical perspectives. The school offers a bachelor of arts or science tracks.
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology
- Bachelor of Science in Sociology
Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Sociology
Many leading colleges and universities offer online degrees in sociology. Sociology is among the more popular majors in the US. The benefits of these outstanding universities include alumni networking, traditions of educational excellence, and national status as research institutions.
Florida State University – Office of Distance Learning
FSU offers a completion degree for students with successful completions at any of the approved community colleges. The program prefers graduates of community colleges in Florida.
- BS in Social Science Degree
Arizona State University – ASU Online
This selective program requires 120 credit hours for completion. The school accepts students from the top 25% of high school classes and that have a 3.0 or more GPA. ASU requires ACT or SAT scores, transcripts, and recommendations.
- Bachelor of Science in Sociology
Oregon State University
The university has accreditation from the NWCCU. Applicants must submit transcripts that show a minimum of 3.0 on a four-point scale. Students can develop a core in several optional areas, including natural resources environmentalism, or crime and justice.
- BA in Sociology Degree
- BS in Sociology Degree
University of Florida
The program uses a liberal arts education curriculum to explore many aspects of human interaction and its consequences. The degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in the field of sociology. The university has accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and schools.
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Degree
California State University at Fullerton
Students can finish this online degree in three years. This is a completion-type degree, and applicants must have 70 transfer credits with a 2.5 GPA.
- Bachelor in Sociology Degree