Insight into opportunities using sociology

Key facts

Sociology graduates develop knowledge and skills that are attractive to a wide number of graduate employers. Research and analytical skills developed through your course enable you to analyse data, report and make recommendations. An appreciation of the diversity of society, a global outlook and awareness of traditional sterotypes enhance cross cultural understanding, are essential for many roles. Sociology graduates develop effective interpersonal, critical thinking and written communication skills and are able to influence and motivate.

Studying sociology develops your understanding of how society is organised, how we experience life, and the social changes reshaping the world today. Sociology graduates develop the knowledge and skills needed to critically engage with key issues facing contemporary societies, and a summary of these skills can be found on the Prospects website.

What do Sociology graduates do?

What can’t you do? Consider the skills and interests you have developed through your degree when thinking about what to do next.  See our website for ideas on how to find out more about your skills and values when choosing a career, or use Prospects Planner to help you to identify your skills, strengths and interests.

While the common starting point when looking at career options is to think about what recent graduates from your degree programme have done, the majority of graduate recruiters don’t specify a degree subject when recruiting, which makes it really important to understand the skills, and qualities that you can offer, along with how to articulate those skills at interviews. Sociology graduates have taken up roles in finance, accountancy and audit, human resources, marketing, sales and event organisation, and have undertaken legal training, in addition to careers involving working with people, policy roles, and within the classroom.

Working with People

Many Sociology graduates go on to roles linked to the issues and pathways identified in your course, and graduates from Sociology have pursued careers following their interests and passions. Examples of this include social work (along with other varied opportunities to work with different groups), youth work, community work and development, drug and alcohol recovery support, work within the criminal justice system, such as a Prison or Probation Officer, and with organisations like NACRO. Relevant work experience is critical to getting into roles and training and also really important in testing your ideas and commitment to these careers. We can support you in finding opportunities and discussing ideas on how to get started.

Working with Policy, Projects and Charities

While the jobs above will bring you into direct contact with people you might be keen on looking at other roles in these areas that focus more on policy, research or supporting these activities in other ways. Sociology graduates have found roles in local and central government, research and campaigning organisations, and charities. Roles undertaken include Local Government Officer, and Project Co-ordinator. These roles allow you follow your areas of interest and knowledge as well as using your skills in research and critical thinking. Graduates have also worked in fundraising, events management, and charity work within charities such as the Children’s Society. Again this could provide a good opportunity to make the most of both your interests and skills, especially if you are passionate about a particular issue.

Working in a classroom

Teaching is another popular career option for Sociology graduates. As well as lecturing within universities (for which you will need a doctorate), teaching opportunities exist in primary, secondary and post 16 settings, and so you should think about what and who you want to teach. Some graduates have gone straight into teacher training (after securing the necessary work experience) while others have moved into teaching support roles, such as Teaching Assistant or Learning Mentor, to build experience prior to undertaking teacher training.

Graduate profiles

You can read about some of the career paths University of Birmingham Alumni have taken on the UoB website under ‘Alumni Profiles’ or use LinkedIn to search for graduates working in this sector.


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