Careers in Social Services

A bachelor’s degree in sociology is an ideal course of study for students interested in working with public and not-for-profit human and social service agencies. Such agencies work with youth, families, the elderly, and communities in addition to specialized populations needing services for mental health concerns, substance use, rehabilitation, and domestic violence.

Sociology courses like these provide you a better understanding of how individuals behave in families, groups, and communities:

  • Social Inequality (SOC 340)
  • Social Psychology (SOC 350)
  • The Family (SOC 351)
  • Sociology of Education (SOC 346)
  • Sociology of Food (SOC 336)
  • Urbanization and Community Organization (SOC 433)

These and other sociology courses help you better understand the interconnectedness of social life by exploring the roles that history, public policy, cultural norms and values have on human social behavior.

The Social Inequality course invites students to critically engage with topics vitally important to working in human and social services, including trends in income inequality, social mobility and education, inequality in the workplace, and inequality in the criminal justice system.

The Social Psychology course prepares students to understand the social influences on personal identity, interpersonal interactions, and relationships.

The Family course provides a unique perspective on understanding trends in family structure, and helps students understand the family in its social, political, and economic contexts.

The Urbanization and Community Organization course offers an opportunity to experience two learning environments: the interactive classroom and the community. Community service-learning enables students to enhance their understanding of community by applying scholarly work discussed in class to community work done over the course of the semester. Reciprocally, community service experiences provide “real life” examples of course materials.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in human and social services, look for job titles such as human or social services specialist, child life specialist, juvenile probation officer, community development specialist, mental health advocate, and case manager.

Many of our students find work in these areas after earning their BA degrees, while others find that their sociology training provides preparation for entrance into graduate programs in social work (MSW), public health (MPH) and public administration (MPA).