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Department of Sociology Careers for Sociology Majors: Business & Marketing

Translating Sociology to Business & Marketing

If you’re thinking of a career in business or of pursuing an MBA when you leave Washington State University, strongly consider a sociology degree. Entering the business world or working on an MBA requires you have strong communication and analytical skills. Employers look for individuals who have the ability to synthesize information, creative thinkers, and people who are effective at working with people in group settings. Moreover, all major corporations and many other businesses-have market research departments.

Undergraduate sociology courses can prepare you for a job in the business world and for obtaining an MBA. To begin, sociology courses teach you written and oral communication skills as well as how to conduct and interpret empirical research. Specifically, the research methods sequence in the department — Introduction to Social Research (Soc. 320) and Quantitative Techniques in Sociology I (Soc. 321) — will teach you how to read, evaluate, and conduct research. Our advanced methods and statistics courses will help you further develop your quantitative skills. These skills are especially crucial for individuals interested in working in a company’s market research area or for those who must evaluate their company’s performance. In addition, Social Inequality (Soc. 340) instructs students about workplace policy (for example, your rights as a worker and guidelines governing employer action) as well as how the workplace and organizations affect worker outcomes. Sociology of Work and Occupations (Soc. 343) teaches students about theories of the workplace, facts on the structure and order of workplaces, and about the causes and consequences of workplace hierarchy.

In today’s economy, business career jobs are hard to find. When you diversify your skill set with the knowledge a sociology degree gives you, you can be as competitive, if not more, than other undergraduate majors. Indeed, some of the nation’s largest companies actively recruit non-business majors because of the depth and breadth of knowledge non-business majors have and because businesses today must deal with many social issues: diversity in the workplace, communication, globalization, management-employee relations. What’s more, MBA students hail from all disciplines. In fact, in 2004, at one of the nation’s top MBA programs, 13 percent of MBA graduates were social science majors, and an additional 21 percent were Liberal Arts majors.