Every single individual is an integral part of the life of the society, as well as the society is the integral part of every single individual. Alone with ourselves, we do not play any roles and can be open and true; in society, however, every person wears a mask and plays a particular role. This complex system has been existed forever. People build relationships with each other and create families; they fight with each other because of religious, racial, or financial issues; they manage to live together and become friends. Certainly, there are people who study everything that is related to our social interactions at the level of family, community, and state. These specialists are sociologists.
What Do We Know About the Study of Sociology?
The study of sociology focuses on all the processes that occur in society at different levels. At the level of personal life, sociology is interested in how such concepts as love, deviant behavior, and gender identity are influenced by the social aspect. In terms of processes that happen at the level of society itself, sociology analyzes such concepts as law, crime and punishment, education, poverty and wealth, etc. The issues of migration, peace, war, and growth of population are also included into the study of sociology. Sociology looks not only at the processes that are happening in the world today, but also at the processes that were taking place hundreds and even thousands years ago. Thus, analyzing how the human society has been developing in the course of humans’ history, sociologists have an ability to predict which changes will take place in the future and which way the modern society might go. For sociologists society is not only a group of people – it is a complex mechanism that influences people and has power over them with the help of various social institutions, social norms, and hierarchies.
Sociology is a specialization that is usually offered on the Faculty of Arts. A professional in this field must possess strong critical and analytical skills and must be able to work with huge numbers and know how process these numbers in order to make the necessary conclusions. The reason why sociologists often work with these numbers is that some of the resources of their findings are interviews with hundreds or even thousands of people. These interviews get coded and put into a table which sociologists need to analyze. To do that sociologists use various mathematical formulas.
Sociologists Possess Very Useful Skills
How else can sociologists’ skills be applied? To begin with, sociologists can analyze relationships of the members of community and find what causes problems in this community and how these problems can be solved. They can be great employees in the field of Public Relations because sociologists understand the essence of interpersonal and mass communications. They also can be great at advertising due to their knowledge of people’s psychology. Sociologists can solve any kinds of conflicts and do research and publish articles and books demonstrating their findings.
So What About Education?
Which courses do undergraduate students take in order to obtain their degree in sociology? In Columbia University, located in New York City, students begin their program with reading articles and books that contain information about classical and contemporary approaches to such social concepts as power, culture, discrimination, etc. Another course teaches students economy from the sociological prospective. Students can see that studying economy separately from society is not enough because social processes immediately affect the economical changes. Sociology students also learn about how home and work lives are connected and how gender affects the structure of work.
Students who choose this major learn about numerous contemporary sociological theories and study not only how social institutions work but also how social institutions and organizations fail leading to extremely negative results. Students’ tasks are to analyze the failures and find the ways to avoid them. There are a lot of other interesting courses that look at deviant behavior, poverty, social control, etc. All the skills that students acquire during their program are crucial because they are the basis of the successful further development of young specialists. Despite the career path that they choose, this knowledge will be very helpful because the ability to understand the processes that take place in any group of people is extremely valuable.
Speaking of Advantages and Disadvantages of the Profession
Sociology is a very interesting field of studies, and working in this area is always exciting. Sociologists get a pretty good salary and, in addition to that, various benefit packages and pensions. This is a good start already. Because sociologists possess so many useful skills, they are ready to work in a range of fields – in education, business, social work, etc. However, today this market is very competitive, so finding a dream job might be not easy at all. Quite often a Bachelor’s degree is not enough to get a position, so students go to grad school and obtain their Master’s degree or even Ph.D. Many companies and organizations require a young specialist to have working experience, so the best way to do that is to volunteer or do internship during the process of studying.
Although finding a job might seem tough, it is always possible if you have the right approach. If you feel that this is what you want to do, do not hesitate and major in sociology.