Social scientists are concerned with the many aspects of society--from anthropology to history, art to biology. They study the history and achievements of human behaviors and offer solutions to many of the problems we face today. A degree program in the social sciences could open the door to a wide variety of career opportunities. The social science major is an interdisciplinary option for students wishing a broad preparation encompassing the disciplines of gerontology, sociology, behavioral and social science, economics, government and politics, and more.
Social Science Career Opportunities
A major in the social sciences may be applied to a variety of occupations in the public and private sectors, including careers in administration, elderly care, business management, government, health services, law enforcement, human resources, community service, education, and more.
The Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that 41 percent of social scientists work for federal, state, and local governments. Other employers may include research and development services, management and technical consulting services, as well as business and political organizations. Some of the common career choices are political scientist, sociologist, historian, psychologist, market researcher, or regional planner. Other fields such as anthropology and archaeology are popular choices for individuals with degrees in the social sciences.
Socials Science Courses and Skills
Social science students typically use critical thinking skills when it comes to researching, communicating, and writing. Researching and analyzing data are the fundamental cornerstones of social science. During your education, you may learn data collection and management skills, as well as insight into analytical evaluation.
General coursework typically includes political science, anthropology, geography, psychology, sociology classes, and more. Students can also choose to focus their studies by taking introductory classes in microeconomics, macroeconomics, history, international politics, international business, or religious studies courses.
Typically, these are the skills any student of social science can expect to encounter:
- Statistic and mathematical analysis
- Written and oral communication skills
- Logical and problem solving skills
- Critical and analytical thinking
Social Science Salary and Earnings Information
Because of the variety of career opportunities, the earnings for individuals with social science degrees vary widely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social scientists earned a median annual salary of $67,200 in 2007. Some of the top earning social scientists earned over $100,000 in 2007.
Other fields earned the following median annual salaries in 2007:
- Political scientist: $91,580
- Historians: $50,970
- Geographers: $65,690
- Anthropologists and archaeologists: $53,080
- Sociologists: $61,140
Job growth in the social scientists should continue through 2016. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the social science fields should see 10 percent job growth during the next eight years. These specific occupations should enjoy the following job growth:
- Political scientists: 5 percent
- Historians: 8 percent
- Geographers: 6 percent
- Anthropologists and archaeologists: 15 percent
- Sociologists: 10 percent
With diverse career options, a degree in the social sciences can prepare you to enter a variety of professional fields.