What Can I Do With a Degree in a Social Science?
If you’re seeking a liberal arts education consider majoring in a social science discipline. According to Best Colleges, social sciences are a core part of a traditional liberal arts education and graduates have a higher rate of employment after college than STEM majors. But what exactly is social science and why is it so valued?
Social science is a broad category rooted in how humans interact with the world, society, and institutions. It branches off into multiple disciplines such as sociology, psychology, economics, and political science, which use research to understand various aspects of thought and behavior.
Undergraduates in a social science program gain key skills highly valued in the workplace such as analytical abilities, research experience, persuasive communication, and data-driven critical thinking to impact decision-making within systems.
The Social Science Division majors at Seaver College shape students to be social scientists and intelligent consumers
of information. Graduates of the division leverage the skills they learned to land
roles in an array of industries and fields like law, education, business, and government.
Explore potential career options below to see what majoring in a social science can
Social Services Director
A social services director may work for the public or private sector to identify individuals and groups who need assistance. As the liaison between internal and external stakeholders, social services directors guide teams to implement programs and services that improve the quality of life in society. Having significant experience working at various levels within a social services entity, they typically hone their skills in direct patient and field care. With their hands-on social work expertise, these individuals can also influence public policy to be a voice for the disenfranchised and underrepresented.
Licensing is required by all states via certification as an LBSW (licensed baccalaureate
social worker) or an LMSW (licensed master social worker). Becoming a licensed social
worker is a viable direction for sociology majors.
A financial analyst is also referred to as an investment analyst, research analyst, and equity analyst. Financial analysts evaluate the stock market and investment performance, consider present and previous economic data, and provide guidance on financial strategies. Clients include individuals, nonprofits, and corporations in a consulting or employee capacity.
Successful financial analysts have an analytical mind, polished presentation skills,
and experience in financial planning. In addition, those just entering the field must
dedicate additional time to studying for professional and licensing exams. To advance
in the field a master of finance (MF) or master of business administration (MBA) is
Therapist or Counselor
As a valuable part of the healthcare industry, therapists help those struggling with substance abuse, emotional trauma, and mental health issues. Their active listening and empathetic skills enable them to counsel their patients and provide therapeutic treatment. While therapists focus on long-term care that traces the root of clients’ problems from a societal context, counselors tend to offer short-term care focused more on the immediate future and overcoming challenges to obtain goals.
After passing a state exam like the Marriage and Family Therapy National Examination
or National Counselor Examination, and gaining licensure, therapists and counselors
can find employment with health insurance agencies and other healthcare entities,
or go into private practice. A master’s degree, internship, and clinical experience
is usually preferred. Psychology majors tend to have desirable interpersonal skills
to be impactful therapists and counselors.
Attorney or Lawyer
Despite being used interchangeably in the United States, there is a significant difference between an attorney and lawyer. All attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys. An attorney must pass the state bar exam to be an advocate for their clients while a lawyer is someone who has studied for and completed a law degree but has not passed the exam.
A degree in any of the social sciences can serve as a step toward the legal profession
and as preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). An undergraduate pre-law program, combined with a social science major, may play a role in determining whether a student
focuses on a particular legal field, such as human rights, criminal, corporate, or
environmental law, in law school.
Where would we be without educators? Any of the aforementioned social science disciplines can lead to a rewarding teaching career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2014 to 2024 1.9 million job openings for teachers will occur.
Educators’ teachings are based on a curriculum they either create or implement and execute. Teachers should stay current with educational technology and trends and developments in order to best provide a variety of contemporary methods of organizing and conveying information.
A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, and state teaching certification may be required, along with ongoing continuing education and testing in some states. For a successful teaching career, one must work both independently and collaboratively toward departmental or schoolwide goals and also share a passion for learning.
The career options highlighted above represent just some of those available to individuals who earn their undergraduate degree in a social science. Explore the career pages throughout the Social Science Division for additional career opportunities and to see where current Seaver College alumni work.