Your Online Resource for Masters of Sociology Degrees
MasterOfSociology is a guide to online master’s degrees in Sociology. A Master’s Degree in Sociology is a general degree that can be applied to all sorts of jobs like social work, criminal justice, and marketing. It’s a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis in order to develop knowledge about human social activity.
Knowing the psychology of how people socially interact is a very powerful tool that can help get you that dream job. Traditional focus areas of sociology include social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance.
What is a Master of Sociology?
A Master’s degree of sociology is a higher education degree that focuses on the scientific study of society. There is a wide range of goals for sociologists. Some wish to conduct research that can be applied to social policy and welfare. Others focus on improving the theoretical understanding of social processes. No matter the goal, sociologists focus on the influence of our relationships around us, and how they affect our behaviors and attitudes.
Subject matters range from the micro levels of individual agency and interaction, to the macro levels of systems and social structure. Sociologists and social researchers use both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
The purpose of sociology graduate programs is to prepare students to analyze how social influences affect different individuals and groups. It also focuses on the ways organizations and institutions affect the daily lives of those same people. As a student in a sociology degree program you will study the behavior of, and interaction among, groups, organizations, institutions and nations, and how they react to phenomena such as the spread of technology, crime, social movements and epidemics of illness. Sociology has also gradually expanded to other subjects such as health, medicine, military, and penal institutions, the Internet, and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. Often graduates of sociology programs pursue careers as policy and market analysts, researchers and university professors, among others.
What is the Curriculum for a Master of Sociology Degree?
All sociology degrees are different depending on the school and the program. Many programs have a variety of areas of study or concentrations. These areas are available so that students can modify their education and research to their academic interests and career goals. Although concentration subjects can vary greatly, each field identifies a concentrated area of inquiry, a set of skills within sociology, and basic preparation for a variety of careers.
Depending on what you want to do with your sociology degree, you will take classes directed towards a certain area. A few possible concentrations listed on Wikipedia include:
- Social organization: This is the study of the various institutions, social groups, social stratification, social mobility, bureaucracy, ethnic groups and relations, and other similar subjects like family, education, politics, religion, economy, and more.
- Social psychology: This is the study of human nature as an outcome of group life, social attitudes, collective behavior, and personality formation. It deals with group life and the individual’s traits, attitudes, beliefs as influenced by group life, and it views man with reference to group life.
- Human ecology: This area of focus deals with the nature and behavior of a given population and its relationships to the group’s present social institutions. For example, studies of this kind have shown the prevalence of mental illness, criminality, delinquencies, prostitution, and drug addiction in urban centers and other highly developed places.
- Population or demography: This includes the study of population number, composition, change, and quality as they influence the economic, political, and social system.
- Sociological theory and method: This area is concerned with the applicability and usefulness of the principles and theories of group life as bases for the regulation of man’s environment. It also includes theory building and testing as bases for the prediction and control of man’s social environment.
- Applied sociology: Through this study you would utilize the findings of pure sociological research in various fields such as criminology, social work, community development, education, industrial relations, marriage, ethnic relations, family counseling, and other aspects and problems of daily life.
What Can I Do with a Master of Sociology?
The exciting thing about a graduate degree in sociology is that you can do almost anything with it. It has extremely broad application. The degree gives you the opportunity to focus on an area of particular interest to you. It helps you gain theoretical and methodological expertise that is applicable to many other fields in the real world. With this degree you could go to law or medical school, work for a non-profit. Wikipedia states that sociologists who do social research can inform politicians and policy makers, educators, planners, lawmakers, administrators, developers, business magnates, managers, social workers, non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and people interesting in resolving social issues in general. Additionally there is crossover between social research, market research, and other statistical fields.
The following are a few areas that you can go into with a Master of Sociology degree:
- Sociologist: This is the predicated career path for a master of sociology graduate, but it’s not the only option available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a sociologist studies “human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations.” You also might study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members. A sociologist can do this in many different industries including, scientific research and development services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; local government; management, scientific and technical consulting services; and state government.
- Business and Nonprofit: Sociologists have entered both the corporate and non-profit fields after graduating. They obtain positions such as research analysts, consultants, human resource managers, or program managers. In your degree program you’ll study topics such as employment history, gender differences, income distributions, administration, social service, and more that will assist you in any of these business or non-profit positions.
- Education: Becoming a teacher is a possibility with a master of sociology degree. It can help you understand how the educational system as an institution can affect students’ career and lifestyle choices. You can also study the extent in which factors other than school play a part in a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school or going to college. There are many ways in which a sociology school could help you in the education field, whether you want to become a teacher or just work in the educational system.
- Law: Many masters of sociology graduates go on to law school. Sociology can give you the chance to study the criminal justice system with a critical eye. It will teach you to ask significant questions, such as: How does an individual’s race or ethnicity affect their likelihood for conviction? Or how does a conviction affect an individual’s life chances? Sociology will give you a unique perspective in your career as a lawyer.
- Medicine: If you’re interested in applying to med school, a graduate degree in sociology could be the perfect option for you. Within this degree program central topics include the subjective experience of health and illness; political, economic, and environmental circumstances that threaten health, and societal forces that impact the medical care system. With a degree in sociology you’ll also be able to understand people’s responses to illness, and therefore be more attentive towards your patients.
- Public Policy: With a graduate degree in sociology you can better understand specialized topics of how institutional inertia affects public policy initiatives, how government organizations are effectively suited for certain tasks and not others, and how businesses in the free market interface with government institutions. All these areas could help you in a public policy career.
What is the Predicted Salary for a Master of Sociology Graduate?
Since there are so many variations in what you can do with a masters of sociology degree, the different wages and salaries vary as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lays out the expected wages based on certain industries of sociologists. In general the mean hourly wage is $38,53 and the mean annual wage is $80,130.
The top paying industries for sociologists are as follows:
- Federal Executive Branch of Government: $47.81/hour; $99,450/annually
- Social Advocacy Organizations: $43.83/hr; $91,180/annually
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services: $42.30/hr; $87,990/annually
- Scientific Research and Development Services: $40.08/hr; $83,370/annually
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $37.10; $77,160/annually
Geography also makes a difference in how much a sociologist will earn. The following is a list of the top paying States for sociologists:
- District of Columbia (Washington D.C.): $49.27/hr; $102,490/annually
- Maryland: $42.46/hr; $88,310/annually
- Pennsylvania: $40.50/hr; $84,240/annually
- New York: $40.48/hr; $84,190/annually
- California: $39.67/hr; $82,510/annually
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