Thinking about Sociology

Most adults have a number of different careers during their life. No wonder choosing a major is difficult! It can feel like reducing your options and limiting your possibilities. If this is a concern of yours, sociology may be just the major for you.

The Sociological Imagination

Sociology is not just a body of knowledge; it is a perspective and a set of tools that can provide you with great understanding and the ability to excel in whatever specific area you choose to direct your attentions.

Its focus is the groups and social arrangements people create. From pairs of lovers and families to cliques, gangs, corporations, communities, and nations, most of what humans do together has become the focus of sociological study. Whether groups/social organizations/aggregates are large or small, formed unconsciously or intentionally, there are certain patterns they share and a powerful array of tools for understanding them.

When you study these processes and groups from a sociological perspective you learn how they are formed, what holds them together or tears them apart, and how they function or are transformed. The understanding you gain often extends far beyond the specific cases.

Careers in Sociology

You will find the knowledge, perspective, and understanding gained through studying sociology is directly applicable to a number of specific careers. There are careers that involve leadership in various kinds of groups. Public service, human resources, social work, business and research are among the most common occupational paths of sociology majors. Among the many research opportunities are market research, policy research, and political survey research. Many businesses, governmental agencies, and private service organizations welcome sociology graduates because of their ability to think well about group processes. They find that sociology graduates are particularly likely to function effectively as leaders in social settings because they are attentive to the human as well as the technical aspects of the functioning of the organization. Employers especially like the ability sociology graduates acquire to analyze complex processes and to solve organizational problems.

We are proud of the excellent preparation sociology provides, not only for careers, but also for civic leadership and participation in family and community life. It provides you with a solid foundation to move in a variety of directions over the course of a lifetime.

Whatever specific interests you develop at any point in life, your sociological perspective will enable you to have a better understanding of all forms of social interaction.

Sociology Career Guide PDF
Sociology: A 21st Century Major
10 Jobs That are Great for Sociology Majors

Want more information?

If you are interested in a major or minor in sociology, or if you would like to discuss the possibility, please come by the department office. We will be happy to explore how your interests might fit with our major or minor programs. You can also check out our advising page for more information on the Sociology major requirements or how to make an appointment with a Sociology advisor.



What can you do with a Sociology Degree?  Here is what some graduates have accomplished:

Susie Rhim (BA, 2020) successfully defended her MA Thesis titled, "The Paradox of Diversity: A Case Study of Diversity Organization and Operation in Higher Education" on September 30, 2022 in the Sociology PhD Program at the University of Connecticut. This thesis stems from her research interest developed during Methods/Capstone courses at CSUEB.

Eduardo Jauregui (BA, 2021) is now working as an Associate Employment Counselor (CalWORKs Employment Services) with the Social Services Agency of Santa Clara County. 

Maggie Cartmillendow (BA, 2022) is currently a graduate student in the Masters of Social Work (MSW) Program at CSUEB, and doing an internship at the Evergreen Unified School District.

Lenny Smith (BA, 2022) is currently working as a school Mental Health Counselor at Seneca Family of Agencies and applying for Masters of Social Work graduate programs.

Linda Thompson (BA, 2022) will begin working as an Administrative Assistant to the director of the Financial Aid Office at Chabot College. (She also received job offers from the Alameda County Housing Authority and the Department of Treasury!)

Esmeralda Gonzalez (BA, 2022) is currently a Guest Experience Coordinator at National Corporate Housing (a company that provides temporary apartments for executives, employees, and people relocating to new cities).