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All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. Sociology is the study of human social activity, relationships, and social structures.  In our increasingly diverse world, the study of sociology gives you the skills 21st century workers need: critical and analytical thinking, writing ability, cultural competence, and self-awareness. Mastering the basics of sociology teaches you to understand the situations of people different than you, another advantage in this rapidly globalizing world.

Related fields include Psychology, Anthropology, Statistics, Survey Methodology, Public Policy, Public Health, Architecture and Urban Planning, Law, Social Work, Education, Women’s Studies.


Research & Project Development Skills

Defining hypotheses
Applying theoretical approaches to research problems
Planning / designing projects
Gathering data
Working with research subjects
Translating theory into action

Analytical Skills

Reading critically
Interpreting data
Evaluating ideas / theories / evidence
Analyzing qualitatively and quantitatively
Reasoning logically
Conducting social analysis
Understanding components of complex problems

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Working as a team member
Motivating groups
Identifying cultural / social considerations
Assessing needs
Remaining sensitive to people and problems
Understanding human relationships
Representing / negotiating with others
Recognizing social processes
Understanding privilege, prejudice and discrimination

Communication Skills

Articulating / defending a position
Writing effectively
Presenting alternative explanations
Conveying complex information and ideas
Preparing reports
Speaking in public


Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Most concentrations sponsor specific student groups like an undergraduate organization or an honor society. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.


Sociology concentrators develop skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, the ability to translate theory into action skills would prove equally useful whether working as a health educator, a public opinion researcher, or an organizational consultant. Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Sociology graduates.

Research & Project Development Skills

Survey Research Scientist open book icon
Public opinion researcher open book icon
Research scientist
Web designer open book icon
Marketing manager / researcher
Program manager / administrator
Demographer open book icon

Analytical Skills

Population specialist
Industrial sociologist open book icon
Organizational design consultant open book icon
Epidemiologist open book icon
Policy analyst
Social researcher / analyst
Legislative aide
Urban regional planner open book icon
Lawyer open book icon
Juvenile court judge open book icon
Forensic investigator open book icon
Law enforcement officer
Arbitrator open book icon

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Costumer relations manager
Labor relations consultant
Human resource manager
Training coordinator
Day care worker
Gerontologist open book icon
Social worker open book icon
Psychiatrist open book icon / psychologist open book icon
Volunteer coordinator
Dietician open book icon
Community organizer / advocate / activist
Affirmative action representative
Vocational evaluator
Probation / parole officer
Student Affairs professional / Higher Education

Communication Skills

K-12 teacher
College professor open book icon
Consumer / client advocate
Agency staff
Editor (all media)

open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at


Currently, the concentration requires an introductory sociology class and at least 34 credits of post-introductory concentration courses, including statistics, research methods, and theory. For qualified students who wish to tackle a highly rigorous course of study and complete a thesis, we also offer an undergraduate honors program. Consult the LSA Bulletin or the department website for further information.

As a Sociology concentrator, you will be encouraged to add a real world perspective to your classroom studies by participating in Project Community fieldwork, conducting undergraduate research, facilitating intergroup dialogues, or pursuing internship experiences.

Department of Sociology
3001 LS&A Building

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall


To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake:

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan