Is a Social Science Degree for You?
A bachelor's degree in social science can be used for entry-level positions in the humanities and social science fields. Individuals studying social science study all aspects of society, ranging from history and political science, to the relationship among individuals and groups. Students learn about the dynamics of the different types of relationships and human interactions, and the changes in social and cultural relationships through history. In many social science bachelor's degree programs, students learn how to collect data which can be used to support business efforts or governmental programs. Students interested in obtaining a bachelor's degree in social science must be critical thinkers, and possess strong writing abilities.
Advice for Earning Your Social Science Degree Online
Because a social science bachelor's degree is so broad, there are several different professions the degree can lead to. Many students with bachelor's degrees in social science continue their education to obtain a master's, or doctorate degree. Individuals who have obtained a bachelor's degree in social science should develop strong writing skills, as well as, the advanced critical thinking and creativity needed to excel in the professional world.
You can expect to take courses from several different departments while pursuing your social science bachelor’s degree. Most students encounter courses in anthropology, cultural ecology, history, urban geography, human geography, politics, American government, sociology, gender studies, social psychology, statistics, environmental studies, and religion while earning a their bachelor's.
Common Career Paths
By earning a degree in social science, you will have the opportunity to acquire an entry level position in the humanities and social science fields. Many social science graduates choose to further their education by earning a master's or doctorate, allowing you to specialize your field of work. Some of the more popular careers for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in social science are:
A sociologist is someone who studies all facets of human society and political systems. Through their work, they are able to offer insight into the way people and governments make decisions and exercise power. They also observe religious, political, and social events to learn more about the behavior of others. By evaluating the interaction between varying groups of people, they can understand a particular demographics' initial reaction to things like illness, crime, and advanced technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for sociologists was $68,570. The lowest 10% earned less than $40,720, while highest 10% earned more than $122,130.
- Social Workers
Individuals hoping to use their bachelor's degrees in social science to serve the public directly should consider a career in social work. Social workers help people who deal with family or emotional problems, substance abuse, unemployment, and disease. Most social workers will focus on a particular population of people, or in a specialized area such as working exclusively with low-income families. Others perform research to create policy development for other social workers. Some social workers work in schools to help ensure that underprivileged students reach their academic goals. Those interested in a career in social work need to be sensitive to others problems and be emotionally strong themselves. You should also be comfortable working independently and working irregular hours, which may include working nights.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, median annual wages for social workers in child, family, and education sectors were $39,530 in 2008. Median annual wages for those working in medical and public health had a median annual wage of $46,650, while those working in mental health and substance abuse facilities earned $37,210.
An anthropologist studies the origin, development, and behavior of humans. They observe all of the different ways of life, languages, and physical features of individuals in different parts of the world. Anthropologists primarily examine the customs, cultures, and social lives of people in places that range from undeveloped societies to metropolitan areas. Their work is done through observing others, and by having face-to-face interviews with the groups of people they are analyzing. They take all of their notes and findings, compile them, and look for similarities and differences between all of their subjects.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for anthropologists was $54,230 in 2010. The lowest 10% earned less than $32,150, while the highest 10% earned more than $89,490. Similar to a career in sociology, some positions will require an advanced degree beyond a bachelor’s, particularly if you are seeking a research position at a college or university.