Ethan W. Miller
As every college student beginning there career in college everyone comes in with different dreams and aspirations. Some students enter universities already knowing what they want to-do. Some students have an idea, but are maybe haven’t quite narrowed down there choices yet. While others have no clue and are open to all the possibilities that there institution has to offer to them. As we move through our college years many students across the country will change majors several times before final settling down on a selected field of study. Like most college student I have transitioned through several majors before finding my fit in a degree program that fits me. I started out as an education major, but after working for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools I realized I did not have the patients or stamina for instructing children. Business was my next major of choice. However, my econ classes were not very kind to me and my grades took a nose dive. After carefully reconsidering my degree options, I found my way into sociology. Now, as my senior year is about half way over and graduation is quickly becoming a reality, I find myself wondering about employment outlook. Thinking to myself, “How does sociology fit into the professional world?” Through my research I found the applied sociology career path. This career path is one for students like me to use their sociological education in professional settings to benefit research for firms, but it left me with questions. What is sociology? Where did the concept of applied sociology come from, and is applied sociology a relevant and open career field? Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of how sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religion; from division of race, gender, sexuality and social class to the shared beliefs of common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports (careers in sociology, 2014). In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge. Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, while generating new ideas and critiquing old ones. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of life such as crime, corporate downsizing, expressing emotions, welfare, education reform, changing family structure, diplomacy, and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field of study whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create civil programs. Sociologists understand social inequality, patterns of behavior, forces of social change, resistance, and how social systems operate (Careers in Sociology, 2006). Most people who think of themselves as sociologists or have the word sociologist in their job title, have graduate training, but BA’s in sociology apply the social perspective to a wide variety of jobs in such fields as business, health professions, criminal justice systems, social services, and government (Careers in Sociology, 2006). This is due to the fact that sociology serves as a strong liberal arts major it is excellent for future graduate work in order to become a professor, researcher, or law student. The undergraduate degree also provides strong liberal arts preparation for entry level positions throughout the business, social services, and government worlds (Careers in Sociology, 2006). Since the subject matter is intrinsically fascinating, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business,...
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