Sociology: Learning from the Group Teaches Us for an Advantage

The field of sociology is a dynamic one that encompasses multiple, relevant situations. For example, in the aftermath of radically-fueled murder of unarmed Black men and women, several sociologists spoke with news outlets about their work studying how police violence is related to class, race and inequality. Other sociologists who study education, families, inequality and access shared their research on education and schools’ issues during the pandemic.

Sociology studies the behavior of social beings and can cover everything from the family to politics, economics, markets and consumerism to crime and law, from race and ethnicity to social psychology and interaction, and from gender and sexuality to religion and spirituality. In short, sociology provides individuals an advantage from “watching the crowd.”

Group shot of Bethune Cookman University students listening during classroom lecture

Bethune-Cookman University

Careers in Sociology

The knowledge received from the study of sociology can be applied to many careers. Typical positions include social workers or case managers and guidance counselors (with salaries ranging from more than $50,000 to more than $96,000 annually). The job outlook from 2018 to 2028 for both careers are projected to grow—11% for caseworkers and by 8% for school and career counselors. Several other careers that you may not think of stemming from a degree in sociology include attorneys, human resource representatives and policy analysts. 

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How to Prepare for Success

High school students can prepare for both of these degree options by taking high school courses in mathematics, English and history. 

  • Mathematics: Bachelor’s sociology programs require that students take multiple mathematics and mathematics-related courses to prepare them for conducting sociology research. Typical requirements are introduction to statistics, calculus one and introduction to social research methods (if available). 
  • English: Sociology is a text-heavy field, requiring a lot of reading and the ability to interpret a lot of information. Courses in English also help students adequately develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills. Because sociology is also a field that requires students to write many papers, high school students interested in sociology should also take courses in writing. 
  • History and Sociology: Courses in history help develop students’ understanding of social issues and tensions, critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills. Some high schools, although this is rare, also offer classes in sociology. 
4 Huston Tillotson University students smiling on campus

Huston-Tillotson University

UNCF Schools to Consider

Several UNCF-member schools offer degrees in sociology, including: 


Scholarships and Programs

Several professional sociology associations offer programs, membership, and resources. The American Sociological Association (ASA) provides student memberships and resources, the Association of Black Sociologists works to promote the growth of professionally trained Black/minority sociologists and encourage their active participation in all areas of sociology, the International Sociological Association delivers a global perspective, the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology focuses on social change, and the International Visual Sociology Association addresses sociological issues as presented in art, photography, films and journalism.

Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service, and unmet financial need.

If you are interested in a career in sociology, reach out for guidance. Submit a major interest form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!