Interested in a career as a social scientist?
Social science studies the relationships among people within societies. It is a broad academic discipline with many applications and a socially positive outlook. Read on to learn about the career requirements, employment info, and job responsibilities of a social scientist.
Social Science 101
Social science is the academic discipline that studies societies and the relationships of people in those societies. Social science encompasses multiple disciplines, including:
- Political science
- Urban planning
- Public health
- Communication studies
In a broad sense, sociology studies everything that has to do with people and how they interact with each other.
Social science is chiefly concerned with researching and then using the findings to give useful recommendations. These recommendations steer societies towards progress and help individuals manage their issues.
Social Scientist Jobs
As we have seen above, social science offers a broad spectrum of career options. The basis of all social scientist jobs is research and recommendation. A social scientist conducts research within their field. They use their findings to make recommendations to improve society.
In addition to research and recommendation, social scientists may also teach at a college or university. Work in social sciences might also involve fieldwork.
The humans and the societies we build are complex. Therefore, social scientists often work across multiple disciplines to uncover meaningful data. For example, sociologists may have to gather archeological data and compare it with modern findings. Political scientists and public health experts may have to look into historical files to evaluate a contemporary situation.
We are examining some of the major fields in social science below.
Sociologists study the interactions between humans. As a sociologist, you will examine how cultures, nations, groups, institutions, and individuals interact. You may seek to develop theories about how these interactions take place and how some groups are more stable than others.
Sociology studies human cooperation in more depth than any other discipline. This is the science that explains how groups work together to achieve a common goal. It is also the science that predicts when disputes might arise and when these can escalate into violence.
Sociologists create theories and test them through research. The main tools for sociological research are polls, surveys, and statistical analysis.
Employment options for sociologists include:
The most known branch of sociology is political science. This is also the highest paid career path in social sciences.
Political scientists study politics and how they shape modern societies. A political scientist studies modern developments, as well as past historic events. As a political scientist, you will develop theories on political trends, policies and emerging ideas.
Political scientists rely on history and statistics to analyze and predict election results and political preferences. Every time a new head of state is elected, the balance of power shifts. It is up to political scientists to identify how this shift will affect the world.
There are numerous job options for political scientists, including:
- Political lobbies
- Labor organizations
About half of all political scientists hold positions within the government.
Economists study how societies produce and distribute resources, goods, and services to individuals. This is the science that explains how people assign values to different things. As an economist, you will investigate how money flows within a society. You might analyze stock markets, buyer trends, interest rates, and global economy.
Economists gather data through surveys, market reports, and statistical analysis. They use this data to predict and advise individuals and organizations on financial matters. Economists often produce financial forecasts that help prevent economic disaster.
The discipline of economics is more than just the study of money. Economists study every kind of things people assign value to, including non-tangible resources.
Employment options for economists include:
- Financial sector
Many economists pursue executive careers in global corporations.
The final major branch of social science is psychology. Psychologists study human behavior in every environment. Psychologists can focus on behavior in the workplace, in public places, within groups, and across distance.
Employment options for psychologists include:
- Industrial-organizational psychology
- Social services
This is a diverse discipline with many different career options.
Social Scientist Career Requirements
Social scientists typically hold a master’s degree in history, sociology, anthropology, or psychology. Academic social scientists hold a doctorate, which is required to teach in universities.
For most social scientist jobs, a relevant bachelor’s degree is often enough to secure an entry level position. Additional training and experience in statistics is always helpful when seeking advancement.
Career Advancement and Salary
The career outlook for social scientists is generally positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a small increase in the demand for sociologists in the next decade. Employment for anthropologists is expected to rise by 4%. The only specialty that will shrink is that of political scientists.
Nonetheless, political scientists earn the highest salaries in all social science positions. They are closely followed by sociologists. Historians earn the lowest median wage in all social science positions.
Interested in a Career as a Social Scientist? Check out Public Admin Careers
A career as a social scientist can be fulfilling and lucrative. Analyzing how people interact and guiding society to a better future makes for a meaningful career choice. Here at Public Admin Careers, we are your number one destination for industry resources about public administration careers.
Whether you are looking to start your career in social sciences, or seek to advance to a higher position, you will find the resources you need here. Come on in and learn more about moving your social scientist career forward today!