Long before you walk across the stage at graduation, you should start your career preparation.
We recommend that students begin exploring career options as soon as they declare their sociology major or in their sophomore year. So, what should you do to start planning for your career? Want to jump right to our list of sample jobs that our alumni have held? Click here.
Hone Your Skills
The ability to understand and analyze social behavior is an important skill in many fields. Other key skills that sociology courses cultivate in students include:
- The development of “systems” thinking and an understanding how different parts of larger social systems interact;
- Identifying complex social problems and their solutions;
- Evaluating multiple sources of information and distilling relevant facts and trends to inform a particular issue or problem;
- Deep understanding of cultural and social divides that can impact group dynamics in professional settings and strategies for overcoming those divides;
- Knowledge of research methods and statistics necessary to understand research-based information sources;
- The ability to communicate with diverse audiences in culturally appropriate ways through a variety of mediums (online, written, oral);
- Project design and management.
These skills can be applied in a number of specific industries and will often qualify students for careers in a range of management, research, and other careers.
Career Planning & Resource Center
Students should also regularly utilize the resources available through the Career Planning and Resource Center at UWM. The center is about more than resume preparation. The career professionals there can help you identify your professional goals and teach you techniques (like informational interviewing and shadowing) to learn more about professional careers. They can also help you develop your job search strategy, help you locate an internship, or connect you with UWM alumni who may be able to provide you with information or advice in a particular industry or career.
Engage with Faculty
We also recommend that our students cultivate relationships with our faculty and engage them in this process. Do your professors have contacts in a particular area or industry? Can they help you translate the skills and knowledge you have gained so that they are clear to potential employers? Cultivating and maintaining a professional network while you are a student at UWM is good practice and can be a source of information and support as you continue to develop as a professional.
Listen to Alumni
In addition to moving directly into the workforce after graduation, UWM sociology students can also continue their education in master’s, PhD, and professional degree programs. Sociology students go on to pursue advanced education in sociology, the law, social work, criminal justice, higher education administration, public policy, and other programs.
Sample Career Outcomes
Most students choose to major in sociology because they enjoy people and want to use their interpersonal communication skills in their work. Thus, careers in human resources, social services, education law, marketing, criminal justice, and fundraising are common. A sampling of jobs that our sociology alumni have held include the following. Some professions require a graduate degree.
|Employment and Training Specialist, State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development|
|Program Manager, UMOS (United Migrant Opportunity Services)|
|Grant Compliance Manager, City of Milwaukee|
|Marketing Coordinator, Kohl’s|
|Guidance Counselor, Chicago Public Schools|
|Outreach Manager, Milwaukee Country Department of Health and Human Services|
|Compliance Manager, Johnson Controls|
|Employment Services Coordinator, Interfaith Older Adult Programs, Inc.|
|Case Manager, Wisconsin Community Services|
|Human Resources Manager, Kohler Co.|
|Attorney, Davis & Kuelthau, S.C.|
|Service Coordinator, Penfield Children’s Center|
|Technical Writer, U.S. Bank|
|Human Resources Coordinator, Northwestern University|
|Development Associate, Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin|
|Claims Examiner, Wausau Insurance|
|Reporter, Neighborhood News Service|
|Employee Benefits Specialist, Aurora Healthcare|
|Underwriter, Northwestern Mutual|
|Statistician, U.S. Census Bureau|
|Police Officer, City of Milwaukee|
|Regulatory Specialist, Direct Supply|