What Does a Sociologist Do?

Sociologist working with workers

Are you interested in observing society? If so, you might be interested in sociology. This field of study focuses on various aspects of the relationship between people and society, including how societal norms are created and evolve. Degree programs in this area can prepare you for many different sociology-related jobs, where you will be responsible for a variety of engaging tasks.

What Do Sociologists Do?

As a sociologist, you will observe and research various aspects of society and their impact on people. This may include both large and small-scale observations of everything from cultural ideologies to family morals. Sociologists can work in several different fields, including healthcare, social services, research, marketing and criminal justice.

Your specific responsibilities will be dependent on your job title and the industry you work in. Earning your Bachelor of Science in Sociology degree is the first step you need to take if you would like to pursue this career path. Continuing your education with a Master’s in Sociology can help you pursue increasingly advanced career opportunities as a sociologist.

Research Design

Sociologists are responsible for designing and conducting research projects. The subject of a project will depend on your specific job title or area of expertise. The first step in research is to produce a hypothesis. Some of the topics you may encounter during your research include religion, education, health, aging, families, gender, crime and population. You will conduct research to see if anyone else has done any experiments to test your hypothesis. The design of your research project should be precise enough that you can address your hypothesis.

Data Collection

After designing tests for your research project, you will begin conducting them and collecting data. A test can be something simple, such as a survey that you send out to a small sample of people. You can then read through each survey and keep track of the answers. You will need to look for any patterns, as well as inconsistencies, that will help you answer the question posed by your initial project. You might also go out into a public space to observe how people behave. After that, you will use your observations to help answer the question you are asking in your project.

Data Analysis

Once all the data has been collected, it is your job as a sociologist to analyze the information. You will need to keep track of answers and observations so you can make a note of any patterns that you see. You will also want to make a note if you see anything unexpected or out of the ordinary. After analyzing your findings, you may see that you need to conduct more research, or that you are ready to put the data into a report.

Publication of Findings

Putting together reports is an important part of studying sociology. After doing your research, you can create reports to share your findings with others in the field. These reports will outline your hypothesis, what research you performed, how you collected your data and what the data shows regarding your hypothesis. Depending on your job, you might create paper reports that you send off to professionals. Alternatively, you may be responsible for presenting your findings in-person. So it is important to know what to expect if you are not comfortable with public speaking.

Consulting With Professionals

As a sociologist, you might be working for a government organization, university, nonprofit organization or another entity. You will need to consult with professionals in your industry to share your findings so they can use that information to improve policies, regulations and more.

Grand Canyon University offers both a Bachelor of Science in Sociology program and a Master’s in Sociology with an Emphasis in Education degree. These programs will help you build your communication, research and analysis skills. To learn more about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, click the Request Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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