Social Inquiry Department
The subject matter of sociology is sweeping, both in scope and in relevance. Covering societies around the world, it ranges from the intimate family to the antagonistic mob; from religion to crime; from the divisive factors of prejudice and discrimination to the unifying metropolitan regions. The study of sociology is inherently interesting because it touches on so many aspects of our lives.
In its effort to understand the fundamental nature of human society, sociology studies all aspects of the "world of taken-for-granted." As social issues and problems press in on all sides, urgently demanding solutions, sociology faces the task of analyzing social needs: Social, racial, and sexual inequality, to mention only a few. Sociology has a special obligation to benefit human beings. It offers the opportunity to make a difference.
One would do better to ask what cannot be done with a degree in sociology. In a sense sociology provides students with a broad informational background, critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills sought by the vast majority of employers. Sociology, like other liberal arts majors offers students, not simply a fixed base of current knowledge, but the insight to identify major questions, and the ability to pursue meaningful answers to those questions. In short, sociology students learn how to learn.
More specifically, sociology students obtain myriad types of jobs with a BA or BS in Sociology. Still other jobs are available with a degree in Sociology plus some job training in particular fields. UW-Superior sociology graduates have held jobs as Program Implementers, Child Care Counselors, Social Workers, Therapists, Employment Interviewers, Census Enumerators, Office Coordinators, Group Counselors, Unit Coordinators of group homes, Counselors for delinquent youths, Consultants, Researchers, Social Services Case Workers, Child Protection Workers, Managers of retail establishments, Employment and Training Specialists, Training Coordinators, Police Officers, Prison Guards, Probation Officers, Activity Directors in nursing homes, Youth Shelter Directors, and Personnel Managers. Undergraduate Sociology also acts as a logical springboard to specialized fields of graduate study. UW-Superior Sociology graduates have gone on to attend graduate school in Educational Psychology, Counseling, Psychology, Law, City Planning, Anthropology, Seminary, and of course, Sociology.
Yes! We are constantly striving to improve the internship possibilities for Sociology majors. These internships are opportunities to get valuable work experience, to make contacts and friends, and to learn about the application of sociology to real-life situations. Sociology students have held internships at the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, with the Superior Chief of Police, the Superior City Planner, the Superior City Attorney, the Douglas County Recycling Coordinator, the Duluth Federal Prison Camp, the Superior Mayor's office, Project Soar in Duluth, the Superior Housing Authority, Zenith Research, Northwest Passage II, Lutheran Social Services, and others.
Sociology is neither easy, nor an ideal way to pursue a degree in Social Work. In Wisconsin, it is possible to obtain Social Worker Certification with a degree in Sociology. The candidate must also take some courses in social work and psychology plus perform at least 400 hours of supervised internship and pass a certification examination.
Although this is a possible means to becoming certified as a Social Worker, we do not recommend that students enter the program with this goal in mind. Sociology offers courses aimed at understanding the complexities of social life, and prepares students for a wide array of career opportunities in the area of social welfare, but it is not a skill-oriented program designed to train people in casework. If becoming a Social Worker is your career goal, we encourage you to apply to the Social Work Program.
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