Careers and Employability: Sociology
Sociology can be a difficult subject to explain to others, simply because it is so wide-ranging. You may study education, social inequality, race, gender, and capitalism to name a few topics. However, it’s broad nature doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. Here I list a few things I have learned about Sociology and Employability throughout my time at Warwick.
Where to start?
There are many places you can go to look for opportunities. On campus, you may want to book an appointment with a careers advisor to discuss your current position and options. I have found this particularly helpful. Of course, you can also do your own research – there are a plethora of websites offering insightful and practical careers advice. MyAdvantage is run by Student Careers and Skills. Here you can search a database of job opportunities, resources and events available for students at the University of Warwick.
Consider your interests
For me, at least, it is very important to have a job I enjoy. This may not always be possible (there are always aspects of a job we prefer more than others), but generally I know that if I have a job I enjoy, I’m likely to perform better, feel happier and make the most of it. You may want to consider your hobbies or interests and whether these can be turned into a career, as well as how they might be applicable to a job.
Keep track of the skills you acquire – and the skills you might need
You might find it helpful to make notes of the skills different modules have equipped you with, for example. This could make it easier when applying for jobs, as you can match up those listed in the job description with the ones you have (or not), giving you an idea of whether or not you’ll be a suitable candidate. I have found that Sociology has given me a strong understanding of social research and how to conduct it, for instance.
Don’t dismiss Voluntary Work
Although being a student can be challenging financially, if you are able to pursue voluntary work, it could prove very useful. It is a way to make a positive difference to communities and shows employers how you like to give back. Warwick Volunteers offer a host of volunteering projects to suit a range of preferences, and there are often voluntary positions open around campus. For example, this year I will work as a Library Associate. I’ve found that Sociology as a subject ties in well with Voluntary Work, as both often involve being aware of the challenges others face and the help they may need.
Think about the insights your subject has given you
By this, I mean what industry knowledge your subject has given you, rather than skills. It is good if you can articulate and apply these insights to the job. Everyone will have a slightly different perception of their subject so it gives a way to stand out to your potential employer.
Sociology can be applicable to a range of careers and sectors
As I mentioned earlier, the wide range of topics Sociology includes can be a good thing. It shows people that you have an understanding of how society operates and that your knowledge isn’t solely in one area (though this can be an advantage too!). Therefore, it means you could be ready to go into an array of different jobs.
Research into the opportunities available to you, and try to connect yourself with as many areas as possible. Having contacts and broad experience could help with getting a job. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and talk to other students and employers at careers events, for instance. If you can, being open to different types of opportunities (such as part-time work, volunteering, internships and research projects) may help, as it will give you a diverse set of work experience you can draw upon.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below.