Job Description:

Sociologists are social scientists who study human society, including its structures, institutions, interactions, and behaviours

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

Here are some of the key activities and responsibilities typically associated with the work of sociologists:

  • conduct empirical research to investigate various aspects of society
  • design studies, collect data through surveys, interviews, observations, and other methods
  • use statistical and qualitative techniques to analyse data and identify patterns, trends, and relationships within society
  • develop and refine sociological theories to explain social phenomena
  • study a wide range of social issues, such as inequality, poverty, crime, education, healthcare, family dynamics, and cultural norms
  • examine the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to these issues
  • contribute to policy development and evaluation
  • assess the effectiveness of government interventions and suggest improvements


You’ll need:

  • knowledge in sociology or a related field, such as anthropology, psychology, or social work
  • a strong understanding of key sociological theories
  • expertise in research methods, including qualitative and quantitative research, surveys, interviews, participant observation, and data analysis techniques
  • to understand the concepts of social stratification, inequality, and social justice, including how factors like race, gender, class, and sexuality impact individuals and society

As well as:

  • strong critical thinking skills
  • the ability to evaluate and analyse social phenomena and data objectively
  • research and analytical skills
  • good communication skills
  • understanding and empathy for individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds
  • interpersonal skills
  • problem-solving abilities
  • to be adaptable and open to new ideas, perspectives, and research approaches (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to collaborate with colleagues on research projects and initiatives (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Sociologist, specific qualifications are not required, but certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in sociology. Here are some subjects that can be valuable for aspiring Sociologists:

  1. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are crucial for conducting research, writing reports, and presenting findings in sociology.
  2. Social Sciences: If your school offers social science courses, consider taking them. Subjects like sociology or psychology can provide you with an introduction to the field.
  3. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for conducting statistical analysis, which is often a part of sociological research.
  4. History: Understanding historical context and social changes over time can be valuable when studying sociological trends and phenomena.

Post School

Start by earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology or a related field. This program will provide you with foundational knowledge in sociology and research methods.

While not always required, some Sociologists choose to pursue a master’s degree in sociology to gain advanced knowledge and research skills.

To become a professional sociologist, you will typically need to earn a Ph.D. in sociology. This involves several years of coursework, extensive research, and the completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Internships and Research Experience
During your academic studies, engage in internships and research projects to gain practical experience and build your research portfolio.

In some countries or regions, Sociologists may seek professional licensure or certification, although this requirement is less common compared to fields like psychology or counselling.

Sociologists play a vital role in studying and understanding human behaviour and societal trends. Developing a strong educational foundation, gaining research experience, and staying informed about the latest developments in sociology are important steps in pursuing a successful career as a Sociologist.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 38 to 44 hours a week, occasionally including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

Sociologists work in various environments, including offices, universities, libraries, or in government or public research facilities.


Career Path & Progression:

Experienced sociologists may choose to work as independent consultants or establish their own research and consulting firms.

Independent practitioners often serve a range of clients, including businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits.