Statistics plays a large role in sociology and the study of social phenomena. If you attend graduate school, whether for your M.A. or Ph.D., you will be required to take at least one or two courses in statistics. If you enjoy statistics and choose to take more than the required courses, a career as an analyst could be an option for you.
The number of different types of analyst positions open to sociologists is vast. Options include healthcare analyst, criminal justice analyst, educational analyst, management analyst, planning analyst, policy analyst, program analyst, social impact analyst, research analyst, market research analyst, and health outcomes analyst, to name a few.
The specific duties and topics of analysis will vary from job to job and industry to industry. For example, a healthcare analyst will likely analyze claims data from insurance companies to look for trends or abnormalities while a criminal justice analyst will examine prison or crime data and a market research analyst will look at spending habits of consumers.
Skill and Experience Requirements
Besides a deep knowledge and understanding of statistics, you will need to be familiar with various statistics software programs. Some of the most commonly used include SPSS, SAS, and Stata. Individual companies or industries may also frequently use or require knowledge of other programs. An M.A. or Ph.D. is not always required for these positions, though sociology majors with only a bachelor’s degree likely do not have the knowledge of statistics or statistical software programs that most positions require.
The salaries of analysts vary greatly depending on education, experience, and skill level as well as the type of company (private vs. public vs. government) and location/city. You can expect to make anywhere between $35,000 to over $100,000 in an analyst job.
Search for analyst jobs or other sociology careers in your area.