Top Online Colleges for Sociology

Sociology is the study of social relationships, interactions, and constructs and how these relationships influence our world. Sociologists examine society on a micro level, including one-on-one relationships, and on a macro level, encompassing entire civilizations. A sociology background is relevant to a wide variety of fields and careers, since almost all work is social. However, sociology degrees from top accredited online colleges are particularly useful for careers in social services, counseling, education, business, law, or journalism.

Sociology Course Work Basics

Degree programs in sociology combine research practice and experience with sociological theory and topics. Top online colleges for sociology emphasize research methods and statistical analysis. Students often perform projects while focusing on objectivity and empirical, or observational, research. Advanced degrees in sociology are even more research-intensive, with students in master’s degree programs producing a thesis based on independent research. Doctoral students choose a narrow concentration area and develop unique research objectives for their dissertation. In addition to research and analysis, accredited online colleges for sociology include courses that discuss fundamentals of sociology, old and new theories in the discipline, ethics, and much more. Core coursework in a sociology program might include:

  • Principles of Sociology: This course covers the fundamentals of how humans behave differently in groups.
  • Classical Sociological Theory: In this course, students learn the sociological theories developed primarily in the 19th century.
  • Methods of Social Research: Students learn practices and procedures for collecting and analyzing sociological data.
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory: Contemporary sociological theory addresses current ideologies and approaches in the field.
  • Race, Class, and Gender: This course discusses how issues of race, class, and gender influence societal behavior.

Sociology coursework at top rated online colleges cultivates the student’s understanding of how people behave in groups and why. It also provides an understanding of the different factors and environments that influence societal rules, behaviors, and results. From there, the student’s grasp of sociological theories and concepts allows him or her to research and analyze scenarios and create solutions to societal problems. Sociology students might focus on sociological theories for specific environments, like schools, prison systems, and businesses.

Careers for the Sociology Graduate

Many positions and careers directly linked to sociology require an advanced degree. However, many sociology majors use their degree as a springboard to an adjacent field. At the bachelor’s degree level, sociology is a strong foundational degree for many occupations, and an understanding of human relationships and social behavior can be extremely beneficial in business, sales, psychology, social work, communications, public relations, journalism, and marketing. Human resources and education are also attractive fields for sociology majors. Some sociology graduates from top rated online colleges go on to law school, while others pursue graduate degrees in sociology to continue their work in the field.

Most sociologist positions require at least a master’s degree, while some even require a doctoral degree. Sociologists work primarily in academia, though others might work for consulting firms and research organizations. A doctoral degree in sociology is required for most university faculty positions. Sociology can be a highly competitive occupation because the field is relatively narrow. However, successful sociologists can earn approximately $72,000 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that the sociology field is growing about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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