Last Updated: July 06, 2021
Degree in Social Science
Social science can be defined as the study of society and human behaviors and their influence on the world around us. Social science is all about learning global issues, history, and country affairs. Under the programs in social science students can also learn different religions and cultures, sociology, political science, etc.
Courses Under Social Science
- Anthropology is the study of human behavior, culture, biology, and their physical environment; and how it evolved over a period of time. Archaeology is a sub-specialty of Anthropology. A degree in this field can fetch a job in nonprofit organizations, academic educators, research fields, and of course as archaeologists. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of Anthropologists and Archaeologists in 2020 was $66,130 annually and $31.79 hourly.
- Criminology is the study of crime and the minds that work to commit it. It is a theoretical understanding of laws, crime, the methodology, and the reasoning behind committing a crime. A career can be made in the investigation agencies for government organizations or work privately as detectives, forensic science technicians, and criminal investigators. The median salary in the field of criminology can be anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 annually depending upon the profession chosen.
- Demography and Population Studies go hand in hand in Social Science. This topic deals with the study of population, and mortality rate in terms of demography along with the increase and decrease in population in a certain demography section and the factors contributing to it. There are varied career options in government agencies, academic institutions and environmental organizations to name a few.
- Economics is the study of usage of resources by a community. It deals with the impact of human behavior on the economy of society. They predict the outcome of the decisions made by the people. As such economists enjoy an unparalleled career option in banks, businesses, investment firms, insurance companies, law firms, and more. A graduate degree is considered typical for an economist and the median salary was $108,350 annually and $52.09 hourly in 2020 - per Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Sociology explores human behavior and why they behave the way they do. Students learn how cultures and other factors shape human behavior. Career options can be market researchers, social workers, human resources, etc. The median salary of a sociologist in 2020 was $86,110 annually and $14.40 hourly, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Geography & Cartography is the study of maps and interpret the information from the maps. The job opportunities can be a cartographer, historian, statistician, etc. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a cartographer in 2020 was $68,380 annually and $32.88 hourly.
- International Relations and Affairs is the international study of relations and affairs between different countries and how international politics and economic changes affect them. It also includes diplomacy and international law.
- Political science and Government is the study of the science of politics and its impact on the Government. Quantitative and qualitative data is used to understand the impact of political decisions on society. Graduate pass-outs can become journalists, administrators, or researchers. The median salary of reporters in 2020 was $49,300 annually or $23.70 hourly, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Urban Studies/Affairs is the study of life in cities. It deals with studying the history and growth of cities and the life and problems faced by the people living in urban areas. Some job options are urban planners and real estate, developers. Per Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of urban planners in 2020 was $75,950 annually and $36.52 hourly.
Benefits of pursuing a degree in Social Sciences
Social science is a vast field of study. As mentioned above, it has several courses under its umbrella for students to choose and pursue the one they find the best suitable to their interests. However, these are not the only benefits the field of social sciences offers.
People studying social science are able to combine their degrees in social sciences to pursue dual majors. For example, a student studying bachelor's in anthropology can pursue a joint degree of anthropology and philosophy, if the university has those options available. This gives the student an edge to their career and allows them to widen their prospects.
Additionally, there are a vast number of career options in this field as mentioned above. To know more about the career prospects and fields that students can pursue, check Career options
Undergraduate in Social Science
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in social science have to first pursue an undergraduate degree in any of the above-mentioned areas of studies. The degree can be taken as a double degree or a single degree. The entry requirements do not require prior knowledge of social science but would need to show expertise in the area of basic subjects such as English, Math, and probably social science.
Postgraduate in Social Science
As for postgraduate degrees, they are usually aligned with the undergraduate degree. Students will be able to choose a master's in the same subject they completed their undergraduate degree in. However, it is important to note that postgraduate degrees have a more concentrated entry requirement.
Popular Universities for Social Science
Harvard University offers programs in Social Sciences at an undergraduate level, postgraduate level, and at doctoral level. This department comes under the Liberal Arts and Sciences section within the university which has subsections like Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Engineering and Applied Sciences. The core concentrations offered under Social Sciences are-
- African and African American Studies
- History and Science
- Social Studies
- Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Columbia University has a division of Social Science which contains centers like the Center on African-American Religion Sexual Politics & Social Justice, The Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History, Columbia Center for Archaeology, The Center on Capitalism and Society, Center for Contemporary Black History, etc. and the departments that come under the Social Sciences are-
- Political Science
- African American and African Diaspora Studies
The Social Sciences section contains different fields of study in the Duke University especially for candidates who are joining for an undergraduate degree. It focuses on human behavior, cultural changes and other social factors. The departments that come under this field are-
- African & African American Studies
- Cultural Anthropology
- Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
- International Comparative Studies
- Science + Studies
- Political Science
- Psychology and Neuroscience
- Public Policy
University of Michigan
University of Michigan contains the fields of Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences under their research programs in Literature, Science, and the Arts. The departments under Social Sciences are-
- Communication Studies
- International Institute
- Museum of Anthropological Archaeology
- Organizational Studies
- Political Science
- Women’s Studies
University of Pennsylvania
The Social Science section of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the top 5 universities in the country that is offering different majors under the field. The majors offered under this section are-
- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
- Health and Societies
- Political Science
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Urban Studies
Apart from various career options as mentioned above in sub-courses, a graduate holder in Social Sciences can join the following fields:
- Economists- The job description of Economists include collecting data specific to certain fields and analyzing them in order to track research trends in the field. They will also have to assess economic issues. Their work is fully office-based and often requires a PhD for high-paying jobs.
Median Salary: $108,350 per year
- Social Science Professors- In order to become a professor in the Social Sciences, aspirants will require a PhD in their respective field along with innumerable paper publications and research experience.
Median Salary: $80,790 per year
- Historians- Candidates with at least a Master’s degree in History will be able to become historians whose primary work is to research, document and analyze the collected documents. They will often have to travel as part of research and it is a full-time job.
Median Salary: $63,100 per year
- Lawyers- Their job includes advising and representing people or businesses for legal issues that they are facing. Lawyers will be able to choose to work in either the federal, the state, or the local government.
Median Salary: $126,930 per year
- Political Scientists- Their job description includes studying the political systems in place by observing the origin and development of those very systems.
Median Salary: $125,350 per year
- Sociologists- Candidates who have a Master’s degree or a PhD in Sociology will be able to become sociologists whose primary job description is to observe and study society and general social behaviour.
Median Salary: $86,110 per year
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a growth rate of 5% on jobs is anticipated in the Social Science field from 2019-2029. The annual average salary of people who pursue a master's degree in Social Sciences is between $41,000 to $70,000.