Also called: Research Associate, Research Scientist, Research Specialist, Social Scientist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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When people interact… form a group… or work together… they create relationships, and eventually… culture. Sociologists study interactions between groups of people, how human behavior changes over time, and what makes organizations and cultures succeed… or fail. Sociologists collect survey data, make observations, and perform interviews to test their theories about human social interactions. They analyze the data and present their findings in written reports or presentations. These social scientists may collaborate with… and advise… policy makers, other social scientists, or groups that seek answers to sociological issues. Sociologists may focus their research and study efforts in one of many social topics, including health, education, racial and ethnic relations, the labor market, families, gender, poverty, crime, or aging. Sociologists typically work in an office full time. They may travel to conduct research or present their results at conferences. Most positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Applied, clinical, and professional master’s degree programs prepare graduates to perform sociological research in a professional setting. Many students who complete a Ph.D. in sociology become college-level instructors. Other Ph.D. graduates lead research for non-profits, businesses, or government. More entry-level positions in related fields, such as social services, education, or public policy… may be obtained with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
What they do:Study human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. May study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.
On the job, you would:
- Analyze and interpret data to increase the understanding of human social behavior.
- Collect data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
- Prepare publications and reports containing research findings.
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- history and archeology
Education and Training
- teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- reading work related information
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- understanding people's reactions
- teaching people how to do something
- communicate by speaking
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- use rules to solve problems
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Data base user interface and query software