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Career Spotlight: Social Sciences

A career in Social Sciences is a good path for those interested in studying humans, human behavior, and aspects of society. Social sciences careers require curiosity and analytical thinking as well as detail-oriented planning capabilities. Many careers in the social sciences involve research, outreach work, or work with groups of people as well as individual clients. Working hours and environments vary by field.
 

Degrees, Training, or Certifications Required for Social Sciences Careers

  • Archeologists need a Master's Degree or a Doctoral Degree for most jobs, along with field work and experience.
  • Anthropologists need a Master's Degree or a Doctoral Degree for most jobs, as well as research experience and/or field work.
  • Economists usually need a Master's Degree for most positions, though some entry-level jobs require only a Bachelor's degree and professional work experience.
  • Political Scientists usually need a Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree in political science or a closely related field, as well as research experience.
  • Social Workers need a Bachelor's Degree for most positions, though clinical social workers need a Master's Degree and must be licensed to work in their state.
  • Lawyers need a Bachelor's Degree (common majors include political science, communications, international relations, economics and government) as well as a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school. Lawyers must also pass the Bar Exam to practice in their state.
  • Geographers working in entry-level jobs with the federal government may find work with a Bachelor's Degree along with experience with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), while those seeking employment outside of the government will need at least a Master's Degree.
  • Psychologists need a Master's Degree or a Doctoral Degree in psychology as well as licensure in order to practice.

 

Career Areas for Social Sciences Careers

Social Sciences careers span many areas. Some common career areas include:

  • Communications
  • Archeology
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • Law
  • Geography
  • Psychology

 

Potential Earnings and Job Projections for Social Sciences Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Archeologists and Anthropologists in 2010 was $54,230, with an expected employment increase of 21 percent between 2010 and 2020. The median annual salary for Economists was $89,450, with expected job growth of 6 percent between 2010 and 2020. Political Scientists had an annual median salary of $107,420, with a growth rate of 8 percent between 2010 and 2020. Social Workers had an annual median salary of $42,480, with a projected growth rate of 25 percent between 2010 and 2020. Lawyers had an annual median salary of $112,760 with a job growth rate of 10 percent between 2010 and 2020. Geographers had an annual median salary of $72,800 with a job growth rate of 35 percent between 2010 and 2020. Psychologists had an annual median salary of $68,640 with a job growth rate of 22 percent between 2010 and 2020.

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