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Marketable Skills

Marketable Skills Learned from Sociology

What Marketable Skills Do Sociology Students Acquire?

Major corporations and small businesses look for the job applicants with the following skills. These are functional skills and can be transferred from one setting to another.

Research skills
including the ability to define a problem or research question, design a study to find answers, design the appropriate instruments, code and analyze the data, report (orally and in writing) on the findings, and make recommendations based on the findings. Being able to conceptualize a project from inception to conclusion is the key.

Analytical skills
, particularly problem-solving and sharp, critical thinking as well as the ability to analyze, synthesize, and interpret information.

Communication skills
, or the ability to express yourself in verbal and written form. Employers are looking for people who are 'comfortable expressing themselves and their ideas in clear, concise, and meaningful language.'

Interpersonal skills
, including the ability to share leadership and responsibility, work cooperatively, and get along with co-workers and clients. Employers seek graduates who can work on task forces and self-managed task teams, but are also capable of initiating ideas and pursuing a project independently.

Leadership skills
, including 'tenacity, flexibility, tolerance for risk-taking, and the ability to function well in undefined situations.' Employers value those who help others adapt to changing priorities of an organization and who can anticipate change.

Computer literacy
, including familiarity with word processing, data analysis, and graphics (such as the ability to create visual displays of data).

Cross-cultural understanding
, especially regarding racial, ethnic, and gender differences in values, perceptions, and approaches to work. Employers need workers who can understand and operate within the context of cultural and other diversities. Corporations increasingly seek employees who possess a global perspective, have a high degree of intercultural awareness, and are free of traditional stereotypes.

Sociology Courses At Belmont That Teach Additional Skills

Research methods
(along with basic statistical concepts) will contribute to your ability to conceptualize problems and develop research strategies. Such courses help prepare you for working in marketing firms, government research offices, public opinion polling agencies, and other research settings.

Social Problems
, Sociology of the Environment, Medical Sociology, Schools & Society, and Sociology the Family contribute broadly to many careers, as they address the most critical issues facing North American society today, including crime, substance abuse, violence against women, poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation, and AIDS.

Race and Ethnic Relations, Inequality, and The Sociology of Gender
will help you develop a keen understanding the complexities of diversity in modern society. This will benefit you generally in any position and specifically if you are seeking employment in the human resources department of a firm or agency with a multiracial work force and/or a multicultural clientele, or if you plan to work in ethnically diverse communities.

Urban Sociology and Sociology of Education
courses can be put to good use in an urban planning agency or working with youth.

Criminal Justice, Crime and Deviance and The Sociology of Prisons
are useful courses that will prepare you for jobs in agencies that deal with criminal justice, probation, parole, juvenile delinquency, gangs, crime statistics, and policing.

Classical and Contemporary Theory
provides practice in analytical thought and will tighten your grasp on central sociological concepts and theories.

Popular Culture, the Sociology of Music, and The Politics of Knowledge
allow you to explore the social implications of popular culture including film, television, music, magazines, the Internet, and other forms of entertainment. These classes critically examine how popular culture and knowledge are produced, disseminated, consumed, interpreted, and experienced.

Reference: American Sociological Association; What Do Employers Really Want? Top Skills and Values Employers Seek from Job-Seekers'