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Using Sociology on the Job

How our alumni say sociology helps them succeed at work:

It gave me a better understanding of the human experience. When I was managing a homeless shelter, I often found that I had far greater empathy for the shelter guests than many of my social work-based co-workers.

I have a greater picture of the world structures and am able to understand my client’s issues.

I can look at our youth who commit crimes from a broader standpoint.

My degree has helped develop effective communication skills with clients and customers.

My education has greatly impacted my ability to interact and develop productive communication with individuals across the globe.

Researching skills- being able to find the information I need to make informed decisions that set direction for my organizations.

Being able to see the impact of a decision from multiple perspectives is probably the most useful idea from my undergraduate degree.

Cross cultural communication awareness and understanding systems of hierarchy around the globe impact my daily work.

The ability to read people and situations, by taking their background into consideration, to provide the best possible services for their individual needs.

Understand how to deal with people from many different backgrounds, be it socioeconomically, cultural, age etc.

How policy can/does impact folks in dramatically different ways.

Understanding generational norms, behaviors, etc.

How to think through the social dimensions of history and science.

Being able to understand and provide a better understanding of people and how they live in various environments.

I use data analytics for my job, I am also very aware of diversity issues.

In the courts people either look at it from a criminal or therapy world view. Because my major was sociology I view things with a combined view that accounts for the society our youth are raised in.

It has allowed me to connect better with the people I work with. And I have a greater understanding of what role I play in society and I have a plan for how I want to impact my community.

I work closely with clients and am able to understand their expectations, actions, and reactions through their theoretical viewpoint making it easier to relate and ultimately quire the information needed to complete my work.

The research aspect of my degree has proven invaluable as I have been required to find answers to technical and theoretical problems or questions.

I do legal research part time for a law school and as I look up archives, legislative histories, and records, I get a chance to contextualize these otherwise boring documents and discrete events into a larger pattern of what social/political/economic forces shape these events in the form we see them today.

Working for the law school has also given me a comparative lens to understand political movements from the business right and the current conditions of the activist left today.

My notes get sent to insurance companies and that justifies the services I provide. If I cannot critically analyze what I observe with my clients and place it on paper with my writing, my clients don’t receive counseling services.

How institutions & groups can provide the best conditions by which a person can succeed.

Question the status quo, examine power structures, and challenge the ideas one is brought up with, or told to us by institutions and the business world.

Statistics to determine percentages of populations served and if current methods offered are effective. Research Methods to determine criminal histories, address histories, past reported violent acts.

Teaching requires skills in dealing with people from all socio-economic backgrounds. It also requires a great deal of skills in research and general knowledge.

Presenting complex ideas to a wide audience, both orally and in writing.

Understanding the dynamics and nuance in large organizations.

Appreciating how my own social location influences my point of view.

Cyclical poverty and how it is reinforced through institutionalized processes.

Building the connections between my clients and their communities is a part of the job. At times connections are needed on a grander scale, requiring a deeper understanding of how race, ethnicity, gender, economics and so on, play a role in influencing the client’s sense of belonging and equality.

I need to anticipate Member needs based on Cultural norms of their socioeconomic standing. I also need to diversify services to meet the needs of sub and cross cultural groups in the same base group but of different socioeconomic standings.

The knowledge I acquired helps in navigating the corporate structure. For instance, I have to write work instructions, so all of the papers I wrote in my classes have helped me to become the designated writer.

They provided a ground floor for my doctoral work

Data collection and research methods helped me excel in social services. Having a degree in a human services field got me in the door for government work; opened doors to better jobs and benefits. Now I Work on large programs of the State of Idaho. I can apply the information obtained at Boise State to better my community and influence the lives of the individuals in that social environment.

Every single component of my BS in Sociology is applicable, on a daily basis. This ranges from reading, understanding, and interpreting policy, code, and/or Federal/State statute(s) in correlation with Standard Specifications and contract General Special Provisions regarding Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE).

I am, hands down, the best prepared new hire they have staffed resulting directly from my sociological undergraduate studies focusing on race, gender and power structures. I am able to quickly and accurately analyze program issues. I am able to look at the big picture taking into consideration all of the various components in play from situation to situation. My communication skills have enabled me to create meaningful relationships with multiple State Construction and Local Programs Engineers, who speak jargon I am unfamiliar with. As such, I am able to utilize their knowledge to my advantage in helping resolve contracting issues as necessary.

I am very fortunate to have the career I have; it is a cool job with something new to learn everyday, I consider my degree in Sociology to be the single most important factor in my short-term career successes.

I work in the government sector and am constantly dealing with a variety of people with very different views and I feel Sociology has allowed me to work with more diversity.

My sociology background has taught me how to organize, keep, and manage data, which as a school counselor is vital, and it has taught me about social problems and norms. We live in a diverse world, and I see students and parents on a daily basis from all walks of life. My understanding of third, second, and first world countries, how governments and corporations work, and how religion, race, gender, and socioeconomic status play a role in who we are and how we view the world is also extremely pertinent to my work.

Understanding that people can/will have different perspectives on work and life and will take action. I embrace this and use it to learn myself and/or help teach others to open up to understand different views and options before taking action.

Understanding the historical aspect of communities that have been marginalized by our country and government has helped in my interactions with various communities and knowing how to reach out to these communities in culturally competent ways.

Ability to work professionally with people from different backgrounds and world views. Ability to communicate effectively regarding difficult social issues related to healthcare and otherwise. Ability to think critically Awareness of privilege and how that affects my patients.

Writing, communicating and seeing things through different lenses is essential in what I do. Likewise, being able to understand, manipulate, and explain data are critical to contributing to the research and innovation team within eCampus.

The non-profit healthcare centers I’ve worked for provided services geared but not limited to underserved Americans and impoverished refugees. So many different types of people with different ideas about the world and what healthcare should look like. People with trouble finding money and people who had never felt being pinched for cash. My degree helped me not only recognize those variations in our local populations but also to appreciate it and welcome it with open heart and the tools needed to provide great customer service to every single person. It has helped me interact with management as well. I’m appreciated for my ability to get along with everyone and to meet the needs of co-workers preemptively. My degree also increased my ability to interpret data, which has proved valuable in the medical (billing) field.

Working with people in the operations side of a university setting provides a daily opportunity to engage in practical sociology, critical analysis, and hone written and oral communication. I work with students, faculty, and staff, which allows insight to many perspectives on any range of issues.

My knowledge and skill base has allowed me to have a better emphasis on communication across racial barriers. My job is specifically in relation to assist in communication between corporate/state/ and federal agencies to lower income minority ethnic groups and vice versa. Understanding of bias and being able to communicate with compassion and diplomacy is necessary and highly needed.

Recognizing diversity in populations. And that people should be treated equitably rather than equally. Along with that recognizing that value systems vary between people of differing cultures, ie. race, gender, socio-economic, nationality, etc.

I worked with Health and Welfare for 35 years. My degree in sociology gave me a perspective to see that people’s interaction with me were not personal, but reflected more what was going on in their lives. It helped me interact with people with mental illnesses and people in extreme circumstances.

The knowledge gained from my sociology degree helps me keep in mind the factors that might influence family dynamics, viewpoints on education and disabilities, and student performance.

Quantitative methods (demography graduate work) combined with a sociological perspective has provided a strong foundation as a health care executive, strategic planner and currently as a financial advisor. The sociological background complimented the academic preparation of my colleagues with business and related education. Understanding collective (and individual) behaviors has been invaluable in working with clients. Putting economic and market events into an actionable context has been of great use in directing and advising investment activity.

I have a better understanding of human behavior and communication across social and class lines. In mental health court I need to be able to develop relationships with both criminal clients and people struggling with mental health and addiction, as well as professionals including judges, attorneys and treatment providers.

Although I focused on nursing as my career, my sociology degree helped me visualize the ‘big picture’ and see the interactions of the group and community. This was critical in my role as a nursing education director.

To work with students, parents, colleagues, and the community to further my students’ academic knowledge and social emotional growth.