Social science is a broad field that prepares graduates to fulfill a multitude of roles. No matter which online social science degree program the student chooses, they will acquire skills that are highly prized by employers. Along with expertise in their study area, students develop communication techniques, build problem solving skills, enhance critical thinking and learn to analyze complex systems and issues. Clearly, these are tools that the student will use regularly throughout a lifetime of employment.
Defining Social Science
The canopy of social science covers a great deal of subject matter. At its most basic, social science is the examination of the institutions found in any society. This may include the society’s structure, its theoretical foundations and the interrelationships of its members. Online social science degrees usually include concentration areas like anthropology, psychology, history and political science. Geography, economics, women’s studies, ethnic studies and sociology are also typically grouped under the social science heading.
Career Choices for Graduates from Online Social Science Degree Programs
Career options for graduates with social science degrees from online programs are practically limitless. Students have gone on to fill diverse roles from academic advisors to police sergeants. The broad based nature of this major makes this kind of diversity possible. However, many people who study social sciences enter a career that is more closely related to the subject of their studies.
Archaeologists and anthropologists often begin their careers with a degree in social science. These scientists study the origin and development of humans and their societies in the past and the present. Others work as museum curators or archivists where they oversee collections and work to preserve historical artifacts. Graduates with an interest in politics may become a campaign staffer, a legislator or a lobbyist. Many social science students become writers or journalists. Some will become city managers, fundraisers or public relations specialists. The choices are almost as numerous and diverse as the people who choose to a major in this area.
Online Degree Programs for Social Science
The vast majority of online degrees for social science are bachelor’s degrees. Nonetheless, some institutions do offer an associate degree program or a certificate program. Master’s degree programs in social sciences are frequently offered online, but students should be prepared to complete some type of hands on training or research for many of these programs. By and large, at least a bachelor’s degree is required for most entry level positions.
Common Courses for Social Science Degree Programs
Most online degree programs in this field begin with a broad overview course that provides a glimpse into many different concentration areas. Students will be introduced to the history of the social science field and common research techniques. Essentially, this type of course serves as a encompassing overview that can help the student shape the rest of their college career.
The curriculum at different institutions can vary greatly. However, most social science students can expect to encounter many writing and statistics courses. Among the first classes the student will take are introductory level courses in subjects like psychology, sociology, technology and communications. More specific coursework may relate to gender sociology, minorities in the U.S. and other world regions, the development of culture and language and various humanities subjects. In some cases, the student will be required to complete a research project in order to graduate.
Professional Associations for Social Scientists
Many professional organizations for social scientists are grouped by area of discipline. For example, social scientists with an interest in the past may join the Organization of American Historians or the American Historical Association. A career in politics may induce social scientists to join the American Political Science Association or the American Association of Political Consultants. Alternatively, the more generic Social Science Research Council is an organization that’s worthy of note from all social scientists because of its multitude of ongoing research projects.