When you work hard on your university degree, you want to know what jobs are out there for you when you graduate.
Knowing what you want to do with your career can be a great motivational tool during your studies, keeping you focused on the reasons why you are putting in the late nights and early mornings. So what type of jobs can a criminology, psychology or sociology (including black studies) graduate expect to apply for when they graduate?
Here are 7 careers for Social Sciences graduates.
An obvious pick for criminology students, the police force in the UK and abroad is a great natural fit for those with a background in the study of crime. Close working relationships with local police forces such as West Midlands Police, or bespoke courses such as our Policing degree, can both facilitate a smooth transition into either frontline or behind the scenes roles.
But as the police force modernises in response to more and more sophisticated and nuanced crimes and criminals, the need for specialist skills outside of the norm grows. Psychology and sociology graduates may find opportunities as criminal psychologists or community outreach officers, both of which reflect the more diversified police force in operation today.
On the other end of the justice process, job roles focussed on the rehabilitation of criminals into reformed, functional members of society are also becoming more common. This sort of care can help criminals avoid reoffending, and starting the damaging cycle of crime all over again.
Someone with an academic understanding of criminal behaviour can really help in these roles, helping everyone to understand why people commit crime, and how people can take steps to prevent slipping back into bad habits once they are released from prison. It is a very fulfilling line of work, and one which can enable you to feel like you’re making a significant difference to society (a common characteristic of careers for social sciences graduates).
Psychologist / Counsellor
What could be more straightforward for a psychology graduate?! As society gains a better understanding of mental health, the need for psychologists increases, both in private practice or within the NHS. But this doesn’t mean those aspiring to work in the field are restricted to these fields.
More and more, companies are turning to in-house psychologists to help with their human resource departments. The focus on employee wellbeing is greater than ever, and businesses want to ensure they are doing their upmost to keep their workers healthy. Similarly, the use of sports psychologists has also increased as professional teams see the benefits of having players who are not only physically up for the challenge, but are mentally ready as well.
Social / Youth Worker
In a similar vein to in-house psychologists, social workers are there to help look after the wellbeing of people in their care, just with a greater focus on the community as a whole. It is a very varied role, which combines aspects of all three social sciences disciplines.
It can also be a very fulfilling job, as the positive impact you’re having on the community can be tangibly felt. Social workers are an important part in the running of modern society, running critical frontline services that thousands of people rely on, as are those who specialise in working with young people specifically, helping them at a critical point of their development towards adulthood.
Interested in overseeing outreach projects on a larger scale? Jobs in local government give you access to such opportunities, where your knowledge of sociology can help in a number of ways. For example, a role in local government might require you to understand and assess the nature of social issues and analyse sociological data. Or it might be that you need to use the communication skills you have developed, or your knowledge of the factors that provoke division or foster harmony in communities. There are also lots of local government roles that could suit those with a background in criminology and psychology.
Your background could even open the door into local politics – a deep understanding of the inner workings of society would be a great asset to anyone looking to have an impact on the way local authorities and services are run.
Outside of governmental work, one of the best ways to help those in need is to seek out charity work. Combining sociological knowledge with a genuine desire to help people can lead to a very successful career, with a mountain of good karma on the side!
Plus, charity work is a global concern, so this is a sector that could allow you to see the world. UNICEF alone work in 190 countries, helping to protect children from poverty, disease and war. Who knows where it could take you!
Finally, just because you have graduated with an undergraduate degree, it doesn’t mean your academic journey has to end there. There are a wide range of specialisms open to those who go into postgraduate study, allowing you to further set yourself out from the crowd with niche skills employers won’t find anywhere else.
This can then also lead on to teaching and research roles, where you’ll use your academic knowledge to further expand our understanding of criminology, psychology and sociology. This can have wide-ranging impacts, both within education and in society as a whole.