Are you looking at a career in either sociology or psychology? If you are, we commend you for your interest in helping others.
But, which one is right for you? Both are rewarding and exciting areas of study. Ultimately, your decision depends on where your interests lie.
We’ve put together this guide to help you decide the best choice.
Sociology vs. Psychology
Let’s look at what you can expect from each specialization.
Studying Sociology vs. Psychology
Psychology studies individuals, their mental processes, and their behavior. Zippia reports that there are over 80,000 psychologists employed in the US.
Using observation, measurement, and analysis, you’ll discover and understand the causes of behavior in an individual. Psychologists work at exploring people and how they relate to their peer groups and environment.
When studying psychology, you can expect to cover various topics, including sensation, perception, language, and decision-making. You’ll also be exposed to neuroscience since mental processes and behavior all start in the brain.
On the other hand, there’s sociology, which studies human social relationships and institutions. A sociologist is more concerned with examining social structures such as class, religion, race, age, gender, etc. This is opposed to understanding individuals.
Some areas of sociological interest include how diverse communities interact and how social change can happen over time.
When studying sociology, you can expect to cover topics such as globalization, diversity and inequality, research methods, and social problems. This field will help you to develop your critical thinking, analytical problem-solving, and communication skills.
Who Is a Good Fit to Study Each?
Psychology is perfect for anyone who has a curious nature about what makes an individual tick. In this field, it’s essential to have an open mind and a non-judgemental attitude.
If you pursue a career in psychology, being a supportive and compassionate person will help you in dealings with clients. You’ll need to help them feel comfortable and open to discussing their troubles.
Suppose your interests lie in the social side of politics, economics, history, and other subjects. In that case, we highly recommend sociology for you.
You also need to enjoy doing research and gathering data, as this is a big part of being a sociologist.
The Job Market
Let’s talk about the jobs available for psychology and sociology graduates. Where can you expect to end up after studying each of these degrees?
Jobs for Psychology Degree Holders
Many people who go into psychology want to become clinical psychologists. However, there are many options out there! Let’s discuss these.
As a career counselor, you’ll be helping others on their path to career discovery. You’ll help people find jobs, perform job assessments, and make career changes.
A case manager helps people in difficult situations by providing them with advice and counseling services.
As a case manager, you’ll help develop treatment and recovery plans and monitor client progress. You’ll also contact and communicate with other professionals working with the same client.
If working in criminal justice is interesting to you, this career path might be the way to go!
You’ll be in charge of supervising individuals who have been convicted of crimes. You’ll monitor and track their behaviors while they’re on probation.
Social Service Specialists
This career path is great for those who want to work with non-profit organizations and government agencies. You’ll provide support, counseling, and other case management services.
Jobs for Sociology Degree Holders
Let’s dive into the world of sociology, and the job opportunities that might await graduates.
Community Development Worker
As a community development worker, you’ll empower families and communities to take action to build a better society.
In this role, you might be exposed to fundraising for programs, and communicating with parties of interest.
A youth worker is responsible for helping young people reach their full potential.
You’ll be planning and organizing programs to help build youth confidence and prepare them for adulthood.
As a social researcher, you’ll conduct research within communities.
You can focus on a wide range of topics, including unemployment, disabilities, education, and poverty.
Social workers help people to cope with problems in their lives, from substance abuse to domestic conflict and unemployment.
Cost of Education for Sociology vs. Psychology
For a degree in sociology, you can expect to pay an average of $21,000 to $27,000 per year. A psychology degree can cost anything from $23,000 to $29,000 annually.
Your choice of sociology or psychology depends on you and your interests. If you prefer working with individuals, then we recommend choosing psychology.
Suppose your interests lie in helping communities. In that case, sociology will be the best choice for you.
No matter what you choose, you’re in for an enriching role. You’ll be helping individuals or groups to better themselves. What’s not to love?
Catherine Ulrich is a forever student. Having two bachelor’s degrees, and a professional diploma under her belt, she’s always looking for new things to master.