444 To do with a BS in Sociology

444 To do with a BS in Sociology - What are they Doing with...

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In AY 2005 the American Sociological Association’s Research and Development Department surveyed a sample of close to 1,800 seniors to find out their satisfaction with the sociology major and their future plans for work, graduate school, or both. Early in 2007 we re- surveyed the class of 2005 to find out what they were doing with their bachelor’s degree since graduation. 1 This Data Brief, the first in a series of downloadable publications from the second wave of the survey, provides information on the post-graduate activities of graduates, the kinds of jobs they held as of December 2006, their satisfaction with these jobs, and the changes in their overall satisfaction with the sociology major. Figure 1 compares the 2005 responses of senior majors as to their future plans with their 2007 reports as to what they actually were doing. The figure shows that in 2005, 40 percent of respondents planned to work and not attend graduate school after they obtained their Roberta Spalter-Roth and Nicole Van Vooren January 2008 A M E R I C A N S O C I O L O G I C A L A S S O C I AT I O N - D E P A R T M E N T O F R E S E A R C H A N D D E V E L O P M E N T What are they Doing with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology? DATA BRIEF ON CURRENT JOBS Job Only Grad School Only Both 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Neither 42.1 60.3 22.2 13.1 26.9 22.0 8.8 4.7 FIGURE 1: MORE SOCIOLOGY BACHELOR’S RECEPIENTS ARE WORKING, PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AT TIME 1 VS. STATUS AT TIME 2 (in Percents) Source: ASA Research and Development Department , What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology? Wave I and Wave II Wave 1 Wave 2 _________________________________________________ 1 The response rate for the second wave of the survey was 44 percent or 778 graduates.
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baccalaureate degree. By 2007, nearly 60 percent reported working and not attending graduate school, a 30 percent increase from their pre- graduation plans. While 20 percent of seniors planned on exclusively attending graduate school (primarily for education, criminology and sociology), just over 10 percent were enrolled in a graduate program in December 2006 (a few reported having completed a graduate program). The percentage of those who planned to both work and attend graduate school simultaneously decreased slightly. Since the overwhelming majority of 2005 sociology majors are working exclusively or while in graduate school, we turn to the type of jobs they held, their satisfaction with these jobs, and their overall satisfaction with the sociology major one and a half to two years after graduating. OCCUPATIONAL BREAKDOWN Table 1 shows the occupations in which these recent graduates were employed, based on their own self-categorization. The table compares those who held full-time jobs, those who held part-time jobs, and those who held internships (the latter two categories were more likely to be in graduate school than those with full-time jobs). About one-quarter of the full- time workers were employed in social service and counseling occupations, most likely in non- profit organizations. As can be seen from the list of specific job descriptions in Appendix 1 Table
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