Those majors who strongly agreed that their jobs are closely related to sociology also reported high satisfaction with their jobs (Spalter-Roth and Van Vooren 2008b). Almost 65 percent of those who reported that their jobs were closely related to what they had learned as sociology ma- jors also reported being very satisfied with their jobs, although this relationship may not be causal. In contrast, only about 18 percent of those who reported that their jobs were not related to sociology reported that they were very satisfied with these jobs (see Figure 5). How satisfied are they with the sociology major, 18 months later? In 2005 more than three quarters of senior sociology majors who responded to Wave I of the survey reported that they were very satisfied with their choice of a major. In 2007, fewer than 60 percent reported being very satisfied. A possible reason for the decline may be the lack of closeness between the perspec- tives, concepts, and skills that they had learned as undergraduates and the jobs they found. IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS FOR CURRICULUM The experiences of sociology majors who received their undergraduate degrees in 2005 Table 1. Student Activity Participation by Type of School (in percentages) Activity Doctoral Master’s Baccalaureate Vocational training and networking Leadership program 30.6 39.3 42.4 Internship 27.9 43.7 18.5 Service learning program 26.0 29.8 16.1 Community activity 25.0 30.3 19.4 Job fair 16.3 29.4 15.2 Scholarly socialization Sociology club 15.0 29.0 43.0 Honors program 9.3 16.0 20.7 Professional association 6.3 7.9 18.5 Mentoring activities Mentoring 15.6 20.1 32.3 Faculty research 12.0 13.0 20.4 Spalter-Roth et al. 319
may have implications for the ways in which de- partments organize their programs to help students find positions that reflect the skills they learned as sociology majors. Results from the Bachelor’s and Beyond study revealed that students were dissatis- fied with the career advising they received. This suggests that departments may need to do more to assist students in their efforts to begin careers. Moreover, student satisfaction with the major was linked to finding jobs perceived as being close to the sociology major. Although depart- ments and their faculties may want to do more to help students, they are already pressed with competing demands on their time. The number of sociology students in departments has grown between 2001 and 2007, while the number of fac- ulty members has remained flat, and increasing demands for accountability and assessment create 8.7 13.4 46.9 52.8 60.0 60.9 63.4 68.5 69.0 12.8 19.3 46.1 58.7 51.5 62.6 64.2 67.1 68.2 12.8 17.6 55.4 68.9 70.9 75.7 82.4 70.9 77.7 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 Graduate school advising Career advising Undergraduate advising Interaction with fellow majors Getting courses needed to graduate Quality of teaching Ease in seeing faculty outside of class Access to necessary technology Overall satisfaction with experiences Baccalaureate & Others Masters Doctoral Figure 3. Overall satisfaction with outcomes of sociology programs by type of school: 2005 Note: Percentage very satisfied; weighted data.
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