What path are you on? Sociology can help!

We have set out four different paths:

  • Global Culture
  • Research & Policy Analysis
  • Community & Family Studies
  • Crime, Law & Justice

Path 1: Global Culture

The Global Culture path is intended for students interested in cultural diversity worldwide, in the ways in which people and ideas travel to and become reinterpreted in new locations, and in cultivating a nuanced and rigorous understanding of culture as an integral part of human existence. Global Culture students learn about how people generate meaning in their lives and in relation to world events and a continuously changing sociocultural landscape. With the skills produced in this track, Global Culture students will be able to shape careers that attend to intercultural and international difference-in fields such as cultural interpretation, nonprofit work (refugee ngos, social services), business, medicine, and government.

Illustrative career options:

  • Foreign service\diplomat
  • Peace Corps
  • International business
  • Human resources
  • Relief & development agencies
  • International nonprofits & NGOs
  • Museum curator
  • Teacher

Path 2: Research, Planning & Policy Analysis

One very direct expression of the Benedictine value of service is preparing oneself for a career in research of some kind. Such careers are often to be made outside the university and involve some application of critical thinking and methodical inquiry to some practical question or problem. Knowing how to collect valid data about the wants and needs of clients or customers, for example, involves a set of sociological knowledge and skills that are comparatively rare in the marketplace, and consequently those who possess them can find many ways to do well in the world of work while doing good at the same time.

Illustrative career options:

  • Professor
  • Urban planner\demographer
  • State or federal government researcher (e.g., Census Bureau, Department of Education)
  • Analyst at policy "think tanks" (e.g., Brookings Institute, Pew Research Center, Urban Institute)
  • Institutional researcher for a university
  • Market researcher

Path 3: Community and Family Studies

Sociology and Anthropology provide unique perspectives and sets of skills that enable students to analyze the workings of families and communities, to identify causes of dysfunction and to facilitate the strengthening of individuals, their relationships, and their interactions with social institutions. This path through the Sociology major demands that students become active learners, able to relate knowledge to their daily lives; it increases their intercultural competence, enabling them to analyze the impact of race, culture, and socio-economic backgrounds on individuals and families. It prepares students for personal and professional lives of integrity, civic engagement, and the pursuit of the common good

Illustrative career options:

  • Social worker
  • Nonprofit leader
  • Government Human Service Professional
  • Counselor\therapist
  • Community organizer
  • Youth Advocate\Outreach Worker
  • Pastoral Minister

Path 4: Crime, Law and Justice

Sociology and Anthropology prepare students to "lead with integrity", to "seek a socially-just world", to "be ethically responsible, committed and engaged citizens", and to "actively pursue the common good through engagement with civic, religious, non-profit, and professional organizations. There are few areas of social life in U.S. culture where this type of leadership is more desperately needed than in the Criminal Justice System. Through rigorous coursework, service-learning, and internships, students who follow this path will explore questions key to understanding and addressing the pressing problems of violence, crime, and injustice. Students will analyze the causes of these problems, and the impact of the inequality built into our current system.

Illustrative career options:

  • Law enforcement (local, state or federal)
  • Correctional officer
  • Administration of Justice
  • Lawyer\Judge
  • Crime policy analyst
  • Community advocate
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Ellen Block
Chair, Sociology Department
SJU Simons 114