Guide to: What Can You Do With a Social Science Degree?

If you’re thinking about pursuing a social science degree, you might be wondering: what career options are available to you after graduation? You actually have quite a few to choose from! Your major will definitely impact your choices, so we’ll go over them first. Plus, what can you do with a social science degree? Let’s find out!

What is a General Social Sciences Program?

Social Sciences programs focus on the general study of human social behavior and social institutions using any of the methodologies common to the social sciences and/or history. Sociologists consider how society works by exploring the triggers of economic growth, unemployment (and causes of), and the things that make people happy. Social science is the overall study of how social experiences shape individuals and societies.

Sound interesting?

What Majors Are Considered Social Science?

A number of majors and areas of concentration fall under the umbrella of “social science.” There are just a few examples:

  • African-American/Black Studies. This is the study of the politics, culture, history, sociology, and more of individuals who are descended from African peoples in the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada.
  • Anthropology. Anthropology refers to the study of culture, human beings, institutions, history, archaeology, museum, and more.
  • Archeology. Students in archeology will learn about past and living societies, culture, and more. They’ll also study field and dating methods for finds.
  • Asian Studies. Asian studies courses will cover the politics, culture, history, sociology, and more of Asian peoples and their descendants.
  • Criminology. Criminology majors study the behavior of criminals, social institutions related to crime, the justice system, and similar subjects.
  • Economics. Economics classes cover theory, money, banking systems, international economics, applications, and more.
  • European Studies. Students in these classes will study the history, politics, and culture of those on the European continent and their descendants.
  • Geography. Geography classes will cover natural resources, politics, culture, science, remote sensing, land planning, and development study.
  • History. Students studying history will learn about research, specific periods, cultures, preservation, record keeping, and similar subjects.
  • Political Science. This area of study covers political philosophy, theory, government, interest groups, public opinion, and more.
  • Psychology. Psychology is the study of behavior, treatment, disorders, research, and assessment methods.
  • Sociology. Sociology programs will include classes on relationships, theory, research, hierarchies, social change, family structures, and social problems.

What Can You Do with a Social Science Degree?

Some might believe a social degree, especially in something like history, is worthless, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! You’ll actually have plenty of options, but some may require additional education including graduate programs or even doctorates. Here are just some careers you may want to consider along with some details about median salary, projected growth rate between 2018 and 2028, and other details.

Anthropologist or Archeologist

  • Anthropologists and archaeologist use research methods to uncover the history of humans. They can work in museum, in the field, or at universities.
  • Most have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  • Median salary: $61,910
  • Projected growth rate: 9%
  • Common majors: Anthropology, Archeology

Police Officer

  • Police officers work to maintain law and order and can arrest individuals, issue traffic tickets, and investigate accidents.
  • Most have either no degree, an associate’s, or a bachelor’s. Requirements for police officers regarding education can vary from state to state and region to region.
  • Median salary: $64,610
  • Projected growth rate: 5%
  • Common majors: Law enforcement, Criminal Justice

Middle School Teacher

  • Middle school teachers who study social science can teach a range of courses including history, economics, government, and social science.
  • Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Education requirements for middle school teachers can vary from state to state.
  • Median salary: $61,320
  • Projected growth rate: 3%
  • Common majors: Education, History


  • Psychologists will help their patients with mental health issues and disorders, conduct assessments and tests, and design behavior modification programs.
  • They are required to have a doctorate.
  • Median salary: $82,510
  • Projected growth rate: 14%
  • Common majors: Psychology, social work, mental health counseling


  • Sociologists study society and social behavior, interaction of groups, and group activities in religious, business, and political organizations.
  • Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  • Median salary: $92,910
  • Projected growth rate: 10%
  • Common majors: Sociology, Criminology


  • Economists conduct research and create plans related to economic problems.
  • Most have a master’s degree.
  • Median salary: $105,630
  • Projected growth rate: 8%
  • Common majors: Economics


  • Geographers complete research on regions which can include land forms, climates, and human impact.
  • Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  • Median salary: $85,220
  • Projected growth rate: 6%
  • Common majors: Geography

Other careers you can pursue with a social studies major:

Don’t let the naysayers get you down. The social sciences offer a wealth of opportunities if you do your research into your intended fields. Which of these majors and careers best suits you?

If you’re struggling to find the right major for you or aren’t sure about career outlooks, we recommend using our Major Search tool and Career Finder to help you make an educated decision!