Social Sciences Careers Outlook
Overall employment of social scientists is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2014, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Social scientists held about 18,000 jobs in 2004. Prospects are generally best for those with advanced degrees. Anthropologists and archaeologists, should experience average employment growth, while geographers, sociologists, historians and political scientists will experience slow growth, as it is more difficult for them to find work outside of government and academic settings.
Most social scientists traditionally have worked for colleges and universities. This is now changing as college humanities and social science programs suffer cutbacks in funding, department size, and faculty hiring. Social scientists are finding many job opportunities outside of academia. Even those with only master’s degrees are finding opportunities with corporations and government agencies. Self-employment also is an option for social scientists. Many self-employed professionals work as consultants, freelance writers, interpreters, and marketing analysts while conducting research for personal projects through the aid of grants and other funding. As a result of these applied sciences, colleges are beginning to offer more practical courses to better prepare students for these jobs.
A major influence in the social sciences will be cultural resource management—the maintaining of historical sites, buildings, and other resources of value. In addition to their training in the interpretation and uncovering of artifacts, social scientists will have to learn more about preservation and how to protect cultural sites when presenting them to the public.
Technology will continue to affect the social sciences in a variety of ways. With increased public interest in history, more museums, preservation societies, and other institutions and groups devoted to keeping records will make documents and archives available through the Internet. Remote-sensing, sonar, and sensors will enable scientists to explore areas without disturbing them. DNA studies will help scientists learn much more about early humans and human origins.
Careers in Social Sciences:
- Family and Consumer Scientists
- Political Scientists