Sociologists are social scientists who study groups of people. These groups range from families and tribes to entire communities and even whole nations. Sociologists analyze ethnic, religious groups, political and business organizations. They also focus on the behavior of group members and on the ways groups interact with one another. They often trace the origin and development of groups. Sociologists study specific groups with the ultimate goal of establishing general laws and theories that can explain human social behavior.

What does a sociologist do?
They usually teach and do research, although some have administrative duties as well. When they do research, sociologists use a variety of sources. They collect information by using books and periodicals, interviews, tests, laboratory experiments, case studies, and statistical surveys. They also often make use of computerized data in their work. For example, sociologists who want to study one aspect of crime begin their research by reading books about how other societies deal with the problem or what other experts have to say about it. Then they may interview police officers or criminals or test the attitudes of a group of criminals and a group of law-abiding citizens to see how the two groups differ in their attitudes toward authority. Next they might study the life histories of a group of criminals to see how their experiences differ from those of a law-abiding group. They may also study statistics that show when and where certain crimes occurred in the past.

After collecting and analyzing information carefully, the sociologists writes a report offering some conclusions on the specific crime problem. They may also draw conclusions about crime and perhaps even about social behavior in general. The conclusions of sociologists are sometimes used by lawmakers, educators, government officials, psychologists, physicians, social workers, and other experts who deal with social problems in their work.

They may also deal with such problems as poverty, welfare, and the rehabilitation of drug addicts. The work of sociologists is related to that done by other professionals in such fields as social work, recreational therapy, and public health. These professions also require some training in Sociology.

What kind of training does a sociologist need?
A degree in sociology at the Bachelor level is usually required for sociology career and it is 4 years of university training. A career as a sociologist requires a fundamental knowledge of Mathematics, English, History, Government, Commerce etc.

As UME pre-entry requirements into university, students will be required to write Government or History and any other two social science/arts subject. Such a student is also expected to have Five (5) ‘O’ level credit to consist passes in Government or History, English Language and three other subjects. At least a pass in Mathematics is required.

For Direct entry, what is required is two (2) ‘A’ level passes to include Government or History.

What are the prospects for a career as a sociologist?

Sociology is a very broad field. Sociologists generally specialize in one or more areas within the field. For example, some sociologists study how people choose their leaders and organize themselves into social groups based on such factors as income, education, and prestige. Other sociologists concentrate on how groups train their young people and deal with the problems of adolescence. Some sociologists specialize in the sociology of cities or rural areas. Others are experts in medical sociology who study the social factors affecting mental and public health. More than half of all sociologists are employed by colleges and universities. Some sociologists work for government agencies or private social service agencies. They often perform services in family counseling, public relations, community planning, public opinion analysis, or other areas related to their particular fields. They also work for private industry, research organizations, or management consulting firms. 

Sociologists usually spend a large part of their day in pleasant offices, libraries, and classrooms. They spend a good deal of time reading to keep up with the rapid growth of their field. At times, however, sociologists are likely to do some fieldwork that may involve traveling to remote areas or interviewing people from many different backgrounds. Therefore, sociologists should be able to work independently and also know how to interact with the wide variety of people that they are likely to meet in their work. Sometimes sociologists need to cooperate with other social scientists on large-scale research projects. The ability to express ideas well, both orally and in writing, is essential for sociologists.

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