The term “social sciences” is a title given to an array of fields outside of the natural sciences. The focus is more on people and the way people behave in certain circumstances as well as with each other. Psychology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, geography, and history are just a few of the fields that fall under the umbrella of social sciences. With such an all-encompassing term, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific career to evaluate. Nonetheless, most of the fields are ones that will always have a high demand for educated professionals, both in Florida and in the rest of the world.
In the workplace, employers are looking for individuals who can identify and address social business concerns. Successful businesses strive to understand the interconnectivity of their relationships with customers and the groups with which they interact on a regular basis. An individual who earns a degree in History is not necessarily going to be a Historian. An individual with a degree in Psychology is not necessarily going to be a psychologist. Social science degrees can be very versatile and are applicable to many different types of careers that deal with the human aspects of the world as well as the ways that humans function within it.
Careers in the field of social sciences can be very hands-on or more research oriented, depending on an individual’s preference. A degree in health and mental sciences, a subset of social sciences, usually involves more hands-on contact with people. Criminal justice also falls under the social sciences umbrella and encompasses careers in the fields of criminal law, corrections work, the justice system, and forensic science.
Another degree focus that falls under the social sciences umbrella is economics. A degree in economics can be beneficial to every type of industry. Every successful business needs to make and manage their money. An economics degree indicates that an individual has an understanding of how business models work and what a company needs in order to profit as a whole.
A career in social sciences can be located within schools, research institutions, healthcare facilities, and research organizations. Private companies also employ graduates of the social sciences. With such a variety of career focuses, the social sciences umbrella is incredibly diverse. Although there are a large number of individuals who have majored in one of the areas of social sciences, employment in these fields is relatively low. This could be due to the fact that many of those people stray from careers in the intended degree program and instead apply their education to other fields outside of the social sciences.
Florida State University’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy offers degrees in the social sciences of Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Urban Planning, and Public Administration & Policy. Its students’ discussion of important social issues has led to innovations in government, industry, and non-profit organizations. FSU’s Political Science Department was cited as the 17th most productive in research out of all U.S. universities.
Nationally, social science workers account for a small percentage of all employees. This percentage varies by state, however. Florida is highly ranked in the nation for the number of individuals employed in the fields of social sciences, with an estimate of 83,390 people reportedly working in those fields in 2011. The average hourly wage for these careers in Florida is approximately $19.52, which is higher than the wages in most states. Again, this is just an average of all careers in the social sciences umbrella. The pay varies depending on the career path.
The following are a sampling of careers in the field of social sciences as well as their respective hourly wages for Florida residents from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Careers in the area of social sciences can be rewarding for those seeking a more immediate avenue into their new career. Counseling, social work, and psychology are a few of the hands-on careers that people find rewarding. There are also careers in the social sciences that are more suited for those who like to work alone, in a more analytical field like economics. Regardless of the specific career path chosen, one in the social sciences is promising within the state of Florida.