Career Options

Current Job & Internship Opportunities

The Sociology Department has partnered with the Career Services Center to showcase Current Job and Internship Opportunities from Viking CareerLink, directed specifically to Sociology majors and recent alumni. Check back often as Viking CareerLink is updated frequently with new opportunities posted by employers and Career Services Center staff.

Students and alumni need to register with Viking Career Link to access full job descriptions. For information about opportunities, or for assistance using Viking CareerLink, contact WWU Career Services at (360) 650-3240, or visit their office in Old Main 280.

Resources and FAQ

Ask! Alumni Network (The Ask! program is a network created to connect WWU students and alumni for mentoring and career networking.)

What job titles exist for sociology graduates?

What skills do sociology students acquire?

See Employment Status of Recent Graduates. Sociology grads have taken jobs as Juvenile Rehab Counselors, Police Officers, Customer Service Managers, Job Training Coordinators, Social Science Researchers, and more.

Many students choose to attend Graduate School. Sociology provides a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, public policy, student affairs administration, international relations, education, human development, and social work.

Check our Department Newsletter for alumni news, announcements and upcoming events.

You have a competitive advantage in today's information society. The solid base you receive in research design, data analysis, statistics and sociological concepts enables you to compete for positions in research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and other social science endeavors. Given the breadth, adaptability and utility of sociology, you'll find a wide variety of opportunities open to you. You also have a strong foundation for Graduate School.

See these links:

Why do an internship?

Internships and volunteer community service positions offer an excellent opportunity to explore career options and gain practical experience. Internships also offer a way to build your resume and enhance prospects for employment after graduation. Students learn a variety of skills through direct participation in settings where sociological concepts, methods and theories are applied.

A wide variety of internship opportunities are available throughout Whatcom and Skagit Counties. While some internships are paid positions, many are unpaid. Remember that an internship will help pave the way to employment opportunities, so working without pay may well be worth your investment of time and energy in the long run. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships find it much easier to find employment later.

Earn 5 credits in Soc 371-Directed Internship

Sociology students can earn up to 10 credits of Soc 371 while gaining internship experience. For more information see PDF icon Internship Guide.

How to find an internship position

Sociology students have completed internships with the following agencies/organizations. Internship positions may be open at any of these locations:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

Other ways to find a position. Take advantage of these resources!

 
  • Automatic Emails announcing job openings. Sign up for the Social Sciences category (I'd recommend "all social sciences" to broaden your search).
  • Career fairs and other special events. Several career fairs and other events are offered throughout the year to help students and alumni research employers and job opportunities.
  • How To Find a Job! The Career Services Center offers a full range of services to assist students and alumni in developing the skills necessary to conduct a successful job search.
  • How-To Guide. Tips from the Wall Street Journal's reporters and columnists.
  • Job Application CenterA free resource for helping students and graduates find information and advice on how to apply to every major national company in America.
  • Job Search Workshops. The Career Services Center offers several workshops to help students with every topic you can think of.
  • On-campus recruiting. Business, industry and government organizations recruit during fall, winter, and spring quarters. School districts recruit primarily during winter and spring quarters.
  • Optimal Resume. Create a high impact resume and career materials.
  • Resume. The "Green Guide" will show you how to build a strong resume. See also Resume Checklist.
  • VikingCareerLink. Western's student/employer database system.

Other Job Search Strategies

  • Get work experience: volunteer or internship positions (these sometimes lead to paid positions)
  • Know what employers want
  • Network with people; about job possibilities; leave resumes'
  • Follow-up regularly; keep people informed about your interests and availability
  • Use job search web sites; know what's available
  • Contact agencies, companies or organizations you would like to work for and see if they're hiring; ask for referrals to similar companies or agencies
  • Check with the state employment opportunity office
  • Check local newspaper classified ads, especially on Sunday
  • Try employment/temporary placement agencies
  • Be willing to start with entry-level positions, temporary or part-time
  • Go where the jobs are
  • Be persistent! Hang in there
 
  • Criminal Justice Profiles. Criminal justice careers, job search, salary info and more.
  • Fire Science. Criminal Justice Degree Programs and Careers.
  • PayScale.com. Compensation trends by industry, metro area or company size.
  • SalaryList.com provides real job salary information based on companies, job titles, and locations.
  • Salary.com A broad salary-comparison site. Its Salary Wizard allows you to pick a job category and a region and to quickly find median salaries by position.

  • SalaryExpert.com A free comprehensive salary site offering salary, benefits and cost-of-living information. Find salaries quickly by selecting Job Title and Zip.

  • Salarysite.com is a one stop resource for students looking for salary information to help them choose a career or career location

  • NationJob This data-base for job seekers allows you to search by salary level.

Many undergraduate sociology majors pursue graduate training in sociology. However, Western does not currently offer an M.A. program in Sociology.  For graduate and pre-professional advising, please see the resources below, and also contact the Graduate and Pre-Professional Programs Advisor within the Career Services Center.

The Sociology Department offers guidelines and resources for researching graduate schools, and faculty members can recommend and evaluate various programs for you.  

The Sociology Department has designed the following guidelines:

Tests:

Preparing for Graduate School

During your junior year, or early in your senior year you should begin exploring your options. Review the Sociology Department's Guidelines and Resources. Talk with Sociology faculty about how to prepare for graduate school, and begin contacting the schools you wish to consider.

You will need to begin planning at least a year before the fall in which you intend to enter. Most schools only accept students in the fall and expect to have all of your materials in hand by the end of the previous December. Most departments require you to fill out an application form, including a personal statement on why you want to pursue graduate work. You will probably be asked to supply a transcript and at least three letters of reference. It is therefore to your advantage to get to know faculty by taking small classes, writing papers, serving as a teaching assistant, or getting involved in faculty research projects. Plan to ask faculty for letters of reference while you are still attending Western.

Many programs also require applicants to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (most widely used for general graduate school), or GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test for MBA programs), or LSAT (Law School Admission Test). To improve your test score, see Online Graduate School Test Preparation courses.

Other resources: