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How closely related are jobs in the field of Sociology to jobs in Psychology?

They seem to deal with similar subject matter, so I'm wondering if that also means that occupations in the two fields also overlap, and if so, how much? #psychology #jobs #careers #sociology

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Yolonda’s Answer

You are right, they both seem similar and do overlap in some ways but they are very different. Psychology is very science based particularly biology. I think its easier to see the differences when you see the courses offered for each of the majors. Sociology is more of the exploration of life (Sociology of Law, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Race etc.) Psychology courses are more focused on the mind and the science behind how it functions (human development through the lifespan, memory and cognition, abnormal psychology etc.) At the college I work at psychology majors are required to take two science courses with labs whereas sociology majors are not. A lot of the students who major in psychology in the school I work at usually go on to pursue nursing because the pre-reqs for nursing fit very well with the psych major; however, this is not to say that a sociology major couldn't go into nursing. They could but the science courses would most likely be electives vs a part of the major. If a psychology major and sociology major were both interested in a Masters in Social Work, they can both apply. For a Masters in Psychology for most schools the student would have to have a psychology background but that does not mean they have to be a psychology major. They can have a minor in psychology and be eligible to apply. Psychology programs usually require more research experience.


As far as careers, majors do not dictate what your profession will be. I think it comes down to which one you are more interested in and excel in because ultimately if you want to become lets say a therapist, you can do either one.

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Betty’s Answer

Hi Calvin,

I do think there's a bit of overlap, but also a huge difference where it comes to clinical psychology versus sociology. The Accreditation requirements are different and I found this information online. https://www.verywellmind.com/psychologist-accreditation-and-licensing-requirements-2794924

It seems to me that most therapists who counsel patients either have a background in psychology or psychiatry. Sociology might deal with more aspects of social work for under served communities (under represented ethnic groups, impoverished communities, LGBTQ, battered women in shelters, etc), whereas the psychology setting is more specific to individual clients and covers a broader segment of the demographic.

Both are very rewarding professions, but in terms of job growth, I foresee psychology as being in higher demand since it is inherently a part of the medical field. As the population ages, and as we've seen with the pandemic, there has been a rise in mental illness. This is one area that both fields can help with, but psychology may be regarded more highly because of the fact that it is a medical profession. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjlsKG81If2AhVjJEQIHfdiCAkQFnoECAMQAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.uopeople.edu%2Fblog%2Fwhat-can-i-do-with-a-psychology-degree-in-the-medical-field%2F&usg=AOvVaw233yYoCfJuks7XxzJhghtY

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Overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 13,400 openings for psychologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.Oct 20, 2021
On-the-job Training: Internship/residency

Psychologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook - Bureau of ...https://www.bls.gov › ooh › life-physical-and-social-science


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In order to be licensed to practice, psychologists need to earn a degree from an accredited institution. After earning a degree, it is also necessary to complete the requirements to achieve professional licensing in the state where one wishes to work. Prospective students often find the concepts of accreditation, licensing and other certifications confusing, but here is some basic information.


Accreditation of Programs
If you plan to become a clinical, counseling or school psychologist, it is important to earn a degree from a program that has been accredited by the APA. If you are earning a master's degree, make sure that the program you are enrolling in has been accredited by a regional accreditation board.

The American Psychological Association (APA) currently accredits doctorate programs in three areas: clinical, counseling and school psychology.1 In addition to accreditation programs, the APA also offers accreditation to institutions that offer doctoral internships in these three areas.
The National Association of School Psychologists, with the assistance of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, also is involved in the accreditation of advanced degree programs in school psychology.2
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Candice’s Answer

Those who major in Sociology often take careers as social workers or work in social service organizations.

Those who major in Psychology often work as counselors or in some type of career the deals with human behavior.

There is a lot of overlap in these career fields. I think one of the most common is when people think of Social Workers & Counselors.

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker has a Master's degree in Social Work and they provide counseling services to clients. They deal with a more broad range of issues which may include mental health. They often focus on case management, connecting people to community resources, or legal issues.

Mental Health Counselors usually have a Master's degree in Counseling. They focus on a specific area of treatment such as emotional or behavioral disorders.

In the US, there are more social workers than counselors. Most social workers are employed by individual & family service organizations, usually government run. Most counselors work in outpatient care centers and are self employed.

I hope this helps!
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