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Should I change my major from sociology to political science?

I chose sociology because I have an interest in learning about people and the problems we face in the world. I don’t know what I want to pursue career wise but I do know that I want to be able to change lives for the better. I recently have taken a liking to political science and I think it’s really interesting how the government works in different ways. I’ve also realized that their isn't a lot African American representation in politics and I would like to
see that change. I don’t find sociology that interesting anymore because I feel like it is common sense that is already applied to me but I could always choose political science as a minor. Any thoughts? college-major political-science career-path sociology.

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Alisa’s Answer

Ultimately your field of study for undergraduate studies will not dictate your career potential, especially when it comes to liberal arts (if you want to go into the sciences or medicine it does help to have some of those types of courses in your background before graduate school). I was a sociology major, went to grad school for International Studies and started my post graduate career in non-profit. I now work as a manager in the technology industry, which may seem completely irrelevant to all of my college experience. However, what college and graduate school really taught me was how to think critically, approach any and all problems with a well rounded mindset, and relate to people from all walks of life. I think you should study what you are passionate about, what you want to learn more about, and what helps you push your thinking the most. As long as you are building those critical thinking skills and following subject areas that drive you you will find your place in the world of careers. You may not end up in a career that seems directly related to your schooling but you will be highly employable and able to grow into the careers you pursue. You don't have to figure out what career you are going to pursue immediately, either. Once you start working and trying different careers you will figure out what key qualities bring you job satisfaction and that will help you BUILD YOUR OWN CAREER. Remember, you never have to fit into a perfectly prescribed career field. You will be amazed by how many jobs and careers exist that you didn't even realize existed. Be open to these unknown opportunities and challenge yourself in your studies as much as possible before you graduate.

Thank you so much Alisa! Your answer brought me a lot of insight that I'll take into consideration. Amaya C.

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Kim’s Answer

Amaya,

Hi again! Congratulations on discovering the truth about Sociology - it is mostly common sense stuff! Now, what to do? I think Political Science would likely be the better of the two. As far as minors go, if you are going to get one, again, I encourage you to get it in something that will give you practical knowledge you can apply in your day to day work.In addition to business/accounting which we previously discussed, if you will be entering the political, or administrative law fields, think about the practicality of understanding things like: how the education system works; measuring pollutants; data analytics (or predictive analytics); which social justice programs actually work (reducing criminal recidivism rates; breaking the generational poverty cycle, etc).

I sense that you are going to be very motivated and successful! Keep your eyes, and options, open! Also, I want to encourage you to think about things in a way different than is often presented. I don't want to get too political here, but what I am trying to say is to think about how programs can be funded other than with additional taxes. Taxing should be the option of last resort, but, it is so much easier to pass a tax than to try to go out in the community and ask for money from businesses, alumni, etc. Our generation is already leaving your generation with a serious national debt.

Also, I don't know what year you are in, or if you have considered law school. If that is a possibility (not definite, but maybe. . . ) you need to consult with the pre-Law adviser and make sure to take classes that will help prepare you for law school.

Best of luck!
Kim

Hi Kim! I agree with you on the minor part and how I should pick something that would be useful in my day to day work, I’m definitely going to do more research so that I can find something that sparks my interests. I also agree with you on how additional taxes should be the final resort for funding programs. I’m a freshmen and yes I’ve considered the possibility of going to law school but I’m still deciding on whether I should or not. Thank you so much! Amaya C.

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Pedro’s Answer

Definitely follow your passion and interests - it sounds like a move to Political Science is a no brainier here.

Casting a thought to future employment opportunities, I would hazard a guess that a degree in Political Science probably opens up the same doors as a Sociology degree and more given the more specialised nature of the course.

Thank you! Amaya C.

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David’s Answer

You just answered your own question and concern. Sociology and Political Science are in the same college which is College of Liberal Arts. My question for you is if you already declared your major or you just started college, cause normally declaring a major maybe finalized during your ending sophomore year of college or somewhere about ~60 credits. Like you said you can do double major or minor in one, but at the end of the day Sociology and Political Science are in the same college, College of Liberal Arts, so there is really no affect all you have to do is take and/or continue taking Political Science classes and follow the curriculum for it and graduate with a degree in Political Science if you want to finalized as a Political Science major, if not then you can do double major or minor in one of it. Either way it is a win win situation due to both major are from the same department college and no need to cross reference to another college department.

Thank you! I’m a freshmen and I’m going to continue with political science as a major. Amaya C.

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Dennis’s Answer

hi, hopefully the following will help

Making a Decision
(1) Evaluate personal interests and career aspirations. Students might ask, am I passionate about the intricacies of political policy and government or more interested in the large-scale interactions of people in society? Does my career aspiration directly involve government and politics or is it more concerned with understanding groups of people, organizations, and culture?

(2) Understand the scope of study. For example, take the issue of poverty. Political science majors might study the role of government in addressing poverty, public attitudes towards antipoverty policies, the crafting and passing of legislation aimed at alleviating poverty, or political participation among impoverished groups. Sociology majors would probably approach poverty from a broader perspective by examining the distribution of poverty, theories on the causes of poverty, or cultural responses to poverty.

(3) Consider supplementing your major. Sociology and political science complement each other nicely. Choosing to double major or minor in these disciplines can provide students with a more robust education and broaden their potential for future opportunity.

Thank you so much! I’m definitely switching to Political Science. Amaya C.

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