Skip to main content
3 answers
5
Asked 685 views

Should I major in Sociology and minor in psychology or the other way around?

I am set on majoring in Sociology, but I would like to hear the opinions of others as well, in order to gain some more insight. I would like to work in the mental-health field, but also go on to do work with UNICEF and or other humanitarian organizations. I want a job where I can really connect with others by providing services like counseling, humanitarian deeds, focusing on physical but mostly emotional health , and also being able to do research on social groups and personal interactions with others (that is based on the individual) to better understand the community and to assist that community overall.

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

5

3 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Summer !

I am happy to give you some advice again about your future career. It will be such a rewarding and satisfying dedication making a difference in people's lives.

So you've decided that sociology will be your major but you also want to work in the mental health field. I still say that Psychology would be a more fitting major with a minor in Sociology. Do you still want to become a Certified Licensed Social Worker or have you changed your mind about it ? If so, than you can major in Sociology, but that will not be the study that will prepare you for the mental health field. You can always get your Bachelors in Sociology and than go for some sort of Mental Health Counselor certification. There's really no set path with sociology as a major after you graduate. You can be a learning and development specialist, go on for a Masters in Social Work, a Human Resource Director, a Paralegal, an Urban Planner, Community Health Worker, Market Research Analysist, Public Relations, Diversity Manager or a School Counselor. So there are things you can do with your Bachelors and some further school with a B.S. in Sociology.

Working in the mental health field is challenging and if you still plan to become a social worker, you must look into this further. Social Workers are clinical therapists. They have a huge background and thorough understanding of psychology and human behavior. Most have take some sociology courses or minored in it. Since they do clinical therapy, they need to know all of the techniques, how to assess clients, how to develop the best care plan for the client, all of the sub-divisions of psychology like abnormal psych, criminal psychology, child development, substance abuse and addiction issues, LGBTQ issues, and hundreds more . You will be required to analyze and conclude what is needed for the client and sociology doesn't offer a base for this.

As I've mentioned before, all good social workers have learned about various groups of people in addition to their theory and technique segments of their study. This is something to consider if you still plan to become a Social Worker.

I do want to mention that many people who have a Bachelors in History or any subject can get a Masters in Social Work. But this is a matter of you being fully prepared to effectively and confidently analyze and provide service to people who are in crisis or have other issues. The good part is that it is all up to you. You have many choices as to how to go about this. As I mentioned to you in my other advice, my sister had a very successful, long and financially positive career as a certified Social Worker with an Associates in Sociology, Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Social Work. She also worked in a major large city and sometimes had two or three jobs at once.

Again, I do hope that this is helpful and I do support you in whatever you choose.
Thank you comment icon "There's really no set path with sociology as a major after you graduate. " So very true!! I went into Law Enforcement. Kim Igleheart
Thank you comment icon Thank you for commenting, Kim ! You chose a great career and make a difference in so many people's lives ! :) Michelle M.
Thank you comment icon I want to thank you again for the helpful advice, I do think that I will ultimately be minoring in Psychology, getting a bachelors in Sociology and a masters in Social Work. Summer
Thank you comment icon That is so wonderful, Summer ! Best wishes for you in all you do ! :) Michelle M.
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Tanaz’s Answer

Hi Summer!

Great question- and both are great academic areas to earn a degree in! It's also great that you are thinking about the type of work you want to do since choosing the right thing to study can help prepare you for jobs. If you find a school where you can major and minor in both, you will likely take exciting courses with great topics. But since you take more courses in your major, you should pick the program that interests you and aligns better with your future goals as your major.

Both degrees are worthwhile, and both may be able to lead you to graduate school after you finish the bachelor's degree in either social work or a mental health program- this is because undergraduate degrees focus on general education foundations, often have overlapping courses in related fields anyhow, and are meant to "level-up" your academic skills to either prepare you for graduate school or a career. In other words, an undergraduate major in psychology or sociology would be good preparation for your future. If you want to do counseling in the future, you will likely need a graduate degree, so both could work as your undergraduate major.

But they are slightly different. I explain it to students like this: sociology focuses on people but usually as a group, so topics like culture, race, gender, and religion are studied. On the other hand, psychology tends to focus on individuals, so topics like personality, lifespan development (both normal and abnormal), and behavior are studied. Both fields should have some research fundamentals included. Now, psychology would also explore topics like culture and gender because humans live in a world of groups, and sociology would also study psychology topics since groups are made of individual people, so the two fields overlap a lot. So, that's where your future goals come in to decide. Your post mentions the individual side of things, which sounds more like psychology. But was that intentional, or just the way you phrased it? If you want to help people as individuals living in their communities, it sounds like psychology as a major would be better. If you want to be a therapist, counselor, or social worker, psychology may be a better fit (if you would like to be a social worker, you should also consider a social work program). If you see yourself connecting more to social issues, public health advocacy, and international aid work, sociology may be a better fit. Again, if you see yourself providing therapy or counseling, you will need to continue studying beyond a bachelor's degree with either major and minor.

To help you decide, I recommend the following:
~Have you looked up the courses you would take in a psychology or sociology program? Go to a university's website and look up the degree program. Then, click on the actual courses you would be taking- their names, course descriptions, and topics. Which one sounds more interesting?
~ Look through the links I posted below to learn more.
~ Look up videos of the types of work both fields do to see jobs in action and reflect on whether that is the type of work you would also like to do one day.
~ Get excited! These are both great fields; you will learn a lot moving forward! And you have a great goal to help communities- I bet you will!

Wishing you the best on your educational journey and next steps!
:-) Tanaz

Tanaz recommends the following next steps:

https://www.simplypsychology.org/psychology-vs-sociology.html
ignore the ads for schools, and focus on the article: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/sociology-vs-psychology/
https://www.nu.edu/blog/similarities-and-differences-between-sociology-and-psychology/#:~:text=While%20both%20study%20human%20behavior,groups%2C%20communities%2C%20and%20cultures.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ezJOUAL-6Y
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Summer
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Megan’s Answer

Sociology is the study of human behaviors. There are three different ways to go for a major in Sociology. Criminal, science, and general. When I majored my focus was on criminal delquincy. All depends on what you want to do. Psychiatrist study the medicine to help with mental health. So the one on one help is minimal to 20mins a session every 2 weeks to 3 months. Sociology you are more hands on connecting with individuals and providing support to find local resources to best help them live as independent as possible.
0