Lots of people go to work, and sit behind a desk all day. They learn what's happening in the world by watching the evening news. Meanwhile, social science professionals are at the heart of what's happening in the world. They protect the wellbeing of citizens and communities all across the country. From health care reform to high school dropout rates, from drug trafficking to terrorism threats, from juvenile detention to family crisis intervention: social science careers address and improve all of America's leading concerns.
If you want a career that does more than just pay the bills — a career that helps people and changes lives — social science is your best bet. The following online degree programs are all offered by accredited, reputable schools.
Criminal justice is hard work. Whether you hope to be employed as a police officer, a corrections officer, a security guard, a private investigator, or a juvenile officer, you'll certainly be busy. But justice careers are incredibly rewarding. Perfect strangers will thank you for your service. Your friends and neighbors will feel safer. Better still, police employees receive the best retirement packages available. You could retire by age 55!
A bachelor's degree in history is one of the best foundations for a law degree. If you're headed for law school, you'll need to know how American and international legal systems have evolved. History is also a great primer for a military career. Military history and specific regional studies (like Middle Eastern studies) have never been more relevant.
American borders are vast, on every side of the country. Drugs, weapons, enemies of the state — even natural disasters — are all looming threats to our national security. More than ever before, government agencies and nonprofit groups need educated professionals, who can tackle intelligence management, emergency management, disaster relief, or international relations. In this industry, jobs are being developed faster than agencies can fill them.
Law degrees are more dynamic than they used to be. Traditional law programs still exist, and they prepare students to apply for law school, or even to become lawyers. (Concord Law School is an online law school that qualifies some of its students to sit for the California Bar Exam). But many of the newer law degrees focus on specific areas of professional competency — like intellectual property law. Graduates of these programs can work in corporate legal departments, even without being licensed attorneys.
Legal studies degree programs offer many possibilities. They're an ideal fit for aspiring paralegals, future law school students, and business professionals who address legal matters. Legal studies degrees teach critical thinking, research skills, and basic components of constitutional law.
A political science degree can help you launch a career in civics and public service. You can also pursue political science as a way of preparing for law school. Poly sci majors learn various leadership philosophies, conflict resolution, policy development, and more. Graduates can work as elected officials or as directors of nonprofit organizations.
If you like the idea of a political science degree, but you're more interested in implementing ideas (as opposed to analyzing and evaluating them), you're probably cut out for a public administration degree. Public administration programs are similar to business programs in that they teach students the fundamentals of budgeting, communication, management and leadership. If you're not sure about your goals, request information from several enrollment advisors, who can help you compare the different types of degrees.
Sociology is a great field for students who aspire to improve communities — especially those who plan to become social workers or counselors. Sociology is also a gateway to a corporate career. Sociology students who study applied behavior science, gender studies, and organizational management can become valuable additions to any HR team.