Job Outlook

Employment of social scientists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2025, due to concern over the environment, crime, the increasingly competitive global economy, and a wide range of other issues.

The largest social science occupation, psychologists, is expected to grow, as are economists and marketing research analysts, and urban and regional planners. All other social scientists combined, including anthropologists, geographers, historians, political scientists, and sociologists, should experience average growth.

Most job openings, however, will result from the need to replace social scientists who transfer to other occupations or stop working altogether.

Prospects are best for those with advanced degrees, and generally are better in disciplines such as economics, psychology, and urban and regional planning, which offer many opportunities in nonacademic settings.

However, graduates in all social science fields are expected to find enhanced job opportunities in applied fields due to the excellent research, communication, and quantitative skills they develop in graduate school.

Government agencies, health and social service organizations, marketing, research and consulting firms, and a wide range of businesses seek social science graduates. Social scientists currently face stiff competition for academic positions. However, the growing importance and popularity of social science subjects in secondary schools is strengthening the demand for social science teachers at this level.

Other considerations that affect employment opportunities in these occupations include specific skills and technical expertise, salary requirements, and geographic mobility. In addition, experience acquired through internships can prove invaluable later in obtaining a full-time position in a social science field.