As a student in the social sciences, you will make extensive use of the Internet regardless of the career you choose, and your range of possible careers is very broad. The career path you take will depend a lot on your personality and your values as well as your skills and education.
For some graduates, working with families in direct services is the most satisfying possible job option. Others of you will be most excited by being involved with policy shaping, or program evaluation. Some students will choose the "student career" a bit longer and enter social work or other graduate programs. Some will go directly to work in county or state agencies; while still others will use their education as a background to understand how social institutions such as public education or business organizations interact with individuals and with families. Yet others of you might seek education or training in areas quite different from direct service, such as management or marketing in the health field.
Each of these careers can be investigated using the Internet, and in each of these careers you will need to be skilled with Internet use, both as an information-gathering tool and for networking.
Let's say that you have graduated with a degree in the social sciences and a calling to work with disadvantaged children. Even though you have a focus, your options are very broad. Perhaps you are not ready for graduate work, but recognize that you need some practical experience in the field. Some corporations and universities have arrangements for post-baccalaureate internships, in which you are paid a minimum wage in exchange for some special on-the-job training. Alternatively, you might want to work in a community health clinic, or an after-school program; with foster care kids; in a social welfare program; as a teacher; in a group home; for an agency supervising programs for children. The list could go on and on. How do you discover where you want to begin your career and how to get there?
The Internet is an outstanding instrument to expose you to the huge world of "what's out there." For starters, the Library of Congress, among others, can give you lists of professional organizations. Peruse those sites. Find out about the different groups of professionals with backgrounds or interests similar to yours.
Check out listserv subscriptions. These are interactive sites in which people discuss particular topics, and there are numerous professionally-related listservs. Do a search on "listserv" and check out what's there. You will find many listservs that are specifically intended for professional networking. A great place to locate Sociology listservs can be found at http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc-sci/soc/soc-maillist.html.
Use the Health and Human Services site to look for research grants and special programs having to do with your area of interest. Make connections with people associated with programs you are especially interested in, particularly those at local or regional levels. Those folk are often people just like you, with a bit more experience in the field. Students are often surprised to discover how amenable to sharing information and providing suggestions professionals in the field can be. Networking-making connections with others in your area of interest-can be professionally very valuable, as well as personally rewarding.
Definitely look for job postings on the Internet. Public agencies and private corporations increasingly use the Internet to post work positions. From their perspective, it gives them far broader exposure than strategically-placed newspaper ads, plus they know that anyone responding to an Internet job posting has at least some Internet skills.
You will want to use the search strategies outlined in our Internet Guide to find corporations of interest to you. Businesses are using the Internet to advertise their existence to prospective employees and prospective investors, as well as to customers. One of the best ways to find out about a company is in fact to use the Internet.
In addition to the corporate Web sites, academic organizations have some fabulous meta-sites to help students in their next step. The site sponsored by the Humanities Net at the University of Michigan, for example, is incredible. Find out what resources various academic organizations have for graduate schools, career programs, and corporate links. You don't have to be a graduate of a particular university to use the resources they make available to the public.
The following Internet addresses are good places for you to begin your career investigations. The list covers job banks, resume-writing, internships, and graduate school possibilities. This list is only a beginning, however. Spend time surfing these sites. Develop your own list of addresses that focuses on your specific interests, and check them often for changes.
Use the Internet as a tool to keep you informed and to keep you connected. Make the kind of connections that fuel your intellect and your professional passions. And stay connected-develop and maintain contact with interesting programs or agencies; continue to search for new sites as they appear. Learn to use the amazing resources available through the Internet to enhance your understanding of your chosen career field.
The Resume Advisors Web site is a writing resource designed for graduating college students. In addition to providing tips and tools, the site allows you to submit your resume to an online volunteer for suggestions on how to make your resume more effective.
American Sociological Association: Careers in Sociology
This online brochure outlines a number of career options students can take with a degree in Sociology. The site includes tips for preparing for a career while an undergraduate, and lists the opportunities available to graduates within academia and in the professions.
The Society for Applied Sociology
The homepage of The Society for Applied Sociology is a one-stop shop for all your career and educational needs as a budding sociologist. Visit and explore this sociologist forum to network with both students and professionals in your field of study, to learn about competition and participation opportunities, to search sociology job listings, or simply for its abundant resources alone.
America's Job Bank
When you commence your search for employment, it's important to remember that there are many international, national, and regional online job banks you'll be able to access using the strategies learned from our Internet Guide. America's Job Bank, an online service of the US Department of Labor, is one of the best first stops available. In addition to providing access to nearly one million employment opportunities of all types, this site contains a "Career Infonet" that provides information on economic prospects for diverse employment sectors, as well as links to career assessment tools, meta-search tools, and much more. A must see.
The Yahoo! Employment site is another valuable first stop in your job searching expeditions. For example, the Advice hyperlink offers access to resume writing tools, and tips to improve your interpersonal communication skills. The site also includes access to sources for pursuing graduate studies, as well as landing an internship.
The advice found on this site, sponsored by Advanced Career Systems, will help you maximize the results of your job search and land that job you're after. Among other helpful tactics, learn how to market yourself and ace the interview.
McGraw Hill's social science internships and career opportunities page http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/sociology/schaef/students/jobs.htm This concise library offers access to great resources you can use to find jobs and internships in both the public and private sectors, as well as other information sources you can use to guide your career choices.
This Web site provides access to many specialized public sector job search resources, as well as links to job resources in the non-profit sector.
Grapevine is a free Internet service run by the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) at the University of Bristol. It contains information on employment and training opportunities available in the Social Sciences.
Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network
This is a great site to consult for careers of all types in the field of Social Sciences. The emphasis of this site is towards professionals with advanced degrees in the area.
Sponsored by ZipLink, this site is a great resource for beginning your job search. Through the links at this site, you cannot only search through potential job listings, but learn how to write a first-class resume, and even check out a potential employer.
"The truth is in the Vault." Or so they say at this newly relaunched site, which houses such valuable job search information as news articles on hot career topics, career fairs near you, and job postings totaling more than 200,000.
Anyone involved in the Social Sciences will tell you that internships and graduate study are excellent springboards to a new career or advancement towards graduate studies. The Web sites below offer good starting points to finding an internship or graduate program that interests you.
Rising Star Internships
This is the best free national internship resource available on the Internet. The site contains access to public and private organizations, including corporate profiles and the types of internships available, listed by job sector or alphabetically. A must see.
The Washington Center
This Web site provides information on how to land semester internships in Washington, DC.
http://www.feminist.org/911/jobs/911jobs.aspThis site is sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation, and contains links to many great non-profit and public sector opportunities (not just for women).
Corporation for National Service
Don't forget that volunteering is a great way to learn while performing public service. This Web site provides links to numerous volunteer opportunities available in the United States, including the AmeriCorps program.
This is the official Web site for the US volunteer abroad program devoted to helping improve the lives of people throughout the world.
Psychology internships and training
Sponsored by the American Psychological Association, this site is designed to help you land a postdoctoral internship in the field.
Marriage and Family Counseling Graduate Schools
http://www.gradschools.com/listings/menus/marr_fam_cnsl_menu.html If you are considering jump-starting your career in Marriage and the Family through graduate studies, check out this site. It provides comprehensive access to Graduate Studies Courses throughout the US and beyond.
http://www.gradschools.com/listings/menus/sociology_menu.html A very large list of graduate programs for Sociology in the US, Europe, Asia and beyond.