Social sciences jobs vary widely, but generally include the fields of anthropology, archeology, geography, history, and other disciplines that study human social and cultural behavior. Most social sciences jobs require a master's degree or more likely a doctorate. The majority of social scientists work in colleges, universities, or for the government, doing research in the lab or in the field. Through 2018, the job market is expected to grow a bit faster than average, but competition for these jobs will likely be stiff.
Anthropologists study the customs, language, evolution, and human remains of ancient and modern peoples. Most anthropologists specialize in either sociocultural, linguistic, biological, or physical anthropology. A social anthropologist may study the practices of people living in industrialized countries or those who reside in very rural, underdeveloped areas. Linguistic anthropologists study the development of language and biological anthropologists study the way biology and culture impact each other. Physical anthropologists work in social sciences jobs that research ancient remains and civilizations.
Archeologists focus on examining past human cultures. Many archeologists work either as consultants or for a national government. They may identify and preserve historical sites, work in museums, or serve as administrators who oversee research projects and museum collections. An archeologist may conduct research with the National Park Service in the U.S., for example, or at archeological digs in the far-flung reaches of the earth.
Geography is one of the social sciences jobs that researches the physical characteristics of or cultural impact on the earth. Generally, geographers specialize in either physical or cultural geography. Physical geography concerns the physical features of the land. They may also study climate or soil in a particular region. Cultural geographers focus on how people and civilizations impact the land, the way the landscape relates to political events or delivery of healthcare, and other similar specialties.
Historians study and interpret the past using artifacts such as newspapers, audio or video tape, or governmental records. Some historians analyze one particular section of the country, a time in history, or specialize in social, intellectual, cultural, diplomatic, military or political events. Some may work for government and help to preserve historic sites, write books, and conduct other research. Other historians elect to teach history and work in the educational system.
All of these social sciences jobs are projected to grow faster than average through 2018. As a whole, they are expected to increase by about 22%. Anthropologists and archeologist jobs are projected to grow by about 28%. Geography and history positions are expected to grow by 26% and 11% respectively. Even so, competition for these jobs may be strong.
Bachelor's degree holders have the least number of opportunities to find social sciences jobs. They may be able to find work as a research assistant, market analyst, teacher, or writer. Those who possess master's degrees may be able to find work in the private sector or with the government. Most of the time, a doctorate is necessary to teach at the university level or hold high administrative positions.