Lots of career options for sociology grads

Is there life after sociology? Some sociology students may worry about being unable to find work after graduating, but Ruth Wilson assures them: "A background in sociology gives you an understanding of the people you’re working with and the world around you, which is useful in any career. So, just hang in there."

Wilson, a curriculum planner in York’s Faculty of Arts, was one of several speakers at the Sociology Undergraduate Student Association’s Career Day last week. An annual event, it seeks to put the minds of sociology students at ease. The event featured speakers from different sociology-related career fields, including law, education and politics. They shared their experiences in the working world while reflecting on their education in the program. The consensus was that studying sociology had a positive impact on both their career choices and personal lives.

Right: Ruth Wilson, manager, curriculum planning, Faculty of Arts

When lawyer Ester Kassrier graduated, she was unsure of what she could do and where she wanted to work. Her degree initially got her a job as a proofreader with a law firm and her background in sociology gave her greater appreciation for the art of law. She soon developed a passion for the craft, leading her to where she is today as a successful criminal defence lawyer and partner in her own law firm.

"I had no idea what I wanted to be at first," said Kassrier, "but I developed my love of law through sociology." She praised York’s program and said her education had affected all aspects of her life. "Things woke up inside of me while I was completing my degree," she said. "It informed a lot of the values that I carry with me in my professional and personal life."

Right: Matias De Dovitis, aide to Toronto city councillor Anthony Perruzza

Presenters talked about opportunities available to future sociology graduates. They said critical thinking, research, analytic and social inquiry skills acquired in the program can propel students into many different fields. Education and law are not the only options; business, marketing and many other fields make great use of the skills sociology graduates have.

Speakers were happy to be a part of SUSA’s Career Day. "It’s important that sociology students know what options are available," said knowledge management lawyer Marsha Henry. "This particular degree holds a lot a value and they should know exactly what it can do for them."

"I really didn’t think there were that many options," said Sahar Sohrab, a first-year sociology student. "After the presentations, I see that there are many different paths I can take. It really opened my eyes."

This story was written by Bethany Hansraj, a student assistant in York’s Marketing & Communications Division.