What Kind of Accreditation Should My Degree Program Have?
You know that employers are ready to give the job only to graduates with the proper degree quality.
Accreditation is a status of the educational institution, meaning it corresponds to all the standards and requirements established by the State Department of Education.
Moreover, this status means that the university, college or school is recognized as a prospective educational and scientific field for future development and scientific discoveries.
So that before you pay money for your study in any college or university, check whether the latter has gone through verification or so-called accreditation.
To tell more, only accredited educational institutions have the right to get financial support from the Department of Education.
On the other hand, the Department of Education itself does not do the revision for accreditation.
The special accrediting agencies have the competence to decide whether the institution deserves the accreditation or not.
And such special agencies are divided into two territorial groups: national and regional.
See below what accrediting agencies will be considered as better ones.
Regional Accrediting Agencies
The accrediting sector of any state is divided into two main groups: national and regional accrediting agencies.
Both of these types of agencies check the appropriateness of the educational institutes to the list of requirements of Educational Ministry.
After university successfully goes through revision, the accrediting agency gives it a “stamp of approval”.
And this very stamp proves the credibility and merit of the institution.
Here are a few regional agencies, which gives the accreditation to schools, universities, and colleges:
- The Higher Learning Commission
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Try to get assured that there is the stamp of approval of an accrediting agency mentioned above before you start obtaining your degree.
Program accreditation is a specific kind of accreditation which means that a separate program of study has got the approval from the accrediting agency.
Program accreditation is different from the general accreditation of the educational institution.
In some cases, program accreditation is believed to deal with the issue of reputation.
For example, some employers or even professions may require that course of study within the degree should be approved by national agencies.
However, the Sociology degree program is a liberal arts program which does not require program-specific accreditation.
But, some careers related to sociology may demand program accreditation.
For example, if want to start a career as a social worker, it is important for your study program to get accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
This is an outstanding accrediting agency in the area of social work.
Probably, the easiest way to define whether your educational institution has the necessary accreditation status, which you can choose is to contact the administration.
You can also look through the database of the Department of Education and find more details about the accreditors.
After you have read the aforementioned, take a look at some of your degree opportunities.
What Kinds of Sociology Degrees Are There?
Associate’s Degree in Sociology
An associate degree is a good start for the beginners in the field of sociology, as it contains basic knowledge of this science.
This degree takes two years of studying or 60-credit program.
Therefore, this course will contain many interesting subjects, including social structures, family dynamics, and criminal deviance.
You’ll also learn such subjects as psychology, behavioral science, and social communications.
After completing your associate degree program, you will get a qualification to work in many assistant positions in public services agencies, for instance, as a community outreach advocate, youth counselor, caseworker, and so on.
This associate’s degree will give you the grounds to continue studying and eventually getting your bachelor’s degree.
And the bachelor’s degree will give you an absolute advantage for future professional promotion and top salaries.
If you want to build a career in social work then you should keep in mind that it will be necessary to get the appropriate license.
You will study the following subjects:
- Cultural Anthropology
- Statistics and Public Policy
- Contemporary Social Issues
- Introduction to Political Science
- Introduction to Sociology
- Sociology of Family Dynamics
Bachelor in Sociology
Becoming a bachelor of Sociology will be a great opportunity to find a dream job in a great variety of professional fields in the future.
A bachelor degree in sociology will help you to build a thriving career, for example, as a politician, political expert and many other positions.
The bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete, that is a 120-credit program of study.
Within the framework of bachelor’s program students will get acquainted with the course about introduction to sociology, which also handles contemporary social problems and world social systems.
Moreover, students will get acquainted more profoundly with such topics as history, race relations, public health, criminology, anthropology, and others.
After you learn the introductory part, you will have an opportunity to know more about topics on individual and collective psychology, and mental health outreach.
Besides, you are supposed to know more about drug and alcohol addiction, public service administration and a dozen close disciplines.
In addition, you will also get a chance to go through the internship or real social project to implement your knowledge and skills in real work.
So that, after getting bachelor’s degree you can search among the wide range of jobs in the areas of family counseling, in the administration of justice, rehabilitation, and corrections, community organizations or public health outreach, to name but few.
What Courses Will You Take During your Bachelor’s degree?
- Sociological Perspectives
- Sociology of Crime and Violence
- Race, Gender and Social Structures
- Issues in Behavioral Psychology
- Social Justice Movements
- History of Political Systems and Societies
- Sociology of the Family
- Social Science Research Methods
What’s the Difference Between a BA and a BS in Sociology?
One of the FAQs potential students usually ask is about the distinctive features between BS and BA in Sociology.
On the one hand, BS or bachelor’s of science will be a good choice if you plan to get work in survey analysis, statistics or public research.
BS course covers not only sociology studies but also an intensive course at science and maths.
On the other hand, BA or a bachelor’s of arts in sociology is more demanded among the students.
BA course combines courses on arts and humanities, they are not orientated on technical professions.
Master’s Degree in Sociology
As you may already know, to become a professional in the sphere of sociology and to get the title of Sociologist, you should study until you get your master’s degree.
In other words, the master’s degree is top studying degree which takes from one to three years to complete.
Thus, your master’s degree is the indicator of your qualification and expertise for the future employer.
And you can choose between many jobs offers from employers from public research, public offices and administrative leadership.
Although, you do not compulsory need master’s degree if you chose social services or social work.
Nonetheless, you will be the head higher having a master’s degree while being interviewed by the potential employer.
Master’s degree will also give you the opportunity for your career promotion in public administration and community services.
To speak about the course to obtain a master’s degree, you will learn deep and get profound knowledge about the relation of sociology with such studies as psychology, economics, politics, culture, and religion.
As the conclusion of the course, you will work with the mentor and write your own research discussing any problematic issue in sociology and giving your own vision about its solution.
Ph.D. in Sociology
Ph.D. in sociology is a scientific degree in the field of sociology.
And it is orientated on people who want to donate his life to the scientific or theoretical discoveries and development of sociology as a science.
After getting the Ph.D. degree you will be able to teach sociology to students in the universities and colleges.
As a Ph.D. in sociology, you will lead to important research, write dissertations, abstracts, comments, and even books.
The Ph.D. degree will give you a chance to make at least a small contribution to the development of sociology science with making new discoveries and putting forward theories.
What Kind of Licensing or Certification Do You Need?
What is the Difference Between Licensing and Certification?
A non-governmental body or professional organization usually award certification in different fields to the graduates with or without a degree.
On the contrary, licenses are awarded by governmental licensing agencies only.
Also, by having obtained a license in this or that field, you will be a legally authorized employee.
To compare, the companies do not necessarily require certification due to the fact that asking for a certificate is not legal actually.
At the same time, if you want to have a license, be ready to meet the requirements like getting a degree or passing a state exam.
These are the main differences according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Do You Need to Be a Licensed Sociologist?
The Association for applied and clinical sociology issues certificates for the holders of MA or BA degrees in sociology.
If you call yourself a Ph.D. in sociology who wants to become a cool sociology worker and build a career in it, you should prove that you worked for 1,500 hours or a year full-time.
If you are holding a Master’s Degree, prove that you worked full time for 3,000 hours or two years as a practicing sociologist.
Importantly, it had to be done in the last 5 years.
You May Be Certified In:
- Community development
- Conflict resolution
- Criminology/criminal justice
- Organizational development
Popular Degree Programs
What Can You Do With This Degree?
After earning the degree in sociology your views will change entirely.
And you will observe that wide horizons are opened for you to discover.
Thus, the degree in sociology gives you the possibility to find a job in spheres that deal with public relations, public and administrative services, social work with people and human services, and also education, research, and counseling.
Below we name some of the jobs you can apply for after getting the degree in sociology, they are:
- Health Educator
- Recreational Therapist
- Behavioral Disorder Counselor
- Social/Human Services Assistant
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Social/Community Service Manager
- Marriage/Family Therapist
- Probation Officer
- Social Worker
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Mental Health Counselor
- Correctional Treatment Specialist
How Much Can You Make With This Degree?
Sociologists are lucky ones.
According to the forecasts of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the volume of wages in areas of community and social service between 2016 and 2026 will get 14% or higher.\
Below you can discover how much money you can get on average, working at one of the following positions:
- Sociologists — $79,700
- Political Scientists — $114,280
- School/Career Counselors — $54,570
- Social/Human Service Assistants — $31,800
- Substance Abuse, Behavioral, Mental Health Counselors — $42,140
- Survey Researchers — $54,480
- Social Workers — $46,990
- Community health worker — $44,370
- Social Science Research Assistants — $46,810
- Administration Service Managers — $90,000
- Marriage and Family Therapists — $49,100
- Postsecondary sociology teachers — $81,500
- Probation officers — $50,170
- Rehabilitation counselors — $34,570
What Professional Associations or Societies Should You Join?
Participation in professional associations and communities will provide you with new professional connections.
Also, you will have a chance to exchange experience with other practical social and community service workers.
Furthermore, you can visit some useful seminars and lectures to improve skills and knowledge in your area of occupation.
That activity is optional; however, you’ll better take part in one or more of them to keep in touch with your professional community.
There are some popular associations you should consider in the future:
- American Sociological Association
- International Sociological Association
- Eastern Sociological Society
- Council on Social Work Education
- The Society for Social Research
To sum up, sociology is a wide area of expertise, that means you’ll interact with various related disciplines, including anthropology, political science, philosophy and psychology, and the others.
With a degree in sociology, you will definitely get the prospective to be employed as a counselor, human services administrator, journalist, public officer, social worker and a lot of others.
And the further you go in your study, the bigger advantage you get on the way to your professional growth.
See More Degrees
What can you do with a degree in...