Sociology is a broad and fascinating discipline, and also one that does not lend itself toward any predetermined career path. As such, your opportunities for work abroad with a sociology degree are vast. From education to business marketing to community activism, the doors are wide open for socially conscious individuals interested in finding gainful employment in the field of sociology all over the world.
Why Work Abroad in Sociology
Sociology attempts to make sense of the world around us, the way different societies are structured, and how people interact with each other on micro and macro levels. This knowledge is becoming especially important in our increasingly globalized world, as individuals from everywhere come into new contact with individuals from everywhere else. Sociology jobs abroad will not only broaden your cross-cultural knowledge and professional experience, working abroad will also give you personal insight into some of the most pressing sociological issues facing our modern world.
There are essentially no boundaries of where you can find work abroad in sociology. Sociologists have been trained with an insightful skillset which can apply to everything from grassroots planning in Tanzania to market research in Tokyo. So while your potential destinations are as broad and diverse as the field of sociology itself, here are just a few parameters to keep in mind when deciding where to pursue a sociology job abroad:
Language barriers are one thing to pay attention to, as they can obviously limit your sociology job opportunities in certain areas of the world. English speakers are highly sought after in the areas of education and international business everywhere, but many other jobs will commonly expect you to know the local language to be considered for employment. If you are not bilingual, then your best options for sociology jobs abroad are typically in big, globally connected cities or in more remote locations, if you want to work with an international organization.
Beyond language, other cultural differences can make it challenging to transition to a new work environment too. Being educated in sociology will undoubtedly ease the adaptation in most places, but it is important to be aware that business practices and institutions in places ranging from Japan to the Middle East to South America can vary greatly. If you want to make a big cultural leap with your sociology job abroad then more power to you, just expect there to be a much steeper learning curve.
Sociology Jobs Abroad
Graduates of sociology enjoy employment opportunities in a wide variety of sectors. For example, working for an international business in jobs related to marketing research, human resources, or sales presents a promising opportunity to enhance your global resume and network with people from around the world. There are many multinational companies that make it easy for employees to relocate and work abroad.
Beyond the private sector, sociology graduates also commonly opt to work abroad in areas that are closely related to public service or social justice. Education is perhaps the easiest job to land abroad in the realm of sociology, as there is a great global demand for English speaking teachers almost everywhere. Working for an international organization in the fields of social activism, community development, mental health, and healthcare are also common routes for sociology majors, which allow them to tackle pressing social issues head on.
Most work abroad programs around the world will help foreign workers obtain temporary employment for up to six months or a year. If you want to make a permanent career of working abroad in sociology, then the situation gets a bit trickier. You will have to find an employer who is willing to endorse you through the process of obtaining a residential and work visa in many countries. Although, different countries vary in their degree of flexibility with international workers, so make sure to look into this before taking your permanent job search abroad.
Salary & Affordability
Sociology is not the most specialized of degrees, so initial salaries for entry level employees tend to be fairly low. Of course there is a huge variance of potential salaries for jobs abroad related to sociology, ranging from voluntary work to high paying jobs with multinational corporations. But mostly you can expect that you will start by making enough to get by working abroad in sociology.
Bring Your Studies into the World. Sociology teaches you a lot about social constructs and how people interact within their environments. What better way to put this knowledge to the test than by traveling abroad and experiencing life in a whole new culture and social system?
Build Your Resume. Employers love it when you have work abroad experience. It shows them that you are ambitious, highly flexible, and adaptable to new situations. Since sociology is a fairly general degree, having international work experience on your resume will be a great boost to future job applications.
Have an Adventure. Whether fresh out of college or in between jobs, embarking on a global journey by working abroad in sociology is bound to change your life and expand your worldview. Everyone should try out the expat life at some point – why not start looking now?