At UVM, sociology is similar to other liberal arts degrees: the skills you acquire are transferrable to many fields. A liberal arts degree equips you to do research, write and read critically and analytically so they can be trained for any kind of work. That said, many public or nonprofit agencies, governmental bureaus, and community programs hire students with specifically sociological training, as do organizations that need people with skills in sociological methodology and social statistics.

Graduates of UVM’s sociology department mostly work in human service agencies, but also go on to masters in social work programs, law school or other graduate level education. One former student drew on her sociology training in gerontology to start her own business.  Another became an investment advisor. Sociology majors generally leave with excellent people skills and presentation skills, which prepares them for any field of work.

  • Rachel Cummings

    Social Entrepreneur

    Rachel Lee Cummings believes that people should live at home and take part in their communities for as long as they can. She was a 22-year-old senior at the University of Vermont in September 1999 when she started Armistead Inc. Assisted Living Services of Williston—named after her grandfather—with two part-time employees. By the time she graduated in June, she had a staff of eight full-time people. “I was one of the first private-pay agencies, and word spread fast,” she says. “People liked the care they received and they liked the caregivers.” A scant five years later she was named Vermont’s 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Graduate Education

Many UVM sociology students go on to graduate education, including law school, medical school, social work, and more. For those interested in medical school or related careers, starting in 2015, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) will have questions about the field of sociology; UVM recommends Soc. 001 to all pre-meds, and there are many other courses in the department relevant to a career in medicine. The department also offers a minor in gerontology, the study of aging.