Sociology and Anthropology» open the printable major» search for more Areas of Study
The Sociology and Anthropology major equips students with an understanding of society and how it works now, and how it has evolved over millennia. This is complemented by the study of cultures ranging from small-scale indigenous groups to advanced capitalist societies, with a focus on fieldwork studies to gain a practical understanding of peoples’ ways of life.
Graduates of this major are valued for their cultural sensitivity, written and verbal communication skills, and knowledge of contemporary societal structures and functions. Employment opportunities exist in varying levels of government, research facilities, non-governmental organisations, museums, education, and community and international development.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a major in Sociology and Anthropology include:
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of research areas within this discipline here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates with a major in Sociology and Anthropology. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained during the Sociology and Anthropology major.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Archaeological Excavator
- Campaign Manager
- Case Worker/Manager
- Client Service Manager
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Health Promotion Officer
- Indigenous Community Liaison Officer
- International Aid/Development Worker
- Juvenile Justice Officer
- Market Research Analyst
- Multicultural Affairs Liaison
- Museum/Art Gallery Curator
- Museum Visitor Services Coordinator
- Native Title Consultant
- Planning Officer
- Program Manager / Project Coordinator
- Research Officer
- Technical Officer
- University Lecturer / Academic
- Visitor/Tourism Information Officer
- Welfare Officer
- Youth Worker
Sociology and Anthropology graduates find employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries in smalll, medium or large organisations. Below is an example of some of the large organisations that recruite this major. Check employers’ websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may offer vacation work opportunities.
- Anglicare (Australia)
- Attorney Generals Department (Australia)
- Australian and International Universities (International)
- Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Family Studies (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Australia)
- Brotherhood of St Laurence (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Community Services (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Environment and Heritage (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (International)
- Department of Health and Ageing (Australia)
- Department of Human Services (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Australia)
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)
- Galleries and Museums (Australia)
- Local Government - NSW directory (Australia)
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) (Australia)
- National Parks and Wildlife Service (Australia)
- Native National Title Tribunal (Australia)
- Natural History or History Museums (Australia)
- New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (Australia)
- Red Cross (Australia)
- The Treasury (Australia)
- Urbis (Australia)
- Women's Electoral Lobby (Australia)
- Women's Refuges (Australia)
- World Health Organisation (Australia)
- Youth Research Organisations (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- American Anthropological Association (International)
- American Sociological Association (International)
- Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth (International)
- AusAnthrop (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Urban Studies (Australia)
- The Australian Sociological Association (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Aboriginal Professional Practice
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Sociology and Anthropology will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:
- Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
- Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
- Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
- Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
- Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
- Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
- Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in Sociology and Anthropology will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
- The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
- Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
- Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
- Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
- Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own
Bachelor of Social Science
Bachelor of Social Science graduates majoring in Aboriginal Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- Advanced social research skills:
- In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research.
- The capacity to collect, organise, critically assess, and present information in written and oral forms.
- Specialist Social Science knowledge:
- Comprehensive knowledge of one or more specialist areas in the Social Sciences.
- Critical though and informed decision-making:
- The ability to structure and present logical arguments, critically analyse material and opinions, and make informed decisions.
- Effective management and teamwork skills:
- The ability to work autonomously and collaboratively, including effective leadership skills, teamwork, organisational and program management capabilities.
- High-level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills:
- Advanced level of written, oral, and interpersonal skills, including the effective use of information and communication technologies.
- Ethical and socio-cultural sensitivity:
- An understanding of ethical issues, standards, and public responsibility in relation to professional practice, including an appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.