Should I Study Sociology or Psychology?


Should I study sociology or psychology? Are you crazy? Or do you just want to drive
yourself crazy trying to make sense of all the other nuts out there? What do you mean? Psychology has few career options outside
of counseling. I could get a job as a criminal profiler. You watch too much CSI. You’d be more likely
to get a job as a negotiator, MBA managerial track position or marketing. Psychology has nothing to do with marketing. That’s only what companies want you to think. What do sociologists do? They sometimes work in marketing, performing
opinion surveys and studying demographic trends of the customer base and its shifting preferences. I thought they worked for non-profits studying
people and determining public policy. It’s rather hard to get a decent paying
job at a non-profit these days. You might make more money at a think tank. Or a senior track position in sociology. Fewer than one in four doctoral candidates
in the liberal arts get a tenure track teaching position today. So much for teaching. At least psychology is taught to nurses to
better understand patients, police officers to handle criminals, liberal arts majors who
want an easy science class and business majors who want to understand what sells other than
sex. I’ve heard that companies hire sociologists. For marketing, sometimes. But they hire psychologists
for things like improving worker productivity by minimizing distractions, reducing stress
and finding out what is messing people up. You’re making it sound like all the good
paying positions are in business. Marketing requires an understanding of human
nature via psychology to improve the odds of a sale. They need an understanding of sociology
to market that message to a whole lot of people or manipulate opinion on a large scale. Or I could study evolutionary biology. That just makes you look stupid at parties
to blame everything on evolution except your own failure to find a way to make a living
with a liberal arts degree.