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Are you interested in sociology?

education Updated: Jan 04, 2012 11:50 IST

The lowdown
If you are fascinated by the workings of the different societies of the world and want to know more about what binds and cleaves communities and races, their beliefs and customs, then, sociology is for you. Sociology is a broad social science that can open many fulfiling avenues. It can launch you into an international career as well. A broad discipline, sociology is the study of all kinds of societies. Sociologists focus on social stratification, religion, culture, politics, economy, etc. They use both qualitative and qualitative techniques in their study. In India, the emphasis has been on quantitative work but the scenario is changing. As far as work opportunities are concerned, students get work with the UN bodies, the civil services, the publishing industry (as copy editors and commissioning editors), government agencies and media and market research agencies. You can also join certain research firms which carry out surveys for international funding organisations

The average day of a sociologist in a university:
9am: Reach the department and prepare for the day’s lecture
10 to 11am: Lecture MA students
11am: Coffee break. Check/reply to e-mails from publishers/ collaborators for a joint project in a foreign university etc
Noon: Attend a seminar in the department
1-2pm:Lunch at home
3pm: Visit a village (nearby) for research work on a project
5pm: Write report/ referee a book
7pm: Go to a TV new channel
studio for a panel discussion

The payoff
Monthly pay packages in the academia (government sector). An assistant professor makes about Rs 40,000 a month. An associate professor makes about Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 a month.

Professor: Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 a month. A professor working on an assignment from an international development body can make about Rs 20,000 a day (the project might take 40 days to complete).

A doctorate joining the corporate sector can earn about Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 a month. With sociology, one can explore a variety of job roles in media, human resource, environment, culture studies, history etc

* Able to empathise with and understand various societies/ cultures
* Strong analytical skills
* Reasonable quantitative aptitude
* Great communication skills
* Capacity for hard work

Getting there
The CBSE offers sociology after Class 10. Take up humanities in school and after completing Class 12, pursue a bachelor’s and master’s in sociology. An MPhil/PhD degree is required for a career in academics and research. One can also specialise in diverse areas such as journalism and mass communication, human resource, health and gender issues, development issues and much more

Institutes and URLs
* University of Delhi
* Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
* University of Mumbai
* University of Hyderabad
* Jadavpur University, Kolkata
* Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Pros and cons
* The study programme equips students to work in different areas
* Sociology can lay the ground for an interesting international career
* Learn about other cultures
* It’s not a professional programme
* Relevant career avenues are relatively limited in number
* The pay is relatively low for starters

Sociology equips you to deal with the complexities of the society. It offers avenues in a variety of fields like media, human resource, gender studies, development studies Mala Kapur Shankardass, associate professor- Maitreyi College, a sociologist, health social scientist and gerontologist based in New Delhi