The social sciences are a diverse group of fields that includes anthropology, economics, history, psychology, sociology, political science, education, criminology, and more. What unites these fields is that they all seek to apply the scientific method to studying human issues. There are degree programs available in all of these fields, from the associate to the graduate level, but students looking for a broader education can also earn a general degree in social science.
What is a social science degree?
Social science degrees are interdisciplinary, which means that they focus on more than one major field and students have a lot of choices when it comes to their coursework. In addition to general education requirements including courses in the humanities and natural sciences, students in social science degree programs take core courses in fields like psychology and sociology as well as courses that focus on social studies research and writing. After they’ve completed these core requirements, students choose upper-level courses from two or three areas of concentration.
As a broad interdisciplinary degree program, online social science degrees are not meant to help students become experts in any one field, but rather to help them learn how to integrate knowledge and skills across fields. This is a very important skill, and one that is often overlooked. Psychology, sociology, education, and other social science fields are related in that they all involve the study of human beings. Social science majors learn how to see the big picture so that they can help inform specialists about connections between the fields. This has led to increased understanding of ourselves as well as the emergence of new fields altogether, like educational psychology and behavioral economics.
Which is better—a degree in social science or a degree in a specific field?
The answer to this question depends on the career path that interests you. For example, if your goal is to become a clinical psychologist, then a bachelor’s degree in psychology is probably a better starting point. However, if your goal is to work in public policy or become a teacher, a degree in social science is a great first step.
What can I do with a social science degree?
An online bachelor’s degree in social science is a very versatile credential that can prepare you for further education or to enter the workforce in many fields. Social science majors can find jobs in fields ranging from social work to human resources managers, to teachers. Your school’s career services office will be able to give you more information about jobs you can get with your degree.
Social science courses teach many of the top skills employers are looking for, including critical thinking, communication, and teamwork. If you want to work with people in any capacity, a bachelor’s degree in social science is a great choice.