Jobs in Public Sociology

Job Titles and Descriptions

Data Scientist: A person that knows how to work with data (e.g., managing data sets), and extract valuable information, is a data scientist. As more and more (very diverse!) industries recognize how valuable it is to collect and analyze data to improve their business, the demand increases for people with knowledge and experience with statistics grows. Data science has been called The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. LinkedIn voted it one of the hottest skill of 2014, and Glass Door reports that the average salary is over $118,000.

Where do/did you get these skills?
-SOC 583 – Quantitative Research Methods
-Work with a large data set (like Census data or a large survey) so you can get experience with the complexity of working with Big Data.
-Consider using SPSS for your thesis to sharpen your skills and get experience.
-Ask faculty if they work with data, and volunteer to help do some analysis.
-Work at the CCRP while you are in the program.

How do you get a Data Scientist job?
-Be sure to list all of the software you know (e.g. SPSS).
-Keywords: Data Science, Database Management, Statistics, Research, Quantitative, Data Mining


Recruiter: While you may not be trained in Human Resources, your sociological background makes you uniquely qualified to handle the challenges of recruiting a diverse workforce. You understand race, class, gender, sexuality, and the other ways groups are privileged and marginalized. As industries figure out they need to do a better job, your expertise will be more and more in demand.

Where do/did you get these skills?
-Learning about intersectionality, diversity, privilege and oppression in your undergraduate sociology coursework
-SOC 650 – Race, Ethnicity and Gender
-Make sure you read more about intersectionality in your thesis reading, and incorporate it in your work, to keep your knowledge up-to-date.

How do you get a Recruiter job?
-Be sure to demonstrate that you have competency and knowledge when it comes to diversity in workplaces


Program Analyst – Housing Authority
Added by Nicole Chappelle

Position Summary: Help us become a data driven organization, grounded in solid analysis, so we make well informed and adequately researched choices; and, elevate our strategic policy issues to an agency-wide focus. The Program Analyst position will support these goals through quality quantitative and qualitative analysis and the development and tracking of relevant metrics to achieve program results.

  • Analyze, research and compile data, develop information, and consider available solutions or alternate methods concerning strategic goals, as well as all other functions pertaining to policy development;
  • Utilize a high degree of qualitative and quantitative analytical skills in analyzing, evaluating, and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agency program and initiatives;
  • Create and maintain data tracking, and develop reports related to department or agency metrics.

Financial Services Specialist – Department of Social and Health Services
Added by Nicole Chappelle

Position Summary: Interviews clients, analyzes written and oral information, and determines continued eligibility for financial and medical programs; determines eligibility for food assistance; assesses immediate need in emergent situations; authorizes necessary warrants, medical assistance, and food assistance; implements program changes and case closures as dictated by regulations, department policies, and changes in clients’ circumstances.

  • Determine eligibility/re-eligibility for all public assistance programs by collecting in-depth information in and from CSD information systems.
  • Conduct intensive interviews to determine eligibility for Federal or State programs; enter all case actions into the appropriate programs.
  • Obtain and review necessary data, documentation and verification for Federal or State assistance as it relates to the individual’s specific circumstance; review data frequently that is found in the state’s computer systems to make accurate decisions.
  • Refer clients to both mandatory and optional services to other agencies as required.
  • Detect discrepancies and clarify data through inquiries, correspondence and interviews.
  • Explain program requirements and services to clients.

Program Officer – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Added by Janae Teal

Position Summary: The Data for Improved Delivery team focuses on strengthening the use of data for decision-making across Integrated Delivery and the foundation more broadly. In many of the contexts in which the foundation works, critical data are incomplete or simply missing. What data does exist is often of dubious quality, which contributes toward the under-use of data. And where we have good quality data, there are typically long lag times between data collection cycles, analysis and publication, once again, contributing toward the under-use of data. Putting aside the concerns over quality and timeliness, what data exists are often not widely shared or are shared in unusable formats. This makes it challenging to monitor progress, adjust strategies to maximize impact, and optimize resource allocation. The Data for Improved Delivery team provides thought partnership, analysis and decision support to other foundation teams, while also working to improve the overall state of delivery data by coordinating ongoing activities, strengthening platforms, and curating existing data sets.

As a member of the Integrated Delivery team, the Program Officer will manage a portfolio of grants, drive collaborations and perform research oriented work with a focus on improving data for decision-making. Additionally, the PO will oversee internal and external projects and provide support for planning, budgeting, strategy development, program execution and monitoring and evaluation. In the short-term, the PO will focus on driving the use of coverage and impact data at the foundation and externally, as well as coordinating data investments and activities across teams. The PO will also make, manage, or facilitate investments to improve the availability of coverage, impact and other delivery data across the health and development areas in which the foundation works.

Where do/did you get these skills?
-SOC 583 – Quantitative Research Methods
-Grant Writing Courses (often Social Action Electives)
-Consider using SPSS for your thesis to sharpen your skills and get experience.

How do you get a Program Officer job?
-Be sure to demonstrate that you are comfortable working with large-scale data projects and that you have experience to back it up.
-Show your abilities to work well in teams (research teams) and that you posses leadership qualities.


Instagram Advertising Quantitative Researcher –Facebook
Added by Janae Teal

Position Summary: Instagram is a huge platform for marketers to connect emotionally with people all over the world. The Marketing Science team is seeking an experienced quantitative research professional to build groundbreaking research on how to best advertise on Instagram. This research will drive recommendations on advertising media planning and creative development best practices on Instagram. Research methods will include mostly statistical analysis on observed behavior using internal databases. The research conducted will be instrumental in informing the Instagram advertising product strategy, recommending advertising strategies to clients, producing technical white papers, and developing new measurement methodologies used across the digital advertising industry. Applicants should be highly quantitative with deep statistical expertise, and be excited about working on the Instagram advertising business.

Facebook has a lot of interesting and creative research/data/analytic positions available! Many of them would be a perfect fit for a sociologist! For more job openings, click here!

Where do/did you get these skills?
-SOC 583 – Quantitative Research Methods
-Work with a large data set (like Census data or a large survey) so you can get experience with the complexity of working with Big Data.
-Consider using SPSS for your thesis to sharpen your skills and get experience.

How do you get a Quantitative Researcher job?
-Be sure to demonstrate that you have competency of quantitative data analysis.
-Have experience working with the require software (i.e. SPSS, Stata, Instagram).


Research Assistant at The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Added by Hanna Menefee

Position Summary: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a qualified candidate to serve as Research Assistant for a one-year appointment for its Development Strategy and Governance (DSG) Division. This position is based at IFPRI headquarters located in Washington, D.C. for a one year renewable appointment.

Essential Duties:

  • Developing policy briefs, brochures, blogs or website content based on DSGD research.
  • Editing of research documents.
  • Contributing to the analysis and interpretation of empirical data, and to the writing of research reports, journal articles, policy briefs, and other publications.
  • Conducting literature reviews.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • B.A.in political science, public policy, rural sociology, public administration, agricultural economics, development economics, development studies or related field.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks and produce completed products on time.
  • Experience conducting and writing literature reviews for academic publications.
  • Experience working in an international setting abroad doing research, capacity building or other development related activities.
  • Experience conducting economic analysis and familiarity with various statistical software packages such as STATA.
  • Knowledge of issues related to poverty, economic transformation, agricultural development and governance.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teams.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.

Where do/did you get these skills?

  • Quantitative methods class!
  • Research reports – learning how to explain data, how to write clearly and fluidly, and how to discuss and break down complex issues.
  • Literature reviews
  • Don’t know a certain data program? Take a workshop or training!

How do you get a Research Assistant job?

You better love research! Great people skills, ability to take responsibility but also work with others. You need background knowledge of how demographics influence human experiences, and be able to discuss these in a concise, clear manner, in text and vocally.

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Grants Consultant for Hanover Research
Added by Hanna Menefee

Position Summary: The Grants Consultant will be responsible for proposals and applications from inception to delivery, often under tight deadlines. This is an ideal role for those with a passion for getting to know organizations inside and out and then helping those organizations gain access to information that makes them more effective in carrying out their missions and more competitive in securing external funding.

The following skills and attributes are highly desired:

  • Proven track record of success as a grant writer;
  • Strong command of the English language and demonstrated writing and editing skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Willingness to tackle complex, often unfamiliar grant requests;
  • Ability to work under pressure and multitask in a fast-paced environment;
  • Proven ability to make quick and informed decisions under very tight deadlines;
  • Proven ability to lead and manage proposal development teams;
  • Thorough working knowledge of national, international, federal, private, and corporate funding trends;
  • Experience writing for a variety of professional audiences;
  • Experience writing federal, foundation and corporate grant proposals;
  • Experience working with higher education, K-12 education, healthcare, and/or nonprofit agency clients
  • Experience conducting education policy or health policy research is preferred;
  • High comfort level with Microsoft Office applications, such as MS Word and MS Excel, as well as graphics software and electronic proposal submission methods and systems.
  • An extremely strong and demonstrable work ethic;

Minimum Education Required: A Bachelor’s degree in Education, Psychology, Healthcare Administration, Political Science, English, Sociology, or a related discipline, though candidates with relevant experience who hold other degrees will be considered. Master’s degree preferred.

Minimum Experience: 3-5 years’ experience as a grant writer, reviewer, and/or editor with hands-on proposal management and/or grant writing experience.

Where do/did you get these skills?

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods Courses
  • Grant Writing Course/Training/Workshop
  • Constant practice with Microsoft Office

Work your way up – this job requires a few years experience, but you have to start somewhere. Work under another grant writer, develop your skills and take trainings. Write grants for a range of topics to show you are flexible in your intelligence.

_____________________________________________________________

Research Assistant: Reproductive Health and Family Formation for Child Trends
Added by Stephanie Martínez

Position Summary: The research assistant will conduct qualitative and quantitative research projects on reproductive health and family formation with other staff members. All research has a “special emphasis on racial/ethnic minorities, in particular Latinos, and low-income families”.

Essential Duties:

  • Conducts literature reviews.
  • Conducts and recruits participants for structured and semi-structured interviews.
  • Develop survey instruments, interview and focus group protocols, and IRB packets.
  • Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Processes secondary data using SAS, STATA, or other statistical packages.
  • Produces presentations for conferences and helps format journal articles, briefs, and reports.

Qualifications:

  • B.A. or B.S. in sociology, demography, public policy, economics, psychology, or related field.
  • Interest in topics related to reproductive health, relationship dynamics, and Latino families.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Some coursework and research experience in qualitative or quantitative research methods and statistics.
  • Must be a motivated worker and detailed oriented, with excellent grades.
  • Experience with surveys or data collection preferred.
  • Spanish proficiency a plus.

Where do/did you get these skills?

  • Quantitative and Qualitative methods class.
  • Projects and Thesis work.

Considerations:

  • Might want to consider a Spanish class.
  • Consider familiarizing with SAS and STATA.

How do you get a Research Assistant job?

  • Demonstrate your ability and proficiency by sharing your personal experience while conducting your project/thesis.
  • Bring other relevant personal experience.

More information of the position at http://www.idealist.org/view/job/Md7sHnnMZmfP/

_____________________________________________________________

Research Assistant for Action Research Partners
Added by Stephanie Martínez

Position Summary:  The Research Assistant assist in research projects, conduct surveys and administrative data analyses,  conduct interviews and focus groups, assist in proposal writing and other activities. “This is an excellent opportunity for college graduates or graduate students considering an applied research career.”

Essential Duties:

  • Code and analyze quantitative and qualitative data
  • Assist in writing proposals
  • “Tabulate and maintain data and produce tables, graphs and other data representations”
  • Write literature reviews, bibliographies and abstracts.

Qualifications:

Experience working on research projects and familiarity with some research methods

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Experience with statistical software packages, especially SPSS
  • Experience collecting, coding, and analyzing data preferred
  • Proven record of reliability
  • Excellent writing and interpersonal communication skills
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus but not required
  • Four year college degree, min. GPA 3.0

Where do/did you get these skills?

  • Workshops and classes of how to use Microsoft Office variety of programs.
  • Quantitative Class
  • Thesis/Project: data collection, analysis and write up.

How do you get a Research Assistant job?

  • Demonstrate your ability and proficiency by sharing your personal experience while conducting your project/thesis.
  • Bring other relevant personal experience.

More Information of the Position at http://www.idealist.org/view/job/zCbmSXHXF7mD/

_____________________________________________________

Research Associate for the American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Added by Michael Griffey

The Research Associate will assist on a day-to-day basis in support of activities pertaining to survey methods, data collection, and analysis — particularly those activities that require bilingual expertise (Spanish/English). This will include support for survey development, data analyses, report writing, as well as support for other research projects. This position will be based in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities: The research associate will provide support on at least two projects. The work will be focused in the content area of qualitative research; quantitative skills are a plus. The research associate will assist with all aspects of the development and implementation of surveys, study designs, operations, and analysis. Work activities will primarily include: • Conducting cognitive interviews, focus groups, and other data collection activities in Spanish; • Handling logistics related to data collection activities; • Analyzing and reporting on qualitative data; • Assisting with the development of data collection protocols. The work may involve some translation of documents for research participants as well as reviewing translated documents (Spanish/English). Other activities may include: • Reviewing and processing data; conducting data analysis; • Conducting data quality checks; preparing and reviewing data tables, figures, and data documentation; • Assisting with writing and the review of research papers and statistical reports; revising manuscripts in response to editorial and technical comments • Preparing products for release based on detailed publication standards; and • Developing presentations for professional audiences. Qualifications: • Bachelor’s in anthropology, sociology, psychology, public policy, education, Latin-American studies, or other related social science fields with an emphasis on research methods; • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; • Ability to work under conditions requiring careful attention to detail; • Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to handle multiple competing priorities under time constraints; • Superior oral and written communication skills and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences; • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, including the ability to maintain a professional and effective working relationship with project staff and clients; • Interest in research in social science topics; • Interest in qualitative and quantitative methods, survey research, and data analysis; • Written and spoken Spanish fluency required • Basic research methods training and experience is ideal, but not required; • Experience with Nvivo or other qualitative data analysis software ideal, but not required AIR offers an excellent compensation and benefits package, including a fully funded retirement plan, generous paid time off, commuter benefits, and tuition assistance. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.air.org. To apply, please go https://jobsairdc.icims.com/jobs/8265/research-associate/job. EOE. Domestic Partner Benefits: This employer offers employment benefits to domestic partners of employees. Discrimination Policy: This employer prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation/preference and gender identity/expression. The above information is provided by the employer. The American Sociological Association does not verify the accuracy of these statements. © American Sociological Association. This compilation is provided for your personal use only. Reproduction or redistribution without the express written permission of the ASA is prohibited.

Research Associate for Public Policy Institute of California
Added by Michael Griffey

This position provides research assistance to Research Fellows working at PPIC’s Water Policy Center.  Responsibilities include (but are not necessarily limited to) performing quantitative and qualitative analysis, organizing and maintaining databases, conducting literature searches, abstracting documents, and presenting research results.  This position is located in PPIC’s San Francisco office.

Responsibilities

Analyze and code quantitative data.

Conduct statistical analyses of data. Includes organizing and maintaining databases and preparing analyses, charts, tables, graphs, and maps.

Conduct qualitative analysis of data.

Perform literature searches, prepare and annotate bibliographies and abstract data source materials.

Contact government agencies and other organizations to request data and other program information.

Provide editorial support for manuscripts.

Present research results.  May include preparing written reports as well as presenting results in seminars and other forums.

Exercise initiative in providing research assistance.

Perform administrative tasks as required.

Qualifications

Bachelors or Master’s degree in economics, environmental science, political science, public policy, sociology or a related field, or equivalent experience.

Solid computer skills:

Knowledge of STATA or another statistical package is required.

Knowledge of GIS software is desirable.

Experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis, along with proven analytical ability, will be important assets.

Excellent written and verbal communications skills and attention to detail will be important factors for success.

Demonstrated interest in applied policy research and water issues is required; experience or interest in other policy areas is a plus.

PPIC values the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences of our research staff, and key elements in the consideration of qualified candidates include excellence; diversity of talents, backgrounds, and viewpoints; and a strong fit with the institute’s mission, values, and goals.

_____________________________________________________

Research Associate American Institute for Research
Added by Burke Zen

Responsibilities

Work with clients to examine a wide range of projects from early childhood development to adult education.

Assist on a day-to-day basis in support of activities pertaining to survey methods, data collection, and analysis — particularly those activities that require bilingual expertise (Spanish/English). This will include support for survey development, data analyses, report writing, as well as support for other research projects.

Provide support on at least two projects. The work will be focused in the content area of qualitative research; quantitative skills are a plus.

Assist with all aspects of the development and implementation of surveys, study designs, operations, and analysis. Work activities will primarily include: • Conducting cognitive interviews, focus groups, and other data collection activities in Spanish; • Handling logistics related to data collection activities; • Analyzing and reporting on qualitative data; • Assisting with the development of data collection protocols. The work may involve some translation of documents for research participants as well as reviewing translated documents (Spanish/English). Other activities may include: • Reviewing and processing data; conducting data analysis; • Conducting data quality checks; preparing and reviewing data tables, figures, and data documentation; • Assisting with writing and the review of research papers and statistical reports; revising manuscripts in response to editorial and technical comments • Preparing products for release based on detailed publication standards; and • Developing presentations for professional audiences.

Qualifications

• Bachelor’s in anthropology, sociology, psychology, public policy, education, Latin-American studies, or other related social science fields with an emphasis on research methods;

• Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;

• Ability to work under conditions requiring careful attention to detail; • Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to handle multiple competing priorities under time constraints;

• Superior oral and written communication skills and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences;

• Ability to work independently and as part of a team, including the ability to maintain a professional and effective working relationship with project staff and clients;

• Interest in research in social science topics; • Interest in qualitative and quantitative methods, survey research, and data analysis; • Written and spoken Spanish fluency required • Basic research methods training and experience is ideal, but not required; • Experience with Nvivo or other qualitative data analysis software ideal, but not required.

_____________________________________________________________

Senior Research Vera Institute of Justice Center on Immigration and Justice
Added by Burke Zen

Responsibilities

Guide, challenge and inspire a unique center to think about how its work on issues at the intersection of immigration and the justice system can achieve the greatest impact.

Report directly to the CIJ Research Director.

Help manage ongoing research studies that employ diverse research methods and help lead the development of the CIJ research program.

Supervise quantitative data collection and analysis and reporting for the Evaluation of the justice AmeriCorps Program, as well as overseeing CIJ program data management, analysis and reporting.

Be responsible for identifying, developing and implementing ideas for new work and advancing existing projects at the intersection of immigration and justice. Projects may include technical assistance, research, or the development of demonstration projects, and should reflect CIJ’s strategic vision.

Work collaboratively with staff to perform analysis of administrative data, provide support to junior researchers, help manage multiple research projects, prepare and deliver presentations and reports to government and foundation funders, and write competitive grant proposals, research briefs and academic publications.

Qualifications

• The ideal candidate will have a strong background in quantitative methods, statistical analysis and evaluation research and expertise in mixed methods, with an interest in legal and/or immigration issues, and a record of successful proposals and published work in their area of research or policy expertise.

• At least 6 years work experience with a Masters degree or 3 years with a Ph.D. in sociology, criminal justice, criminology, public policy, or a related discipline. A Ph.D. is strongly preferred.

• Advanced skills in quantitative research methods using, and performing descriptive and multivariate data analysis, including a combination of: o Use of statistical analysis software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, SQL, R) to conduct multivariate quantitative analyses o Managing administrative datasets o Survey construction

• Commitment to immigration and justice system reform • Experience with project management

• Demonstrated research and policy expertise • A track record of published research

• Experience with research ethics requirements and Institutional Review Boards

• Excellent written and oral communication skills for research and non-research audiences

• Experience working closely with government and other partners

• Experience in applied research, criminal justice, and immigrant serving settings a plus

• Spanish language proficiency highly desirable. Salary Commensurate with experience, excellent benefits.

 ________________________________________________________________

Where do Public Sociologists work?

Research Into Action – Portland, OR
Research Into Action, Inc. is a program evaluation and market research firm. We specialize in evaluation research and market assessment design and analysis services in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural resource management.

Public Policy Institute of California – Sacramento or San Francisco
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. We are dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

U.S. Federal Government – Various Locations
The U.S. government uses people with BA and MA degrees in sociology for a wide variety of jobs, all over the country and world. Check out jobs in these occupation groups, which they say are applicable to sociologists: Correctional Institution Administration, Community Planning, Outdoor Recreation Planning, Unemployment Insurance, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Workforce Research and Analysis, Sociologists, and Public Health Education.

American Institutes for Research (AIR) – Washington, D.C.
AIR is one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. Our overriding goal is to use the best science available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life. For us, making the world a better place is not wishful thinking. It is the goal that drives us. We are a collaborative organization that works with clients to examine a wide range of projects from early childhood development to adult education. AIR prides itself in conducting high-impact, high-stakes projects for significant federal, state, and private organizations. Our vision is that research-based problem solving can improve the lives of all people.

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