March 26, 2013
Recently, a number of academic sociology department chairs expressed to us a desire for the deans of their schools to further develop their understanding of the sociology discipline and coursework. The ASA Department of Research is here to help.
Sociology is relevant to helping undergrads cultivate social science research skills, develop a better understanding of their lives, and make decisions about careers or future graduate study. It also has an interdisciplinary nature, which brings a wealth of subject matter and technical approaches to several different disciplines such as engineering and even medicine.
ASA’s Research Department conducts large- and small-scale surveys of academic sociologists and sociology students, providing information about satisfaction with the sociology major, profiles of and trends in sociology departments, demographic information (e.g., addressing race and gender) in the profession and discipline, and other vital data. The bulk of its work culminates in freely-available research and data briefs that can be downloaded from our web site.
Help us to inform the dean of your school/college of sociology’s role in life and work. If you are a faculty member of a freestanding or joint department that offers a sociology major, please submit the name and email address of your school’s dean using the form below. Information submitted through our blog is transmitted securely and will never appear on this blog site. In turn, we will share with them timely and relevant information to them (via a single email message), such as links to our various research and data briefs on the profession, and other critical findings of interest. If they wish to receive further information or future updates from us, we will provide them with that option.
Should you have questions about this endeavor, please contact Robert Spalter-Roth, Director of the Department of Research, at email@example.com.
March 15, 2013
The following table is taken from our latest research brief, Social Capital for Sociology Majors: Applied Activities and Peer Networks, which is based on our 2012 longitudinal study, Social Capital, Organizational Capital, and the Job Market for New Sociology Graduates.
This table summarizes the activities listed on six sociology departments’ websites that provided easily retrievable information on activities beyond the classroom. We share this information to provide a sense of the substance behind the survey response of sociology department chairs that their departments provide “a great deal” of emphasis on application and peer networks, and to provide other departments with examples of how they might organize their own websites if they wish to promote these types of activities. Please click on the table to view it at full size.
Sample of Sociology Departments’ Websites Promoting Career Information
February 20, 2013
A AAAS interview with economist Dr. Stephan points out that the biomedical sciences are overproducing PhDs for the research positions available inside and outside the academy and have been for some time. According to Dr. Stephan’s research, many biomedical science PhDs do not perform work for which they have been trained.
Considering that sociologists–although more than capable of interdisciplinary work–are not necessarily encouraged to perform such work (especially in light of the discipline’s concern with disciplinary identity), how will graduate education need to change to prepare students to seek out and perform interdisciplinary research?
What kind of interdisciplinary work are you being trained to do? Tell us whether you’re a PhD candidate or a postdoctoral position holder.
We thank L. Williams of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for contributing to this blog posting.
December 3, 2012
Are you using or going to use data from our 2012 Bachelor’s and Beyond survey for assessment purposes? If so, how? For what other purposes do or will you use it?
June 21, 2012
The data from ASA Research Department’s newest study of nearly 2,700 senior sociology majors have just come back from the field, and women represent the overwhelming majority. Three-quarters of the respondents who reported their gender are women, while one-quarter of respondents are men. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) support the claim that women comprise the majority of sociology undergraduates, showing that the percentage of women receiving sociology BA degrees has held steady at just about 70% since 1980 (see here).
Is this imbalance a problem for the discipline or not? If yes, what can the discipline and/or individual departments do to recruit more male undergraduates?
September 6, 2011
A new research brief, “The Impact of Cross-Race Mentoring for ‘Ideal’ and ‘Alternative’ PhD Careers in Sociology” is now available on our website. As always, we invite your comments and questions.
June 15, 2011
We have just posted a new data brief on the survival of masters programs. Are Masters Programs Closing? What Makes for Success in Staying Open discusses findings from a follow-up to our 2009 survey of graduate program directors. Findings from that earlier survey are available in What Can I Do With a Masters Degree in Sociology? The Department in Context.
For additional research on masters programs, visit the What Can I Do With a Masters Degree in Sociology? webpage.
August 9, 2010
Each year, we conduct an audit of jobs advertised in the ASA Job Bank. (Findings from the previous years can be found in Too Many or Too Few PhDs? Employment Opportunities in Academic Sociology (2006 data) and Down Market? Findings from the 2008 ASA Job Bank Survey). In 2008, we expanded our study beyond comparing the number of academic and non-academic positions to include a survey of departments that advertised at least one assistant or open rank position in order to find out what happened to those jobs. Were their searches successful and, if so, were they filled at the rank of assistant professor? How many jobs were canceled or searches suspended due to a hiring freeze? Where openings remained vacant because of cancellations or other reasons, would temporary faculty be used to fill the gap? Because information on the job market is most useful to new PhDs, our survey is limited to departments that advertised positions for which newly minted PhDs can apply.
As reported in our new research brief, Still a Down Market: Findings from the 2009/2010 Job Bank Survey, the total number of jobs advertised has continued to decline since 2006. The number of jobs advertised has continued to decline since 2006, a finding similar to those reported by other social science and humanities disciplines. Comparing all jobs advertised by U.S. and foreign institutions in 2009 to those in 2008, we find fewer academic positions, but slightly more non-academic positions. Assistant and open rank faculty positions, which account for a majority of academic positions advertised in the ASA Job Bank (92% in 2009) fell 35% while the number of advertising departments fell 32% compared to 2008-2009 figures. On a somewhat optimistic note, searches were conducted in almost all cases, and about 86% of those were successful. Read more findings, including information on jobs not filled, and comparisons by departments and types of institutions in our new research brief.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Click here to post your comments and questions. As we will continue this study next year, we welcome suggestions as to what data we should collect for future studies on the job market for sociologists.
All comments are public, do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
August 2, 2010
Since 2009, we’ve been tracking the career and educational paths of graduates of sociology Master’s programs. Did they go on to obtain PhDs, or immediately enter the job market? And if so, in what types of programs and jobs? How are these outcomes related to the sociological skills and concepts learned at this level, satisfaction with their programs, and the social capital they’ve developed?
The new data brief, From Programs to Careers: Continuing to Pay Attention to the Master’s Degree in Sociology examines program characteristics, student experiences, and outcomes.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Click here to post comments and questions on this topic. Do include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
May 17, 2010
What did they do with a bachelor’s degree in sociology? In our latest brief, Mixed Success: Four Years of Experiences of 2005 Sociology Graduates, the fifth installment in the Bachelors and Beyond series, we continue with our examination of the use of human and social capital in careers. For example, what types of graduate degrees did they pursue? In what fields are they employed? What sociological concepts do they use in their jobs? What skills should be taught? And, what aspects of their jobs are they most satisfied?
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