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8 Best Online Colleges for Sociology in 2016

The online sociology degree can be a great investment for anyone hoping to work in social work, as a sociologist, or for educators who hope to teach the subject at the high school or post-secondary level. The best online colleges for sociology offer degree programs with an intense focus on modern social issues, an d a sociology degree in combination with some sort of political science degree can provide a great educational background for someone hoping to enter a career in politics. While entry-level positions in most social work fields can be gained with a bachelor's degree, advanced management positions may require a master's degree along with a significant amount of work experience. Individuals interested in becoming a sociologist or working as a college professor should plan on earning a minimum of a master's degree to gain entry to the field, while also planning to add a doctoral degree afterwards as well.

Bachelor's degree-level sociology students cover topics like courtship, marriage, families, politics, race, religion, gender, and health, and more modern issues like the impact of technology on society and the globalization of products and work. Most bachelor's degrees in sociology are part of liberal arts program, and include courses in English, mathematics, history, and statistics that help students develop skills in research, critical thinking, and analysis. Master's-level sociology programs typically focus on developing practical skills by having students participate in actual work environments, and by conducting original research that can include recording and interpreting data, or carrying out person-to-person interviews with a specific community or group of people. Doctoral degree programs in sociology typically require students to complete their own research oriented projects for a final thesis project.

Sociology majors who plan on pursuing a career as a sociologist can expect to spend most of their time in an office setting researching and writing reports. They may occasionally work outside of the office to conduct interviews and perform research. The field is highly competitive, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that sociologists held only 4,000 jobs nationwide. The BLS also reported that most sociologists were employed by research organizations and colleges and universities. The two combined to account for more than 66% of jobs in the field. Most positions in the field usually require a minimum of a master's degree, but due to the competitive nature of the field, some positions may require a doctorate and several years of experience. Sociologists who hold positions at colleges and universities may also be called upon to teach courses as well.

The best online sociology colleges provide bachelor's students with an excellent platform for individuals hoping to teach the subject at the secondary level. All U.S. states require public school teachers to be licensed to teach at the junior high or high school level. The process is commonly referred to as earning a teaching certificate. Requirements will vary slightly from state to state; however, most require candidates to hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, the completion of some kind of preparation program, and a certain amount of supervised teaching experience. Lastly, all states require candidates to pass a general knowledge test. Passing the test demonstrates that the individual has a sufficient amount of knowledge in the areas where they hope to teach. Lastly, most states will also require candidates to pass a background check before they begin working with students. Almost all states require secondary teachers to complete a minimum number of annual professional development classes to keep their teaching certificate. Most recently, certain states now require teachers to earn a relatable master's degree within a certain time frame after they become certified.

Prospective students hoping to earn a sociology degree at any level should ensure that the program they are considering is accredited, and that the accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This will ensure that the education being offered by the institution meets an acceptable level of quality. This not only ensures potential employers that the education you received provided a sound knowledge base and training, but also allows students to transfer credit and gain entry to graduate school.

Rankings

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Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Brandman University 7.07
2 National University 10.95
3 Saint Leo University 15.64
4 Columbia College 16.35
5 Ashford University 18.17
6 American Public University 18.94
7 Western Governors University 24.66
8 Capella University 30.69
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