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Are Social Science Degrees Useless? Here’s the Truth

It’s essential to choose the right college degree as it can play an integral role in the career pathway you pursue. Some degrees, like engineering, promise a clear career pathway, while others, like social sciences, may not. This makes some wonder whether social science degrees are useless. 

Social science degrees are not useless because they can open a wide range of career pathways. With the right type of social science degree, you can pursue a career in Psychology, Economics, and Political Science. Social science degrees will also help you build on useful skill sets. 

This article looks at the truth about social science degrees, considering how they may help you professionally and personally.

Social Science Degrees - Are They Worthless?

The Truth About Social Science Degrees

Social science degrees focus on getting a better understanding of the human world and human behaviors. Some examples of social science degrees include psychology, geography, economics, political science, and sociology. Social science degrees are helpful because they can help you apply for a range of jobs and build on valuable skill sets. 

This section considers how a social sciences degree may benefit you. 

What Skills You Can Learn With a Social Sciences Degree

There are a variety of skills you can learn from a social science degree. These can be classified into soft and hard skills, which can be measured. 

Some of the soft skills a social science degree can equip you in include:

  • Communication. Many social science degrees will build on your ability to communicate and build relationships with others. 
  • Critical and creative thinking. Social science degrees often call upon you to use critical thinking to analyze a particular scenario and creative thinking to address the scenario. 
  • Empathy. Social science degrees like Sociology and Psychology focus on understanding the human mind, which will help you build on your ability to understand and connect with others. 

Some of the hard skills you can develop include:

  • ICT skills. We live in the IT age, and technological skills can go a long way in helping you get a job. When studying social science, you will use various IT skills, including gathering, manipulating, and presenting data and research. You will also build on presentation skills. 
  • Data analysis. Many social science degrees will call upon you to gather data when studying human behavior or trends. You will likely have to process and present this data which will be helpful in a variety of occupations. 

Both hard and soft skills will help you in any profession and can also leverage job applications or interviews. 

Source: BBC

What You Can Do With a Social Science Degree

A social science degree will open the doors to a variety of careers. The BBC reports that students who graduate with a social science degree have excellent job prospects and are likely to find roles faster than arts or science graduates. 

Some of the highest-paying careers you can pursue with a social science degree include being a political scientist, an economist, a sociologist, and a psychologist.

The specific degrees you’ll need for these professions, along with more details, are explored further below.

Political Scientist 

Political Scientists study policy and politics and look for solutions to political and government-level problems like immigration policies and welfare schemes. 

Source: The Princeton Review

Political scientists work closely with governments to design schemes or work with top-level non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations. Political Scientists may also lecture at universities as professors. 

A Political Scientist would typically have studied politics or economics, which are both social science degrees. 


Economists focus on some of the areas that Economists focus on include financial policy, labor, goods, and the framework of goods, services, and resources within a society. Economists may work with banks, governments, investment funds, and other financial organizations. Depending on your position, you can earn a fair amount as an economic advisor. 

Source: Investopedia

You can become an Economist after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics which most colleges classify as a social sciences degree. 


If you have a degree in Psychology, you can pursue a further qualification and then qualify as a Psychologist. 

There are many fields of Psychology one can get into, including clinical psychology, educational psychology, and business psychology. As a clinical and business Psychologist, you can earn a high salary. 


Sociologists study and report on societal behavior, observing how groups work together, how social institutions are set up, and how societies are constructed and operate on a more significant level. They use their knowledge to influence policies and legislation. 

You can become a Sociologist by completing a degree in Sociology. To work with the government and other high-level organizations, you may have to get a Masters’s degree in Sociology. 

Other Advantages of Social Science Degrees

As well as building on your skillset and helping you pursue a particular profession, there are some additional benefits to pursuing a social science degree: 

  • Helps you develop your understanding of the world. A social science degree will give you insight into the nuances of society and the world. This will help you deepen relationships and your knowledge of culture and people. This knowledge is both exciting and valuable as you navigate the world. 
  • Allows for flexibility. It can be hard to decide the career path you want to follow when you are 17 or 18. A social science degree allows you to join college and build on your knowledge without committing to one career pathway. 
  • Ability to combine degrees. Many colleges have several social science degrees under one banner and will allow you to combine subjects for a double major. 

Source: University of South Wales


This exploration shows that a social science degree is not useless and can help you advance both professionally and develop your skillset. A social science degree can make you more employable and help you pursue a range of lucrative professions in fields like Psychology, Politics, and Economics.

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