Social Science Careers in Today’s Job Market

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Image from page 76 of “Peter Parley’s tales about Asia : with a map and numerous engravings” (1830)
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Identifier: peterparleystalegood
Title: Peter Parley’s tales about Asia : with a map and numerous engravings
Year: 1830 (1830s)
Authors: Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860
Publisher: Boston : Gray & Bowen and Carter & Hendee
Contributing Library: Information and Library Science Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Digitizing Sponsor: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Text Appearing Before Image:
arleys tales op ASIA. Ol These are picked off, usually in the morningwhile the dew is upon them, they are thenrolled on iron plates, and dried in the sun. The best kind of tea is carefully rolled, leafby leaf, by women. After the tea is prepared,it is put into boxes lined with thin sheets oflead, and trodden down with the naked feet.Thus packed, it is carefully and closely covered,and sent to market. The people of China do not drink their teaas we do, with sugar and milk. They takeit without these accompaniments, and use itrather for health than for pleasure. It is re-markable, that this plant flourishes in no otherparts of the world than China and Japan. It grows spontaneously in both countries,yet in China it is cultivated to an immense ex-tent. It sometimes grows on high rocks andledges, which are not easily accessible. Theingenious Chinese have monkeys, which they How is tea prepared for market by the Chinese 1In what countries only does the tea plant grow 1 parleys tales of ASIA.

Text Appearing After Image:
Mo:>iKEYS gatiieki^ng tea. 58 PARLEY S TALES OP ASIA. teach to strip the tea leaves from the trees, insuch situations. The monkeys, when they do well, are sureto receive from their masters something toeat. If they behave ill, they are equally cer-tain of being beaten. Tea was first brought from China to Eu-rope, about 200 years ago. Previous to thattime, it was not known in Europe. It wasmany years after, that it began to be used inNew England. I remember very well, tohave heard a man who lived in the interior of j^Massachusetts, give an account of the first tea^he ever saw. His father had received a small quantityfrom a friend in Boston. The family hadheard of tea, but had never learned the mys-tery of cooking it. In the first place, a por-tion of it was boiled in a kettle, and then theyattempted to eat the leaves. These they found very bitter, and concluded When was tea first brought to Europe! iiit parleys tales of ASIA. 59 that they had not hit upon the right methodof cooking i

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The range of academic disciplines that fall within the social science classification includes anthropologists, archaeologists, psychologists, geographers, historians, political scientists, economists, and urban or regional planners.  That’s a wide range of expertise; it includes looking at cultures present and past, studying their behavior, their economies and the ground beneath them. 

Many of these positions are primarily research oriented.  According to the Department of Labor, over 40% of all social scientists exclusive of psychologists and urban planners work for the federal government.  It’s a good guess that another large group of them teach.  The social sciences comprise a number of fascinating fields; but the number of professionals who have gotten a social science education and are able to utilize it in a commercial or business environment is limited.

Psychologists are an exception to that rule.  Clinical psychologists must hold a doctorate and maintain strict licensure.  However there are a number of career options for graduates form a bachelors or masters program in psychology.  Human resource departments in medium and large businesses hire psychology majors to work as interviewers, trainers or recruiters.  Any sort of job that involves extensive human contact and interaction – sales, account management,  counseling jobs that don’t require special licensure, probation and parole workers – all of these professions have psychology graduates in their ranks.
Urban and regional planners engage in research, but for very specific purposes with clear objectives in mind.  They work with statistics, economic data and demographics in order to produce recommendations on development questions or plans for a given geographic or political entity. 
Political scientists who do graduate work usually teach.  Students with a baccalaureate in political science might find a job opportunity within a municipal, county or state agency handling constituent work or dealing with active civic organizations.  Some cut their teeth doing campaign work and eventually become political consultants.
Archaeologists who work for the government often survey proposed development sites to ascertain what, if any evidence may be found there that relates to historical use of the property.  Many anthropologists have found a niche working with businesses that have product development divisions and that want information on how a product may be perceived and used by the public based cultural, physical or sociological factors.  Geographers are generally employed by governments for the purpose of studying the physical impact of proposed development on a piece of real estate. 
Graduates with a degree in economics have a lot of options, both in business and in government.  Budget development is a major government function that occurs on an annual basis.  Government agencies also look at the economic impact of many things, from proposed legislation to the closure of military bases to the economic model of a foreign nation.  At the local level, city or county administrators employ economic professionals to manage finances and revenue.  The same is true of businesses, where you may find a former economics student working as a risk manager, financial officer or budget analyst.

If you are interested in studying one of the social sciences you should consider speaking with a career counselor at your (potential) school.  Many colleges today have placement offices and career professionals who work in them.  With persistence, you should be able to find a job opportunity that will allow you to utilize your education in the social sciences.

Bob Hartzell writes about careers for On the website you’ll find comprehensive resources for social science degrees as well as information on educational opportunities for hundreds of other professions.

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