Motivations and Self-Perceived Career Prospects of Undergraduate Sociology Students
Keywords:career prospects, education, motivations, sociology, undergraduate programme.
AbstractSociology undoubtedly plays an important role in the world of sciences, as it provides an opportunity to examine the society in which we live and our social relationships using widely accepted means with real scientific value. As Giddings has noted, 'sociology tells us how to become what we want to be' (Giddings, 2011). However, discussions of the social sciences can be controversial, as they are sometimes perceived as ‘inferior’ to natural sciences. To alleviate this discrepancy, it is essential to supply professionals with useful knowledge in the field of sociology, understand their motivations and ensure the best career prospects for them. In this pilot study, 18 sociology B.A. students answered seven open-ended questions in the form of a short essay regarding their motivations in terms of faculty choices, initial expectations and the fulfilment thereof, their aims in the study of sociology, preferred areas of employment, willingness to undergo further training, five-year plans and their opinions about the prospects of newly graduated sociologists in Hungary compared to graduates from other areas in terms of the usefulness of knowledge gained, perceptions of their professions and earning opportunities. According to the results of this study, the future plans of the participants were very different, but all of them believe that an undergraduate sociology degree provides extensive knowledge about the functioning of society and has helped them to form attitudes that they consider to be extremely valuable on the labour market.
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