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The future lives of sociology graduates.

THE AFTERLIFE OF A SOCIOLOGY BA graduate remains mysterious. Upon receipt of a sociology credential, our alumni virtually disappear from our radar. Media releases provide occasional blips. Many know that Stephan Dion, the former leader of the Liberal Party and a current federal Cabinet Minister, has a PhD in sociology, and likewise that Monique Begin, a former prominent Cabinet Minister, also has degrees in sociology. Many will also know that the pollster Angus Reid has a PhD in sociology. Others will have read that the sociology scholars Danielle Juteau and Peter Li, for example, were appointed to the Order of Canada in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Few sociology degree holders attain this high public profile. No television shows, blockbuster movies, best-selling books, or trending videos feature sociologists. For the most part, mystery surrounds the life trajectories of Canadians with degrees in sociology. This mystery, however, does not deter social commentary about sociology degrees and their recipients. Margaret Wente (2012a, 2012b), columnist for The Globe and Mail, railed that sociology students had been "sold a bill of goods" with degrees that are "increasingly worthless."

The invisibility of sociology degree holders makes countering, or confirming, Wente-like assertions difficult. No reliable source specifies the number of Canadians who are trained to "commit sociology," although estimations are not difficult. We know from Statistics Canada reports, and associated projections, that there are currently around 200,000 Canadians who have graduated from Canadian universities with sociology BAs Mortality will have trimmed the number of living graduates slightly, but if we include both immigrants trained abroad and Canadians who earned undergraduate sociology degrees in foreign schools, this approximation would seem robust. The number might also be marginally higher if we included students who did not do their first degree in sociology, but subsequently earned a master's or PhD in the discipline. Finally, of course, many people who received a first degree in sociology subsequently completed degrees in other fields, including law, planning, and teaching. Although they are counted in the 200,000 sociology BA graduates noted above, they are frequently lost to the discipline, and social commentators, because they self-identify as lawyers, planners, or teachers.

A different perspective on the preponderance of sociologists comes from examining the growth among degree recipients. In 1974, there were 74,851 undergraduate degrees awarded by Canadian universities, a figure that grew to 124,861 in 1998 (Education in Canada [Statistics Canada various years]). This represents a growth of 40.0 percent. In contrast, sociology degree recipients rose by 58.4 percent.

The picture of disciplinary growth is bleaker recently. In 1974, the 2,350 sociology degrees granted represented 3.1 percent of all undergraduate degrees awarded, a percentage that grew to 4.5 by 1998. Subsequently, the proportion of sociology degrees has dropped precipitously to 1.7. Part of this decline is possibly artifactual, a consequence of our having to use two different data sources. However, if we use a single data source and contrast data from 2000 and 2013 the drop in the percentage of sociology degrees as a fraction of all degrees declines from 3.0 to 1.7 percent. Explaining this recent drop likely involves a combination of several factors, including perhaps a slowing of growth in public sector employment where many sociologists have historically found work, certainly the competing mix of disciplines now on offer in Canadian universities, and maybe the continuing bad press of sociology as a discipline.

Our goal is not, however, simply to estimate and explain trends in the number of Canadians with sociology degrees. We seek as well to provide a profile of who they are, what they do, how they fare in the workforce, and what they self-report about the value of their degrees. Our paper updates earlier work on graduates of the discipline (e.g., Davies, Mosher, and O'Grady 1992; Davies and Walters 2008).


We rely on official statistics from five principal Statistics Canada sources--various years of the Canadian census, the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), the National Graduates Survey (NGS), annual profiles of higher education (e.g., Education in Canada), and special tabulations provided by the Education Directorate of Statistics Canada. Based on the 1991 and 2001 Census, and the 2011 NHS, we are able to provide activity patterns for people who report their highest degree as being sociology. The long form Census and NHS questionnaires asked the following: "What was the major field of study of the highest degree, certificate or diploma that this person completed?" (emphasis in original). This question about major field of study (MFS) for a person's highest postsecondary degree excludes, by definition, anyone trained in sociology who goes on to complete another degree, for example in law, planning, or teaching, and who chose to report that latter degree as their "MFS." We think that the likelihood of the latter is high. Especially, for more recent cohorts, where more and more people have pursued multiple university degrees, the census figures will underestimate the absolute number of sociology degree holders, although not necessarily muddying the proportionate estimates of who these people are and what they might now be doing.

The NGS is helpful because we can identify individuals whose MFS was sociology, even if they have completed a further degree, which they might define as their "MFS." The 2013 NGS asked respondents who graduated in 2009 to 2010 about all the postsecondary degrees they had attained. The NGS has a very small sample size, which means we can identify only a very few sociology degree recipients. Respondents self-reported on their satisfaction with their degrees, their earnings, and their occupations.

Exactly how field of study is defined has ramifications for our results. In the census and the NHS, Statistics Canada has used two field of study classifications during the 1991 to 2011 interval. For the 1991 and 2001 Censuses, the "MFS" classification was used and the 2011 NHS uses a field of study categorization known as CIP, or Classification of Instructional Programs. Both classifications categorize education courses and learning experiences into discrete clusters that map onto occupational qualifications, preparation for advanced degrees, or programs of study in defined areas (Statistics Canada 2011). Sociology, coded 451101 in the CIP, falls under the social sciences umbrella and is distinct from rural sociology (451401), sociology and anthropology (451301), urban studies (451201), and demography and population studies (450401). Although the coding scheme changed in 2011, an MFS-CIP concordance table helps to ensure that the classification of individuals to the "sociology" field of study is congruent over time. In addition, this study uses the 1991 and 2001 Harmonized Census Microdata files that were developed with the primary objective of creating data with historically comparable census variables.


Of the approximately 200,000 Canadians who have degrees in sociology, a strong majority are women. The upper panel of Table 1 shows the sex composition of Canadians reporting in the census (or in 2011, the NHS) that they hold a sociology degree as their main credential. As the rightmost column clearly shows, slightly more than two-thirds of people reporting a sociology credential are women, a percentage that has increased slightly across the three time periods. The same basic pattern holds when we compare across age groups, with the older cohorts typically composed of a slightly smaller proportion of women (seen by comparing down the columns). The pattern is not perfectly linear as the very oldest cohort, those aged 65 to 74 in 1991 and born just after the First World War, represent the cohort with the second highest proportion of female sociology degree holders.

The robustness of the basic pattern of feminization shown in Table 1 is corroborated by examining the annual share of women who graduated from Canadian universities with sociology BA degrees between the early 1970s (when 58 percent of degree recipients were women) and more recently in the 2010s (75 to 80 percent women; Education in Canada and special tabulations purchased from Statistics Canada). The percentage of women among sociology graduates is now between 75 and 80 percent at the undergraduate level, while it is about 70 percent at the MA level, and at about 60 percent among PhD students.

Several explanations for the feminization of sociology as a field of study seem plausible (Roos 1997). Part of the increase in the absolute number of women trained as sociologists is a function of the increasing percentage of women graduating from university generally which between 1976 and 2008 grew from 48 to 61 percent (Davies and Guppy 2014:152). This helps to explain a rise in the absolute number of women, but it does not account for the proportionate increase among women pursuing sociology. One explanation for rising feminization among sociology graduates is that women select sociology as a field of study because of its personal resonance. The discipline continues to place more stress than others do on issues about which women care deeply, including social justice, children and family, sexuality, and gender equity (for an economics/sociology comparison, see Fourcade, Ollion, and Algan 2015). Alternatively, social science degrees, at least outside of economics, have never led to particularly high-paying jobs, jobs to which men have traditionally been drawn and from which women have been restricted (see the comparative income data by field and sex that we report next).

The middle panel of Table 1 shows trends among Francophones and Anglophones. A first impression is that the number of Francophones reporting sociology as a main undergraduate degree is lower than expected. Using as a baseline the approximate percentage of Canadians who report French as their home language (the measure of language used in the table), the Francophone proportion has been in the 20 to 22 percent range for the past few decades. By comparison, the figures in Table 1 show that among people aged 25 to 34 in 2011, only 5.7 percent of sociology degree holders are Francophones. This finding was unexpected as we initially interpreted the Dion and Begin examples with which we began the paper as emblematic of a strong pool of sociology graduates among Canadian Francophones.

Historically, it appears that there was an uptick in the percentage of Francophones holding sociology degrees among the older cohorts, but this pattern has reversed more recently. For the three oldest cohorts in Table 1, greater percentages of Francophones reported holding sociology degrees in each successive decade from 1991 to 2011. That trend is sharply different compared to the pattern among 25- to 34-year-olds. In 2011, a lower percentage of young people (5.7 percent) were reported holding their highest degrees in sociology as compared to the same-age cohort in 1991 (8.3 percent).

Another way to make these comparisons is to examine the percentage of Francophones and Anglophones that hold university degrees in fields other than sociology (not reported in a table). Among the youngest cohort in 2011 (aged 25 to 34), 17.1 percent of all nonsociology degree holders were Francophones, but only 5.7 percent of sociology degree holders were Francophone.

Where this pattern is sharply different is among those who hold graduate degrees in sociology. When we examine the proportion of people with master's or doctoral degrees, the percentage of people reporting their home language as French rises to 25.3 in the 2011 cohort (data not presented in a table). Francophone speakers appear less likely to hold an undergraduate degree than one might expect, but a higher percentage than expected hold graduate degrees (like the degrees possessed by Begin and Dion).

Part of the story here might be that more Francophones completing a BA in sociology proceed to other degrees (e.g., in law, planning, or teaching), than is the case among Anglophones. The theme of personal resonance, which we suggested explained some of the rise in feminization, might also be at work here in parsing out the Anglophone-Francophone contrast. That is, Francophone sociology has traditionally focused on issues of identity and "distinct society" (Rocher 1970; Warren 2009), issues that were more important among the older cohorts where we saw increases among Francophones with sociology degrees. However, these issues have apparently not galvanized younger Francophones in more recent years, with the result that sociology may have lost some of its appeal as a field of study.

There is also a very different explanation that is more structural in nature. Rather than explaining these patterns with respect to personal choice, it could be that the mix of disciplines in Quebec differs significantly from the rest of Canada. For example, programs of study examining regionalism and nationalism as separate disciplines have long been more common in Quebec than elsewhere. International studies, as well as business and administration studies, have begun to eclipse Quebec studies in the curriculum. These "competing" disciplines may be attracting Francophone students who might otherwise have been attracted to sociology.

A third demographic pattern we explore is the relative number of sociology credentials reported by visible and nonvisible minority Canadians. As context, recall that in recent years Statistics Canada shows that members of visible minorities have reported higher percentages of university degrees (43 percent among 24- to 44-year-olds in 2011) than have nonvisible minority Canadians (28 percent), a pattern that is more pronounced for men than for women (the gap is 19 percent for men and 12 percent for women). We also know that fields of study are chosen by significantly different percentages of visible and nonvisible minorities, with visible minority students more frequently choosing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)-related fields (Dickson 2010; Zarifa 2012).

The bottom panel of Table 1 shows a relatively clear pattern with a growing number of visible minority Canadians earning sociology degrees. This is evident first from the rightmost column, comparing figures for 1991 (11.2 percent), 2001 (14.6 percent), and 2011 (18.1 percent). A second way to see this pattern is to note that among older age groups, the percentage of sociology degree holders is always lower than it is among the younger cohorts (those from 1991). Remember, however, that this is the proportion of people with sociology degrees who are members of a visible minority. Given that about 40 percent of Canadians who are visible minorities hold a university degree, these lower percentage figures tell us that sociology is not a preferred field of study for members of visible minority populations, even if the percentage is increasing.

Over time, members of visible minorities in Canada have increased substantially their proportions of higher education credentials, but visible minorities have not been as attracted to sociology as to some other disciplines, such as economics and computer science. Some observers suppose that this is more a function of academic preparation. Asian students in particular are more prepared to succeed in STEM fields where they are attracted more frequently (Dickson 2010). Some other U.S. studies attribute the field of study choices of Asian-Americans to earnings differences across fields (e.g., Leong and Tata 1990; Liu 1998; Xie and Goyette 2003).

These explanations focus on the lower percentage of visible minority students completing sociology degrees, but they do not account for the relative growth among visible-minority students who do chose to graduate in sociology (a growth of over 60 percent between 1991 and 2011). As with both gender and language group, it might be personal resonance that is at work here; that is sociology is one of the disciplines most likely to address issues of racialization, migration, and ethnic identity. This focuses on personal choices of disciplines links directly to labor force outcomes and leads us to examine the activity patterns of Canadians with sociology degrees after graduation.


Some commentators have suggested that sociology graduates would have been wiser to have swapped "sociology for socket sets," ensuring their preparedness for meaningful employment (Fletcher 2012). This implies that the unemployment rate among sociology graduates should be above the national average if the alleged benefit of "swapping sociology for socket sets" holds any truth. However, the unemployment rates in both 1991 and 2011 for sociology degree holders, 6.1 and 5.0 percent, respectively, are below the national average for the entire labor force (8.6 and 6.1 percent for all workers for the respective years, ages 25 to 60; Census/NHS).

A tougher test comes in comparing unemployment rates for all bachelor degree holders (excluding sociology) with sociology degree holders. The rates in 2011 were 4.9 and 4.5 percent, respectively. In short, sociology degree recipients are as likely, if not even slightly more likely, to be employed than are nonsociology bachelor degree holders.

Table 2 presents the employment status of women and men whose highest degree was sociology, for two age cohorts for both 1991 and 2011. For people aged 25 to 60 rates of employment are more than 80 percent, and higher for men than women. A profile of employment status in more recent times comes from examining the narrower age range of 30- to 39-year-olds. Here too, we find that the employment rates are lower and the unemployment rates higher for women, relative to the broader age cohort, a finding we attribute to motherhood experiences for women in this age range. Motherhood responsibilities also presumably account for the greater likelihood of women than men not to be in the labor force (the bottom row of the table).

One main message of Table 2 is that sociology degree recipients do not pay an unemployment penalty. In part, this is a function of the asset that any university credential holds, and is not necessarily a specific benefit of sociology as a chosen field of study. Young bachelor degree holders across all fields of study tend to receive higher earnings and are more likely to be employed full year, full time than are high school graduates (Frank, Frenette, and Morissette 2015). Nevertheless, these data patterns support the view that a sociology degree is superior to choosing a line of employment where a degree is not a requirement (as in auto mechanics or other "socket set" lines of work).

Table 3 reports the top 10 occupations in which sociologists aged 25 to 39 reported working in 2011. For women, the range of jobs includes both caring professions (community service work and social work) and human resource professions (administrative and human resource roles). Many of these jobs are presumably in the public sector, but a range of mainly private sector jobs would also be included (e.g., retail and wholesale managers, retail sales). These jobs are reasonably stable across the data we have for 1991, 2001, and 2011 as well as being fairly consistent for older cohorts as well. For men, professions in the criminal justice system are notable (e.g., police, corrections), although a higher proportion than we anticipated seem to be in the private sector (e.g., retail and corporate sales, finance). As for women, these occupational groups are fairly consistent over time and across older cohorts, and the patterns are similar to reports from the United States (see Senter, Spalter-Roth, and Van Vooren 2015). Although the cell sizes diminish very quickly with different categorizations, the general patterns seem reasonably similar when comparing occupational destinations for visible and nonvisible minorities as well as by home language group. The latter patterns suggest that ethnicity and language group do not appear to alter the typical occupational profiles.

We also use data from the 2011 NHS to examine the median earnings (in 2010 dollars) of sociologists as compared to others with bachelor's degrees in the social sciences. We include only people employed full year, full time with positive earnings and no self-employment income. As Table 4 reveals, the earnings of sociologists are typically close to, although usually below, the median earnings of those with other social science degrees (for findings on social science versus other broad fields of study, see Finnie et al. 2016). Sociologists have lower median earnings on all comparisons with economists and almost all comparisons with political science graduates, but sociologists routinely have earnings that are above peers who graduated with bachelor's degrees in history or psychology. Sociologists report wage and salary earnings broadly in keeping with their colleagues who chose other cognate fields of study. Recall again, however, that these findings relate to people whose highest degree was reported on the census as sociology, and so the earnings reported here exclude people who trained first in sociology but then went on to earn a second degree in a different field (e.g., law, planning, or teaching). This is true too, of course, for graduates in other fields of study reported in Table 5, so our comparison is "apples to apples."

We pursue the earnings issue further in Table 5 by examining wage and salary data for individual sociologists who chose to pursue graduate study. Is it worth it to earn a graduate degree? The answer to this question depends on a person's level of degree and gender. For those with an undergraduate degree, the pattern of lower female earnings is replicated across the three age cohorts in the table. For women who earn an MA degree, the higher credential pays off in the labor market with increased earnings across all age cohorts. For men, however, earning the MA degree is not worth the costs, at least in terms of earnings relative to their colleagues who chose to stop their studies with the BA. For men with an MA, they not only earn less than males with only a BA, but men with an MA routinely earn less than women with an MA. At the PhD level, our comparisons are less robust because cell sizes are smaller (and for young men insufficient to report earnings), but the earnings are higher as would be expected.

Judging the robustness of the previous earnings results requires a more complex specification of the models used to examine annual wages and salaries. In Table 6, we follow conventional practice in examining annual wages and salaries, controlling for age (to account for earnings increasing with years of experience), age squared (the plateauing of earnings at upper ages), and weeks worked (employment effort). To take into account the skewed earning distributions, and to stay consistent with Table 6, we use quantile (median) regression models.

In Model 1, we simultaneously introduce sex, ethnicity, and home language. The findings show that earnings increase by about $4,300 for every year of age, although the rate of that increase declines with age (see the negative coefficient for age squared). For every extra week worked, people received about $1,000 more. The basic earnings patterns of Table 4 are repeated in this first model. Net of other factors men with a sociology degree earn about $10,200 more than do women, nonvisible minority members earn about $6,800 more than do members of visible minorities, and Anglophones earn about $7,000 more than do Francophones. The latter wage gap may also partially account for the lower attraction to sociology among Francophones (see Table 2). In Model 2, where we introduce the possession (or lack) of a graduate degree, we can determine more precisely whether gaining a postgraduate credential pays off economically. The answer is yes, with a reservation. Net of other factors, a graduate degree is worth about $3,600 more each year. The reservation is that "economic payoff' depends on how you calculate opportunity costs. Over the course of a career, the $3,600 annual increment would not likely cover the foregone earnings for someone who took eight years to complete a PhD (post BA). The cell sizes are not sufficiently large to allow us to adjudicate on the difference between the MA and PhD degrees.

Finally, we turn to self-report data from the 2013 NGS to examine how satisfied recent sociology graduates are with their degree choice, occupation, and employment income. As shown in Table 7, among graduates in the six fields of study considered, sociology graduates are the least likely to say that they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their degree choice (44 percent). In addition, although about two-thirds (68 percent) indicate that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their income, this figure is the lowest of all the fields of study that are compared. On the other hand, sociology graduates are relatively happy with their occupations, ranking near the top in this regard, with 94 percent saying that they are satisfied or very satisfied. The contrasts with graduates from other fields of study in the social sciences are typically not large although sociologists tend to be among the least satisfied about their field of study.


Although the sociology discipline has been the butt of sniping in the popular press regarding the value of the degree, these critiques are generally not supported by the evidence. In particular, the findings reported here regarding labor force participation show that those with sociology degrees clearly hold their own in terms of both employment rates and earnings. Where the critiques have merit, at least to some degree, is in some of the evidence concerning recent self-assessments of sociology graduates regarding their degree. Social commentary in the media may exaggerate the woes of sociology graduates, but this popular discourse is not entirely out of step with some of the self-reports of our most recent graduates. How much this media commentary influences the attitudes of sociology degree holders is open to conjecture, but the self-report data about satisfaction levels is less sanguine about the discipline than the behavioral evidence on employment rates and earnings might lead one to expect.

In light of the rather sharp declines in the last decade among the percentage of students choosing to graduate with degrees in sociology, at a time when university degrees are in increasing demand, this is not a positive story for the discipline. Our data on earnings, occupations, and employment rates all show that sociology graduates do reasonably well in the market place. The more positive message that should emerge from these behavioral indicators may be eroding, however, because some media pundits and some of our own graduates currently see the discipline in comparatively negative terms. Certainly in the last decade, students are voting with their feet by seeking other degrees in which to major.

As for historical sweep, we have shown clearly that the discipline was attractive to ever greater proportions of students up until the turn of the twenty-first century. Especially for women, sociology was a degree of choice. A growing proportion of visible minority group members were also choosing sociology, even if in relative terms sociology was not as attractive to them as the STEM fields. Among Francophone students, sociology has not been as enticing as it has been for Anglophones. We suspect that some of the patterns we have found, especially for Francophones and Anglophones, are attributable to differing structural alignments in higher education, especially in how fields of study are organized in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada. The recent rise across Canada of new fields of study, in such areas as women's studies and globalization, for example, has likely attracted some students who would in previous generations have chosen sociology.

We also posited, consistent with the research literature, that beyond structural change some of the ebb and flow of sociology student numbers could be attributable to active choices that students made about issues that resonated with them. For students in sociology at least, the choice of fields in this sense may be less driven by financial matters and career prospects than by the topic for which they felt a greater connection or empathy. Based on this logic, the recent decline in the attractiveness of sociology as a major may thus be due to students either taking on a more utilitarian perspective when it comes to career choice, or to students seeing the discipline as increasingly out of touch with their interests (or both).

Sociology faculty need to do more to highlight for our students that the conceptual and methodological disciplinary skills provided by sociology can benefit graduates in their subsequent careers, inside and outside the labor market. It is important to link the classroom with the contributions that our graduates can make to both civil society and labor market. Students also have an obligation to work to build their careers while at university, through both extracurricular activities and coursework. Instructors can play a facilitative role in helping students to make connections between their university experiences and life beyond the BA.

Sociology departments also have an important role to play. More work needs to be done to highlight the careers that can be pursued, as well as the community contributions that can be made, by individuals who have graduated with a sociology degree. One place this could easily occur is through the Web pages of every department in the country, where the "future lives" of graduates can and should be profiled. There are also opportunities for departments to work more closely with alumni and development offices to maintain contact with graduates. Finally, there is an opportunity for the profession to build on the individual newsletters, twitter feeds, and other social media promotions that many departments produce. These initiatives would help in mounting a more coordinated effort to promote the discipline not only to our sociology alumni but to others as well.

Neil Guppy, Kerry Greer, and Nicole Malette

University of British Columbia

Kristyn Frank

Statistics Canada

The research reported here was financially supported by the Canadian Sociological Association. We are also grateful to Statistics Canada for providing us with the data used in this paper. We thank Amy Swiffen for launching this project. We received excellent comments from Howard Ramos, Simon Langlois, Edward Grabb. and Jim Conley on an earlier version of this paper.

Neil Guppy, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus, 6303 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1. E-mail:


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Table 1
Percentage of Women, Francophone, and Visible Minority
Sociology Degree Holders at Time of Survey by Age Group (1991,
2001, and 2011)

                   65-74    55-64    45-54    35-44    25-34    Total

  1991              74.4     67.3     57.1     64.8     72.4     67.2
  2001              60.0     59.0     66.3     73.0     74.0     70.3
  2011              63.1     65.5     70.5     73.6     75.8     71.7
  1991              2.4      3.4      7.6      9.5      8.3      8.4
  2001              4.6      6.8      8.7      8.9      4.6      6.9
  2011              8.2      9.8      9.0      6.6      5.7      7.4
Visible minority
  1991              6.5      8.5      11.0     8.4      13.9     11.2
  2001              12.8     13.0     10.5     16.8     16.4     14.6
  2011              13.8     12.3     19.0     19.1     21.1     18.1

Sources: 1991 and 2001 Harmonized Census Microdata and 2011 National
Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

Table 2
Employment Status of Bachelor's Degree Holders in Sociology by
Age and Year

                                       Aged 25-60

                             1991                    2011

                     [female]   [male] (%)   [female]   [male] (%)
                       (%)                     (%)

Employed               80.8        88.8        81.2        86.3
Unemployed             5.8         6.7         4.9         5.2
Not in labor force     13.4        4.6         13.9        8.5
Total                 100.0       100.0       100.0       100.0

                                    Aged 30-39

                              1991                   2011

                     [female]   [male] (%)   [female]   [male] (%)
                       (%)                     (%)

Employed               77.8        89.7        82.9        91.7
Unemployed             7.2         6.6         4.6         4.3
Not in labor force     14.9        3.8         12.5        4.0
Total                 100.0       100.0       100.0       100.0

Sources: 1991 Harmonized Census Microdata and 2011 National Household
Survey, Statistics Canada.

Table 3
Top 10 Occupations of Bachelor's Degree Holders in Sociology by
Sex, Age 25 to 39(2011)

Women                           Men

Social and community service    Police officers (except commissioned)
Administrative assistants       Social and community service workers
Administrative officers         Correctional service officers
Social workers                  Retail salespersons
Elementary school and           Corporate sales managers
  kindergarten teachers
Retail and wholesale trade      Sales and account
  managers                        representatives--wholesale trade
Human resources professionals   Technical sales specialists--wholesale
Early childhood educators and   Banking, credit, and other investment
  assistants                      managers
Professional occupations in     Employment insurance, immigration,
  advertising, marketing, and     border services, and revenue officers
   public relations
Retail salespersons             Computer network technicians

Source: 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

Table 4
Median Annual Earnings (Wage and Salary) for BA Degree Holders by
Field of Study, Gender, Ethnicity, and Language Group (2011)

                                 Gender              Ethnicity

                                                Visible     Nonvisible
Field of study             Women       Men      minority      minority

Economics                  55,259     72,885     52,400       75,000
History                    51,259     61,038     49,408       57,800
Political Science          58,172     67,836     52,304       66,061
Psychology                 52,921     63,266     50,014       56,409
Sociology                  54,186     68,779     51,613       59,732
All Social Science         55,548     70,000     52,599       66,749
  (excluding sociology)


Field of study              Francophone       Anglophone

Economics                     61,062            73,774
History                       52,392            58,076
Political Science             58,162            65,800
Psychology                    49,563            56,903
Sociology                     56,000            58,968
All Social Science            57,787            66,852
  (excluding sociology)

Source: 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

Note: Earnings refer to 2010 calendar year.

Table 5
Median Annual Earnings (Wage and Salary) of Sociology
Graduates by Highest Degree, Sex, and Age Group (2011)

                           25-34 years              35-44 years

Highest degree       Women         Men         Women         Men

Bachelor's           44,684       51,893       60,176       76,373
Master's             49,108       47,118       64,210       63,886
PhD                  62,996        N/A         67,223       81,150

                         45-54 years

Highest degree       Women         Men

Bachelor's           65,766       79,590
Master's             72,328       70,480
PhD                 100,000      100,000

Source: 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada. Note:
Earnings for 2010.

Table 6
Median Regression Results for Annual Earnings (Wages and Salaries) of
Full-Time Workers with Sociology Degrees, Aged 25 to 54 (2011)

                                Model 1                  Model 2

                      Coefficient     SE        Coefficient    SE

Age                   4,277.62 ***    578.10    4,454.75 ***    560.12
Age squared             -42.71 ***      7.81     -45.17 ***       7.58
Weeks worked          1,024.73 ***     37.22    1,020.43 ***     32.28
Male (female = ref.   10,255.45 ***   1242.78   9,553.93 ***   1,242.71
Nonvisible minority   6,760.18 ***    1057.37   6,438.71 ***   1,029.20
  (visible minority
   = ref. cat.)
English/other         7,000.81 ***    1124.51   7,678.78 ***   1,275.30
  (Francophone =
  ref. cat.)
Graduate degree                                 3,622.23 **    1,208.55
  degree =  ref.
Pseudo-[R.sup.2]               0.157                     0.158
N                                            6,344

Source: 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

Notes: *** p < .001; ** p < .01; graduate degrees include both MA and

Earnings for 2010.

Table 7
Percentage of 2010-2011 Graduates Satisfied with Their Degree
Choice, Occupation, and Employment Earnings by Field of Study

                               Percent satisfied or very satisfied with

Field of study                 Degree choice   Occupation   Earnings

Anthropology (N = 69)               54             74          74
Economics (N = 144)                 50             84          74
Political Science (N = 215)         57             90          74
Criminology (N = 75)                73             96          94
Engineering (N = 1,487)             86             93          86
Sociology (N = 193)                 44             94          68

Source: National Graduates Survey, 2013.
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Author:Guppy, Neil; Greer, Kerry; Malette, Nicole; Frank, Kristyn
Publication:Canadian Review of Sociology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2017
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