Society and human being are inextricable part of each other. There can be no society without human being and vice versa. Human societies vary in different ways such as cultures norms, religions and values. There is no doubt that societies and human beings are invaluable assets of the universe. Therefore, if the latter and the former are the cosmological greatest assets then the study of the duo should be super important.
Over the years, sociological students have been highly criticised in Nigeria based on the myopic reasonings that sociologists have neither company nor a place of work. If teachers can secure employments in schools, engineers can work in companies, doctors can save lives at the hospital and lawyers can be subsumed in law firms. Then where can sociologists work in Nigeria?
Apparently, the answer to the above question, (where can sociologists work) can be obviously perceived by highly sensitive individuals. Sociologists deal with human beings and society, perhaps, that is the reason why Harry M. Johnson is of the opinion that Sociology is the science that deals with social groups: their internal forms or modes of organisation, the processes that tend to maintain or change these forms of organisation, and the relations between groups. Weber maintains that Sociology is “the science which attempts the interpretative understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at a causal explanation of its cause and effects.” With the above definitions one can agree that sociologists can work virtually everywhere in the country.
Generally, many people have discussed the various common places where sociologists can work but in this article, I am going show you the creative ways where the knowledge of sociology can be your greatest assets. Below are the various places where sociologists can work in Nigeria.
1. Social adviser: One of the hotcake jobs in Nigeria is social adviser. Social advisers are needed in almost all of the companies and businesses that deal with human beings and the society. Business tycoons and company owners needed the help of sociologists to be able to produce services that will not only meet the needs of the people but will also conform to the belief, value and custom of the society. E.g., Twinning for Health Support Initiative, Nigeria (THSI-N) is currently looking for a highly experienced social adviser in Nigeria.
2. Quality Advertisement Officer: Advertisement is commercial solicitation designed to sell some commodity, service or similar to a particular group of people in a community. However, no matter how good the products and services are, if the advertisement is provocative to the society the products and services will surely meet their Waterloo. The work of a sociologist as an advertisement officer is to ensure that the contents, both the graphics and texts, do not provoke the belief, values, customs and religion of the society.
3. A successful entrepreneur: Sociologists are taught to identify the problems of the society. This means that they identify the problems that exist in the world around them, apply problem-solving skills to these social dilemmas and exercise their creative abilities to find remedies. If these remedies are monetized, they have become entrepreneurs. Who are entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs are those who first identify a key problem in the market, then work to solve that problem. Airbnb, for example, started when its two founders, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, realized that two problems existed in the same business area; one, they themselves were having trouble affording rent in New York; and two, nearly all the hotel rooms in the city were consistently booked. The duo founders devised a solution to the problem and became successful entrepreneurs. In Nigeria, there are different Societal Problems that can be solved that can also provide extra cash to the individuals.
4. Human Resources (HR) Representative Company: As a sociologist, one would have surely learnt about how race, gender and culture can help the society and in the workplace. Sociology programs also require one to develop good communication skills and to be able to process and analyze data. The trainings above will give sociologists an edge in human resources departments where one would be required to process resumes and application materials, manage people's personal information and help employees solve problems related to work.
5. Policy Analyst/Government Policy Adviser: Policy analysts research issues that focus on the public. Knowledge of sociology helps analysts to assess the impact of legislation on social problems and various populations. Sociologists have the background to analyze issues like welfare, poverty, substance abuse, job training, education and healthcare. Policy analysts, like sociologists, rely on strong writing skills to present the findings of their research and convince legislators and the public of the credibility of their findings and recommendations. Therefore, with the hybridisation of the research conducted and the policy analysed, sociologists will be able to provide genuine and outstanding advice on issues concerning the societies and the people.
6. Management Consultant: Management consultants analyze business related issues, research possible problems and present viable probable solutions to the clients. Knowledge of sociology helps to develop the qualitative and quantitative research skills to understand a business problem. Their problem-solving skills will also help them to generate viable solutions to these issues.
7. As a lecturer: Knowledge of sociology can help one to thrive in the field of academics in Nigeria. Hundreds of universities in Nigeria have sociological department from undergraduate to the PhD level. Many universities in Nigeria are currently recruiting people in the said field to serve as lecturers in the department.
In summary, sociologists do not need to have a nomenclative company or place of work. The society that we live in belongs to them and they can work in every nook and corner of the country. The next time somebody asks you "where can sociologists work?" remember to tell them that sociologists can work anywhere in the world.