Amidst conversations that graduate programs could provide students more help in pursuing non-academic positions, I was reminded of this career path that sociologists can pursue: demography within the public sector.
Steve Murdock, the former head of the U.S. Census Bureau, will be the keynote speaker at the annual general assembly of the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission on Tuesday.
Murdock, now a sociology professor at Rice University, was also the first official state demographer for Texas.
He was named one of the 50 most influential Texans by Texas Business in 1997 and as one of the 25 most influential persons in Texas by Texas Monthly in 2005.
According to Murdock’s CV, he has spent much of his career in government, working at the Texas State Data Center, serving as Texas’ first state demographer, and heading the US Census Bureau in 2008 and 2009. This position also seems to have led to some notoriety. How many states have official demographers?
Between Murdock and his successor at the US Census Bureau, Robert Groves, the Census Bureau seems like a good non-academic place for sociology PhDs to land. I wonder how many current and past employees have sociology backgrounds.