The ASA reports more job openings in sociology in recent years but the interests of sociology PhD graduates and the specializations of the new jobs don’t always line up. Here is part of the full table from the report (page six):
There is some overlap here with most categories represented on both sides. However, other areas have some bigger differences:
1. Methodology – research methodology with 50 jobs and quantitative methods with 47 jobs and only 5 students with an interest in quantitative methodology. 23 jobs with statistics and 5 students. The figures for jobs in qualitative methods or ethnography better match the number of jobs available.
2. Another area of difference is criminology or criminal justice: 89 jobs in crime/delinquency and 70 in criminal justice with 66 students in criminology.
3. Sex and gender is particularly popular among students (108 interests) while only 31 jobs. (Granted, certain topics – like race, class, and gender – can easily cut across other subfields.)
4. Education has 83 students and 9 jobs.
This isn’t a complete analysis and these are the areas that struck me. Looking at methodology, it is a reminder that being interested in methods goes a long way on the job market as departments need people who can teach these skills and work with students in these areas.