From acorns grow mighty oaks and budding sociologists

A random listicle I was reading last week was one of zillions opining on worthless degrees when it comes to current jobs. Among those areas of study were journalism, of which I am or was one, and sociology. I majored in journalism and one of my two minors was in sociology. I can’t remember whether political science was in the list/story, if so I suppose I could award my self a hat trick on useless college studies.

Sociology was, for me, a true minor with the minimum hours. In my political science studies I added on some additional courses after college, falling a course or two short of a degree in political science. But why, huh?

Corporations in the number business — including non-profit think tanks and universities — as well as government should hire unspecified numbers of sociologists sometime in the future. When and how many I don’t know. The communication explosion of digital technology and the internet has happened in a very brief time, relatively speaking, creating an entirely new set of societal behaviors. Everything from buying apps to texting in movie theaters (and getting fatally shot) to the use of Facebook as opposed to Google+ have made social subjects ripe for study. That the cultural aspects of our society have so rapidly changed may soon become as limiting a factor in our daily life as it is a helpful one. That was kind of the whole enchilada as to what sociologist and author Alvin Toffler wrote in his 1970 book “Future Shock.”

The term “future shock” was used by Toffler to describe the effects of perceiving too much change in too little time. That is a very simplistic definition and the effects are many with varied signs that are too numerous to pass along here. But he hit the proverbial bulls-eye almost 45 years ago when it comes to outcomes of what he termed a “post industrial society” such as stress and disorientation. Such were examples of the “information overload” Toffler foresaw.

In some ways the social aspects may occur too quickly to study but a ultra-micro sliver of life. That is generally how many, if not, most scientific approaches are in studying society. However, it might just test the limits of time. I’ve always thought time as great fodder for sociological study, by the way.

The job-seeker of today, the one with worthless sociology degrees, facing the end of college or living in a post-collegiate world, must study and study with intensity what that person can do for a prospective employer with their study of sociology. A master’s degree, something I never attained, is ideal. But a sociologist with a bachelor’s degree can also think hard about what fields of study might enhance a company and its products. Then, it is up to one’s own guile as to whether he or she can seal the deal. This is basically the journeyman newspaper writer’s approach to a story, complete with often selling the product as a freelancer or even as a staff writer who comes up constantly with stories they’d like to pursue for whatever reason. This might not always land you a cool job or assignment. But it will definitely might just move you ahead provided you don’t somehow screw up outside your narrow life as a sociologist or reporter.

This all is pretty much off the wall and if I miss in a few areas, well pardon me. I can only afford to self-edit and that is often in a flash. So I’ve given you some of my nuggets, well, maybe not nuggets, but whatever I’ve given you feel free to take them and use them how and if you see fit. Don’t call me if it backfires.

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