Sociological theory plays a significant role in modern society. By taking an introduction to sociology course, you’ll learn to study social interactions and design research projects that test theories about various social issues. To excel in a career in sociology you must demonstrate self-awareness, cultural competence, autonomy, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
You can learn sociology for beginners through many educational resources that are flexible, affordable, and varied. These intro to sociology courses offer comprehensive coverage of the core concepts of social issues and social structure. If you are intrigued by social relations and want to kickstart your career, keep reading to discover the best sociology courses for beginners.
What Is Sociology?
Sociology is the scientific study of social interactions and human behavior to determine how it relates to society and the social impact that comes with it. The discipline of sociology is a social science that touches on a wide range of subject matters including crime and religion, race and social classes, radical change, and family and state. Sociologists collect data through surveys, interviews, or observations.
There are many career options if you’re wondering what you can do with a sociology degree. Sociological knowledge is useful in jobs such as project management, social work, human resource management, psychology, market research analysis, and digital marketing.
How to Learn Sociology
- Sociology online courses. Online sociology courses allow you to design your preferred schedule around your lecture hours. You can enjoy a variety of massive open online course (MOOC) providers, such as Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Udacity. These platforms tackle different sociological concepts, including visual sociology, sociological imagination, sociology of health, and classical sociology.
- Traditional degrees: Traditional college or university sociology degrees are the most popular form of education for anyone pursuing a career in this field, as most employers will ask for an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. This learning path can take at least two to four years before you can officially work in sociology.
- Sociology workshops and seminars. You can attend sociology seminars and workshops to learn from industry experts and your peers. You can scope the Internet for these workshops, and community college students can inquire about these workshops and seminars from the Department of Sociology.
- Volunteer projects. They say we learn by doing, and the best way to learn sociology is through volunteer projects. You will gain hands-on experience in the sociology field, preparing you for real-world social factors. Volunteer work will boost your resume and give you access to new opportunities in many fields of sociology.
- Find a mentor. You can learn a lot as a beginner through mentorship. Find a mentor who will explain the organizational structure of sociology in modern society and guide you in social research through a contemporary sociology lens. Mentors give you hands-on experience and develop your skills as a potential sociologist.
Best Sociology Courses for Beginners
|Feminism and Social Justice||Coursera||$39-$79 per month||Eight hours|
|Philosophy, Science, and Religion: Science and Philosophy||Coursera||$39-$79 per month||15 hours|
|Social Norms, Social Change II||Coursera||$39-$79 per month||Nine hours|
|Fundamentals of Sociology||edX||Free to audit or $99||Eight weeks|
|Introduction to Sociology||edX||Free to audit or $99||Six weeks|
|COVID-19 and Society: Inequality in Global Pandemics||edX||Free to audit or $99||Five weeks|
|What is Sociology? An Introduction||Futurelearn||Free or $39 for the ExpertTrack||Three weeks|
|Sociology Made Easy||Udemy||$19.99||41 minutes|
|The History of Secret Societies||Udemy||$19.99||Two hours, 46 minutes|
|Global Citizenship– Your Path to the Globalized World||Udemy||$19.99||43 minutes|
The Best Intro to Sociology Courses: Explained
The following courses focus on various sociological approaches and the core sociological concepts for every beginner. You will understand the development of sociology, relevant contemporary sociology examples in today’s social structure, and why social psychology is important in analyzing everyday interactions.
Feminism and Social Justice | Coursera
This University of California course highlights feminist sociology. It explores the definition and history of feminism through three significant events, the Empire Zinc strike, the trial of Angela Davis, and the #MeToo movement. You will learn its philosophical perspective and how the feminist perspective is a major topic of social reform in different aspects of society.
Philosophy, Science, Religion: Science and Philosophy | Coursera
This course explores the relationship between three sociological concepts in four lessons, facilitated by guest lecturers. You will cover social organization, philosophy, science, and religion. It is the first course in a three-part series and takes approximately 15 hours to complete.
Some of the course topics include evolution and creationism and the conflict between science and religion, neuroscience, and free will. You will understand the basics of conflict theory, sociological analysis, conflict perspectives, and social structure.
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Social Norms, Social Change II | Coursera
The University of Pennsylvania and Coursera offer this course as the second part of the broader series, Social Norms, Social Change. You will learn how social mobility, structures, and expectations in the social world are intertwined and their relationship with social norms. The course evaluates various intervention strategies, including economic incentives, legal reforms, information campaigns, and group deliberations.
It is a great course for anyone interested in social network analysis and critical theory. The curriculum covers norm creation, norm abandonment, and social change. It also features several videos and a joint Penn-UNICEF project. Apart from the shareable certificate, it’s nice to know that you will also add a significant project to your portfolio.
Fundamentals of Sociology | edX
This course covers various aspects of society, such as human social behavior, social groups, and the creation of social life. You will compare and contrast different concepts and theories in the process of socialization. The eight-week curriculum explores the connection between cultural sociology and the socialization process, as well as primary and secondary groups.
Students use different theoretical approaches to student different subject matter, such as social divisions in rural regions and the nature of single and extended families as social institutions. The instructor is a lecturer at Doane University and an expert in community sociology and social psychology. This class provides coverage of core concepts of sociology and contemporary examples to help you learn.
Introduction to Sociology | edX
This introductory course seeks to help you understand every sociological perspective using scientific knowledge. You will explore an array of topics such as religion, inequalities, ethnic relations, social institutions, and various sociological theories and assumptions. You will use your sociological imagination to dispel cultural myths and understand reality.
COVID-19 and Society: Inequality in Global Pandemics | edX
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted social and economic relations, unleashing serious challenges to families and society at large. As many know, mental health has been a major topic since the pandemic started and is the concern of community sociologists and political sociologists everywhere. This course delves into the effects of the pandemic and how communities can prepare for future pandemics.
You will analyze the progress of social justice during the pandemic. Students identify connections between COVID-19 and climate change and assess the health inequalities within the community. You will learn under the guidance of Dr. Katherine Lyon, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.
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What Is Sociology? An Introduction | Futurelearn
This beginner course is perfect for anyone interested in the sociology of culture, sociological analysis, and the collective behavior of humans in everyday life. You will learn basic major concepts like its definition, sociological theories, and sex and gender. Understanding the importance of sociological theory lets you do social research to analyze cultural assumptions.
The three-week course is filled with relevant examples of sociology and is part of a program that leads to a Bachelor of Arts Degree for sociology majors. You can preview the course on the Futurelearn website before applying for a slot in the free program version. You can also access ExpertTrack at an additional cost, where you will have unlimited access to the course.
Sociology Made Easy | Udemy
The course focuses on the basics of sociology. You will sit through nine video lectures highlighting sociological imagination, social structure, global sociology, critical thinking, early sociology theories, environmental sociology, and urban sociology.
You will have to complete a final exam featuring 12 essay questions on everything you have learned from the onset of this course. The instructor, Robin Reynolds, has a 4.4-star rating, making her a reliable tutor for beginners.
The History of Secret Societies | Udemy
If you are interested in understanding the history of secret societies and social life, this is the right course for you. You will learn how these topics affect the organizational structure of modern society. Students will analyze American sociology and the historical development of fraternities and other elite ancient organizations. The course features 14 lectures and a final exam.
Global Citizenship–Your Path to the Globalized World | Udemy
This course will take you through the core concepts of global citizenship, such as rural sociology and urban sociology. You will learn your role and responsibilities as a citizen and why seeking new citizenship can sometimes be challenging. The nine lectures in this course cover the traits of an active citizen, the framework of citizenship, and globalization.
Is Learning Sociology Worth It?
Learning sociology helps you understand human relations in different environments, which improves your interpersonal skills. The best part of learning sociology is the broad range of career opportunities available. Your new skills can land you a job as a social worker, HR officer, or data analyst.
Many people are skeptical about learning sociology after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a five percent growth rate for sociologist jobs. Although this is slower than average occupations, BLS also states that over 300 job openings are available annually. You can also use your authentic knowledge of sociology to explore other careers.
According to BLS, the average annual salary of sociologists is $86,110. You can launch a career in medical sociology, environmental sociology, cultural sociology, development sociology, economic sociology, or public sociology. If you’re interested in tech, you can even get a job in computational sociology. Take advantage of these courses and additional resources to learn sociology for beginners.
Introduction to Sociology FAQ
Yes, it is possible to get an entry-level job with a sociology course certificate. Most providers offer a shareable or professional certificate, which you can add to your resume or LinkedIn profile to impress employers. Remember, most of these courses are from high-ranking universities and sociology organizations.
No, online sociology courses are not expensive. You can find accessible and affordable courses on platforms such as Udemy and Coursera. Most courses are free or as low as $10, allowing you to enroll in more than one course at a time.
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You will find courses that take less than 24 hours and others that take over three months to complete. The specific time frame of sociology courses depends on the contents of the curriculum. Luckily, most courses allow you to select a suitable schedule and complete the course within the given time.
Yes, you will definitely have access to the instructors. They will assign projects, assignments, and assessments to help you gauge your progress. Most self-paced courses also have instructors who offer support whenever it’s necessary.
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