“You’re studying social sciences? And what are you going to do afterwards? Work for social services?” Social sciences (SOWI) is a bit of a mystery for many people and is often confused with social pedagogy. Those who haven’t studied a humanities subject usually have no idea whatsoever what it is. To put an end to this, we thought it was time to introduce the University of Stuttgart’s social sciences study course.
Social scientists are often faced with derogatory questions; such as, “sociology? What do you even learn at uni?” Or “won’t you have difficulty finding a job later?” Although, in terms of the latter the opposite is often the case: those with a degree in social sciences have a wide range of different career paths to choose from. Whether in market research, political consultation, research, human resources or in the media, social scientists are often spoilt for choice. The University of Stuttgart also hosts a practical seminar, where social science graduates come to the uni to introduce their chosen professions and answer questions from current students. Of course, certain professions also demand additional qualifications.
At the University of Stuttgart, this study program consist of six semesters, comprising the academic fields of politics, sociology, methods and statistics, and additional supplementary subjects. An internship of at least six weeks in length must also be completed. Many students take a semester break and use this to complete a longer internship, which is very sensible.
After completing basic studies, students are expected to specialize in politics or sociology. They also have the option of studying abroad for one semester. This is planned to take place during the fifth semester, but it is possible to study abroad either before or afterwards. The University of Stuttgart also offers a German-French study program, which is well-suited to an Erasmus study abroad semester in France. Chiara studied social sciences at the University of Stuttgart. In the following interview she will explain why.
An interview with Chiara
Why did you choose to study social sciences?
I was always really interested in social studies at school and because social sciences includes politics and sociology, it seemed the perfect study program for me.
How is the study program structured?
First of all students learn the basics of social sciences, for example the political system in the FRG, statistics for social scientists and an introduction to social sciences in general. Then there are several core modules, including analyzing and comparing political systems and international relations. During the last two semesters there are two politics modules, and two sociology modules that go into much more depth. Students have to take two in total but are able to choose which. Because I am interested in politics, I chose the politics modules.
What is an average day at uni like?
There isn’t really an average day. It depends on what your study plan is and how it is organized. I organized my timetable so that I always had at least one day a week free. I also chose to take some modules early so that I would have more time at the end of the study program to concentrate on my Bachelor’s thesis, without needing to have to extend my studies for another semester.
Lots of career options
What can you do with a degree in social sciences?
There are a lot of different possibilities. For example in consultancy, market research, human resource or marketing. Because social sciences covers a wide range of subject matter we have a range of different options. And then it’s just a case of seeing what the job market looks like when the time comes.
What did you find fascinating about the study program?
The study program gave me a whole new perspective and opened my eyes to a different view of the world and of society. I now questions things more that I used to simply accept. You learn about how society functions and what individuals can contribute.
Were you satisfied with the study program content?
Yes the content of the study program is fine and also depends upon which topics you choose. It offers a good basis for the Master’s study program, which I am currently studying. For example, quantitative and qualitative research methods are excellently taught. The qualitative methods in particular continue to be very useful.
What would you like to do after you’ve completed your degree?
After I have completed my Master’s I would like to go into human resources, simply because I know that this is the field in which I can best use the knowledge and skills I learnt whilst studying.
Is it a good idea to also do a Master’s?
Doing a Master’s is definitely a good idea. It gives you a much deeper insight into theories and methods. In my opinion, having a Master’s degree doesn’t only increase your career chances, it also gives you more time to find out what exactly you want to do.
Did the study program surprise you in any way?
I didn’t expect so much EDP, but it was OK because it turned out to be really interesting. But otherwise I was always quite open and just waited to see what would come next.
What did you like best about the study program?
I liked the political aspects the best, which is why I chose to specialize in politics. But I also liked acquiring knowledge about scientific research and methods and this has been very useful during the Master’s study program and will also help later in working life.
In summary: the social sciences study program not only provides the skills to tackle problem-oriented scientific work, it also gives students useful practical and work-related qualifications. This video will also provide you with more information about the study program:
The wide scope of the course content means that students have a range of career options, allowing graduates to choose very different career paths.
For all those who have already completed a degree in social sciences: you can now sign up for the SOWI newsletter. You will then receive current job offers that fit your qualifications, ensuring you are always up-to-date. Die Social Sciences Student Organization also offers help and support if you have any problems or questions.