Graduate Student and IT Administrator
Overall, my career track has not been the most direct and straightforward. When I arrived at Birmingham in 2008, I was already working part-time as an IT Systems Administrator and Consultant, a job I have held for over ten years. Currently, I am staying in Oxford and preparing my PhD research that I hope to start this year. Before coming to Oxford, I worked for a while, both at an executive recruitment consultancy in London and full-time in IT.
What studying Sociology has given me is a broad knowledge base, which is useful in many careers. Knowing about social issues, being able to write consistent arguments, having a basic understanding of statistics and research, but also being able to analyse problems in general are very useful skills in a quickly changing economy.
My message to current Sociology students at Birmingham is probably reducible to three main points:
Firstly, make use of what is on offer in terms of courses at the department! Specialise in the things you are good at, and the things that interest you. At the same time however, try to find a balance: often, dealing with the intersections of various topics is interesting and worthwhile.
Second, do something else apart from studying! The job market is competitive at the moment and there are many things that University studies can hardly teach you, no matter what subject you do. Therefore, try to join a student society, a charity on campus, or whatever suits you – and try to make a difference. It will teach you a lot about managing projects, dealing with people, and much more!
Thirdly, get out there! Not everything you do has to relate to jobs and careers. There are so many things that happen on campus! Join in and see what you will find; it could be a language course, a student society that is not at all about anything career-related – but simply fun. Go for these things too, they keep you balanced and energised. Also, those experiences may at some point be invaluable – be it because of the friends you made, or because of the interests you developed.
Course Information: Sociology BA
More about the: Sociology speed networking event