The American Sociologist

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 32-50

First online:

Sociological competencies and business careers: Toward an expanded dialogue

  • Rachael A. WoldoffAffiliated withWest Virginia University
  • , Robert C. LitchfieldAffiliated withDepartment of Economics & Business at Washington & Jefferson College

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We use a cross-disciplinary approach and multiple sources of data to investigate and outline sources of comparative advantage that undergraduate sociological study provides to students who are preparing for careers in business. We identify and discuss three core competencies that sociology specifically develops in students—structural consciousness, scientific thinking, and appreciation for diversity. We argue that sociology contributes unique value by combining these three competencies. We also offer thoughts on ways in which sociologists could further enhance undergraduate curricula, such as through emphasizing aspects of these contributions in a more explicit fashion.