What skills have you acquired as a SOAN major? How can you articulate those skills to prospective employers and graduate schools?

Here are some idea to help you start brainstorming. Personalize them to reflect your own experiences, giving specific examples that show your ability to meet the needs of a certain position or program.


  • Communicating in a globalized world
  • Recognizing varied perspectives
  • Avoiding preconceptions
  • Providing a global perspective
  • Seeing the “big picture”

Knowledge Base

  • Understanding group behavior and dynamics
  • Understanding societal trends and influences
  • Understanding human migrations
  • Understanding ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins
  • Understanding community resources
  • Understanding connections between past and present


  • Formulating appropriate research questions
  • Interviewing
  • Surveying
  • Selecting research methods
  • Sampling, gathering and organizing data
  • Synthesizing and analyzing data
  • Using statistical software packages
  • Recognizing trends and patterns
  • Careful record-keeping


  • Formulating clear and persuasive messages
  • Writing well
  • Developing organized oral presentations
  • Creating informative visual aids
  • Using both descriptive and statistical data to support an idea.
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding
  • Writing grant proposals

 People skills

  • Understanding race, class, and gender differences
  • Working well with diverse groups
  • Providing strong leadership
  • Working well in teams
  • Demonstrating social ease in strange situations
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Planning projects
  • Conducting field studies
  • Managing conflicts
  • Understanding and improving human relationships