A major in Rural Sociology will empower you with the ability to improve the quality of life of thousands of people living in rural communities. This major looks at how groups, organizations, and societies are structured in rural areas. The curriculum focuses on the structure and function of rural societies including problems specific to those areas. An important focus is the economics of farm production with a focus in agribusiness and production agriculture.
Rural Sociology can be broken into three different facets: rural issues including social equality, the application of sociology to decision making, and global environmental systems. Some classes you will take are: community development, rural poverty, environmental sociology, and sociology of agriculture.
First things first, you should have a desire to make meaningful and positive impact to rural communities. It helps to be familiar with the social and economic processes that impact rural America. A career in this field requires a solid understanding of how changes in demographics, health care, education, and business impacts rural populations.
More importantly, you must have analytical skills to think abstractly, analyze situations and data, and make presentations that are sociologically informed. You will be asked to understand issues from an integrated global perspective, so it is important to have a cross-cultural understanding. Other skills needed for a career in Rural Sociology include: interpersonal strengths, the ability to communicate clearly, and leadership qualities.
An undergraduate degree of Rural Sociology is a practical major with many different career options. Most rural sociologist job requires direct communication with public, with a particular focus on educating community members. Common job titles include: farm manager, community planner, commodity group representative, and youth programmer. A master's degree in Rural Sociology is usually the minimum requirement for a as a rural sociologist.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Rural Sociology might open up.