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A social scientist is a professional researcher who examines various aspects of society. Social scientists study human behavior and how past events and achievements affect society. These scientists are needed to provide research to help various institutions and governments respond to change and make decisions for the betterment of society.
To become a social scientist, a person must be concerned with social problems. These scientists are concerned with the causes and solutions to problems that impact humans. In this way, social sciences can be used to enhance quality of life and positively impact groups and communities in society. Social scientists can also offer valuable information about future human activity through their insight into the physical, cultural, and social development of humans. For example, social scientists have been closely monitoring how modern technology and social media networking is affecting face-to-face interaction.
To become a social scientist, it is important that a person meet educational requirements. The field of social science requires an advanced degree, and many social scientists have a master's or PhD in sociology, anthropology, or archeology. When obtaining a degree, education and competence in mathematical and statistics is essential for the research component that is vital in social science work.
Individuals who want to become a social scientist will also need field experience. Social scientists can gain this experience by volunteering with historical societies, museums, or working with archaeologists or anthropologists to excavate, record and interpret history.
One major factor needed to become a social scientist is the ability to conduct research. Social scientists conduct their research by obtaining information through interviews, laboratory work, and field investigation. Some social scientists must be willing to work and live among the society or culture that they are studying. The social science field is ideal for individuals who are interested in obtaining information about places, people, and ideas. Social scientists must also have great written and verbal communication skills and be able to articulately report their research findings.
A person who decides to become a social scientist should find potential employment in a variety of settings. Many social scientists work at colleges, universities, and government institutions. In government institutions, in particular, social scientists are vital for studying political environments and understanding why social or revolutionary movements occur. Some social scientists devote their time to teaching or authoring books on human behavior. Social scientists are also linked to a variety of other physical science fields, including anthropology, archaeology, cultural studies, geography, social psychology, and international relations.