economics degree
Musk exemplifies how a business and science education go hand-in-hand. Source: Britta Pedersen/POOL/AFP

Science is the field of study focused on human anatomy and the physical world — DNA structures, chemical compounds, and so on. Whereas the social sciences dive into human behaviour and the community. Why do we behave a certain way? What makes stocks go up and down? These are the hard questions they attempt to answer. It’s hard work — do it well, however and the best jobs for social science graduates come with great salaries.

A great example is Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world and CEO of SpaceX. This international graduate received a dual degree  in economics and physics at the University of Pennsylvania, but went on to do so much more. He aimed for the galaxy and beyond, and it seems like he’s getting there. Then, there is Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack — a popular team-messaging application used worldwide — now with a net worth of US$1.3 billion. He graduated with a master’s of philosophy at Cambridge University.

best jobs

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is an international student from South Africa, he has paved his own path of success through putting his ideas to paper and to work. Source: Philip Pacheco/AFP

Those who major in the social sciences are often very good at analytical and critical thinking, and have great research abilities. Those who take advantage of internship opportunities stand to impress recruiters more. Volunteer work also comes highly recommended as it boosts your application when you look for a job. Below we list some of the best jobs in the US to get with a social sciences degree:

Political scientist

With a high annual average wage of US$122,220, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, this is one of the best jobs a social science grad can aim for. You’ll need a master’s or PhD to do well in this role, which focuses on the development and operation of political systems. 

best jobs

Melissa Harris-Perry speaks during the Women’s March “Power to the Polls” voter registration tour launch at Sam Boyd Stadium to protest President Donald Trump’s administration and to raise awareness for women’s issues. Source: Ethan Miller/AFP

A famous political scientist is Melissa Harris-Perry — a television host on MSNBC, editor-at-large at, an author, a professor, and political commentator specialising in African-American politics. How did she get there? She studied for her bachelor’s degree in English, her PhD degree in political science,


Being an economist means keeping up with research trends to evaluate issues related to the management of resources. A lot of data — as well as the collection and analysis of it — is involved. There are economist roles in the US federal government for those with bachelor’s degrees. Most, however, requires a master’s degree or more. How does it pay? A cool annual average of US$105,020.

best jobs

Catherine Rampell also comments for CNN on politics and economics. Source: Kevin C. Cox/AFP

Catherine Rampell — a well-known writer for an opinion column for The Washington Post — frequently covers economics, politics, public policy, culture and specialises on data-driven journalism. Not only does she write, but she also comments for CNN on politics and economics, and is a special correspondent for PBS NewsHour’s series: “Making Sen$e”. How did she achieve all this? A Princeton education, specialising in East Asian studies.


Did you know: Michael Jordan — the greatest player in the history of the NBA — graduated with a degree in geography from the University of North Carolina? Fun fact aside, geographers are people who study the Earth, and its features. A bachelor’s degree is needed for entry-level roles and for more advanced roles, a master’s degree would be required. The average annual wage for this last on our list of best jobs is US$81,540.

best jobs

Michael Jordan, a businessman and retired American former professional basketball player has a current net worth of US$1.6 billion and studied to get his bachelor’s degree at the University of California. Source: Kevork Djansezian/AFP

Yi-Fu Tuan is a 90-year old Chinese-American geographer, a key figure in human geography as he helped found this type of geography. His works have specialised in exploring what it is to be human through existential, experiential and holistic concepts of the relationship between people and places, culture and geography and humankind’s connection with nature. With several honours and publications under his name, his success can be traced back to his education at Oxford University and University of California.