3 Careers Where You Can Make a Difference with a Social Justice Degree

People who choose to pursue a degree in social justice often have a deep desire to make a difference in the world. While for some this means studying law to become a lawyer, there is a range of other career paths that people looking to make a difference can pursue with a degree in social justice.

social justice degree
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Program Officer

An integral part of any non-profit organization (NPO), the role of a program officer is to oversee and manage programs, seek and attain grants, put together funding proposals, build and maintain relationships with other organizations, oversee the budget of a foundation or NPO, and perform other administerial tasks related to an organization’s programs. They also have a responsibility to ensure that all of an organization’s activities align with its goals and mission statement.

The minimum requirements of a program officer role include at least a degree in social justice, international development, human rights, or a related field. While many reputable institutions offer these kinds of degrees, people looking to focus on helping marginalized groups should explore the option of a BS in Social Justice Marian University. The Social Justice Program run by Marian University helps prepare students for a career in social justice by giving them access to hands-on experience with local institutions including shelters, community centers, social service agencies, and other local organizations.

Policy Analyst

With a focus on local and national human and civil rights policies, the job of a policy analyst involves researching and keeping up with changes and trends in politics, social concerns, and economics so they can identify current or potential problems relating to policy, formulate solutions for those problems, and then evaluate other proposed solutions.

For a person to pursue a career as a policy analyst, they will need at least a bachelor’s degree in public policy, international relations, or political science. When applying for jobs in this career path, candidates should also have some experience in government or political areas. This could be achieved through several avenues, however, participating in a human rights and social justice internship could help give a candidate the experience they need to further their growth in this career path.


A career as a researcher in the social justice sector involves collecting and collating data relating to issues such as criminal justice, gender inequality, LGBTQ, indigenous rights, poverty, racial justice, and more. Social justice researchers are typically employed by research institutes, academic institutes, non-profit organizations, government organizations, and international organizations.

In order to qualify as a social justice researcher, many institutions require that a person hold a PhD in the relevant field, however, a person with their master’s in social justice with a focus on subjects such as statistics, surveying, qualitative research, interviewing, writing, as well as psychology or sociology, as well as some experience in the sector, would also be accepted for some positions.

Careers in social justice have the potential to be enormously rewarding but the field is also extremely competitive. That is why choosing the right study path is vital for those looking to make an impact in the field.

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