Social people like being with other people. They enjoy working in groups, communicating with others, and sharing responsibilities. They like discussing feelings in order to solve problems. They would describe themselves as cooperative, forgiving, friendly, generous, helpful, idealistic, insightful, kind, outgoing, patient, responsible, and understanding. Remember, "Social" doesn't refer to your abilities, but is a category of interests, skills, and values. 

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Helping others, working in teams, volunteering, teaching or training. People with Social interests like working with people rather than things, and are often interested in helping or community activites. "Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others." per O*Net Online


  • Charles Sutton '69

    Choose a solid liberal arts major and master the basic knowledge of that field, along with courses in logic and math, so that one can be trained in thinking clearly and rationally. Most jobs require clear thinking, a broad knowledge base, and the capacity to deal with a wide variety of people. No academic field can provide that last, but exposure to a solid major and several other areas can help. Charles Sutton Psychology '69; Bishop's Chaplain for Clergy Care and Wellness The Anglican Diocese in New England

  • Mentoring/advising
  • Empowering 
  • Helping/supporting
  • Counseling/coaching
  • Developing relationships 
  • Healing/curing
  • Listening/understanding 
  • Empathizing 
  • Communicating
  • Verbal skills
  • Facilitating interactions
  • Leading discussions 


  • Cooperation
  • Generosity
  • Service to others
  • Communication
  • Consensus
  • Relationships
  • Community
  • Personal Growth
  • Spirituality 
  • Trust
  • Feelings

Community & Activities

People with Social interests could be interested in any of the career communities, so make sure to check out all of them. These communities in particular could be a good place to start: 

Here are some ideas for student organizations you could also investigate. There are hundreds of student organizations at UVA, so make sure to consult the list of CIOs on the Student Activities website for a comprehensive listing.

  • Orientation Leaders
  • Resident Advisors/Residence Life
  • Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA)
  • Madison House
  • Circle K International (CKI)
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Pancakes for Parkinson’s
  • Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
  • Peer Health Educator Program (PHE)
  • Religious Student Organizations 
  • Career Peer Educator Program (CPE)

Relevant Majors & Courses

There are many majors at UVA that could be interesting to those with Social interests. Here are some suggestions to help you get started, but make sure to come talk with a career counselor about ideas you might have! 

  • African American & African Studies
  • Anthropology 
  • Asian Pacific American Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Nursing
  • Kinesiology
  • Psychology 
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • South Asian Studies
  • Speech Pathology & Audiology
  • Teacher Education 
  • Women, Gender & Sexuality 
  • Youth & Social Innovation 

Potential Occupations

Social interests can be fulfilled in a lot of different career paths. O*Net Online is one place you can look for careers related to social interests - you can find more ideas at O*Net Social occupations. Also, make sure to make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss how your interests are relevant to different careers. Here are some examples to get you started.  

Ted Donnelly '89

Within reason, follow your passion & your talents. Ignore the "Top 10 College Majors with Highest Salaries" type lists that you see on LinkedIn. If you like your major & are good at it, you will excel at UVA and beyond. At UVA I frequently heard, "so what are you going to do with that Foreign Affairs major anyway?" At that point I was not sure, but I knew I loved it and thought I was pretty good at it. Twenty-seven years later, life is good, I make a decent living, and I'm still loving it. Ted Donnelly Foreign Affairs (Soviet Union & Eastern Europe Concentration) '89, Chief of U.S. European Command


  • Athletic Trainers
  • City Manager
  • Clinical Dietitian
  • Coach
  • College/University Faculty
  • Community Organization Director
  • Counselor/Therapist
  • Education Administrators
  • Emergency Management Directors
  • Health Educators
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Librarian
  • Medical Assistant
  • Physical Therapist
  • Recreation Director 
  • Registered Nurse 
  • Religious/Spiritual Leader
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Teacher
  • Volunteer Services Director