What Can You Do with an Anthropology Degree?
While the title is asking what you can do with an anthropology degree, it would actually be easier to answer what you can’t do with one. This is because anthropologists can be found across a wide array of fields and industries.
For the uninitiated, anthropology is the systematic exploration of humanity. The aim is to understand our evolutionary origins, uniqueness as a species, and the wide diversity in the forms of our social existence, both through time and across the world. In general, anthropology’s focus is on understanding our shared diversity and humanity and how to engage with different ways of living in the world.
As stated, an anthropology major can land a job in an assortment of roles. However, due to gaining knowledge about analytical methods and human culture, anthropologists are in an ideal position to work in the field of cultural preservation. Based on research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, archivists, museum workers, and curators are anticipated to see an 11% increase in job opportunities between 2019 and 2029 – a much faster upsurge than average.
This is just one example. There are many possibilities of landing a job with an anthropology degree. Yet before any prospective students enroll, there are many points to take into consideration. This includes researching in-depth the anthropology careers that exist and what areas of anthropology you can study.
Should I earn a degree in anthropology?
The first question you need to answer is simple: Is anthropology the right subject for you? Students pursue a degree in anthropology for many reasons. However, most will have a keen interest in society, culture, and history.
When studying the subject, there are also various skills you will gain. As well as subject-specific, specialized knowledge that revolves around anthropology, you will enhance and acquire the following skills:
- Critical thinking
These attributes help to explain why an anthropology degree can lead a student down many different professional routes following graduation. For anthropology-specific jobs, a bachelor’s degree tends to be the minimum requirement.
As for an anthropology salary, statistics highlight the median pay for anthropologists and archaeologists is currently $63,670 annually. Yet as mentioned, this degree can expand into many different career fields, so this salary can vary drastically.
What can I expect from a program in anthropology?
As it observes all of human society, it’s fair to say anthropology encompasses many subfields – and these can differ depending on which college you select. In general, however, most educational institutions offer a similar core program and course options.
When studying for a degree in anthropology, here are the concentrations available:
Cultural Anthropology: This concentration explores the past and present when it comes to diversity in cultures. It scrutinizes everything from how people live to the way they organize societies. Due to the focus on both cultural and biological factors, cultural anthropology accentuates research and observation processes within an ethical framework.
Applied Anthropology: In essence, applied anthropology sees anthropological-based research and utilizes it for practical problem-solving. Research by applied anthropologists can be used for human rights, education, business, environmental issues, public health, and other areas revolving around society.
Forensic Anthropology: A forensic anthropologist utilizes their specialist knowledge for criminal investigations, examining dead bodies, and determining the circumstances and cause of death. The concentration itself zones in on processes of physical examination and excavation practices.
Biological Anthropology: This concentration usually leads to work in medicine, dentistry, and allied health. An evolutionary study approach is taken with biological anthropology, concentrating on human genetics as opposed to culture.
Archaeology: Studying by archaeologists is focused on human history. Intangible cultural factors and tangible artifacts generally take up the most attention, with archeologists exploring human societies throughout history – all with the aim of determining aspects that result in change. Prehistoric cultures are often of particular interest for anthropology students that go with an archaeology concentration.
To view the course structure and concentrations offered, it’s important you analyze each college on your personal shortlist. To do this in an effective manner, you can use CampusReel’s extensive video library to learn more about each college’s approach to anthropology.
What can I do with an anthropology degree?
As mentioned already, there are many different jobs with an anthropology degree available. Below we take a look at the main general career paths that are open to anthropology graduates:
Business and corporate careers
A sizeable number of corporations specifically search for anthropologists when hiring, as they recognize how beneficial they can be for their different perspectives and research skills. A corporate anthropologist employed for market research may, for example, conduct targeted focus groups that observe the preference patterns of consumers – patterns not readily apparent via survey or statistical research methods.
At educational institutions, anthropologists can be found teaching and conducting research in anthropologist departments and research laboratories. Their work can involve class preparation, grading papers, writing lectures and books, and assisting individual students.
Academic anthropologists can also branch out into various other departments, including epidemiology, cultural studies, linguistics, ecology, ethnic studies, and schools of medicine.
Non-profit and community-based careers
Development banks, international health organizations, and other non-governmental organizations hire anthropologists to assist with designing and incorporating an assortment of programs. Anthropologists can also be found helping local, community-based groups and small non-profit agencies.
Whether it’s in a research, planning, or managerial capacity, anthropologists are used in several ways by local and state governmental organizations. Outside of academia, the federal government is recognized as the biggest employer of anthropologists. Career paths include forensic anthropology, cultural resource management, natural resource management, and international development.
Making the right start
Before you can start dreaming of earning a bachelor’s in anthropology, there’s a big decision you need to make: selecting a college. You want to find an educational institution that delivers a productive and positive environment for studying, as well as one that has a proven reputation for anthropology-based studies.
That’s where CampusReel can play a large role. Boasting over 15,000 videos in a library that’s constantly growing, you can gain an unparalleled insight into college life from the people that matter – students.
To watch these videos and learn more about your prospective colleges, you can sign up for a complimentary CampusReel account today.
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