What Can You Do With an Anthropology Degree?

An anthropology degree is a highly versatile degree that prepares students for a variety of careers. Anthropology degrees train students to holistically analyze and understand the world through cultural, linguistic, biological and historical lenses. Anthropology degrees offer a healthy balance of the sciences and humanities, so students understand how people and society have evolved over time and space.

Potential Career Categories

Academic careers for anthropology graduates can be found in research laboratories and departments of anthropology. These anthropologists teach students, conduct research, write books and compose scholarly articles. Some academic anthropologists work in different departments, such as schools of medicine, linguistics, psychology, ethnic studies, epidemiology and public health. Students who want corporate careers may find work as advanced market researchers who conduct groundbreaking studies on new and unique consumer groups and markets.

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Graduates who want careers in state, local and federal governmental agencies will face a very small job market. Anthropologists who work for the government tend to be involved in city planning, urban research and civil engineering projects. These contract archaeology jobs are usually temporary and project-based. However, there are part-time jobs available as forensic anthropologists who help police departments identify and analyze unknown remains. The federal government does employ some anthropologists as members of international development initiatives and cultural resource management groups.

Entry-Level Careers

The most recognizable career for an anthropologist is an archaeology field technician. These professionals enjoy a unique work environment and deal with cultural research and natural resource management. Archaeology field technicians usually travel and stay long periods of time in remote areas. They must enjoy camping, working in inclement weather and dealing with rugged terrain. Physical stamina is required because they must carry supplies and equipment weighing up to 50 pounds. They conduct archaeological fieldwork related to monitoring, survey and testing of sites.

Behavioral research analysts will help conduct research projects in the fields of psychology, social science and behavioral science. They conduct interviews, administers tests, scores results and processes research data and documentation. They compile, analyze and organize statistical analysis data. They perform computations of correlations, standard deviations, tests of significance and theoretical distribution comparisons. They may prepare reports that include factual recommendations and supportive and investigative data in readable formats.

Top-level Careers

Human geographers work with consulting companies as members of research teams who provide geospatial analysis, information support and tabular and graphic presentations of raw data. They use geographic information system (GIS) tools and techniques to evaluate digital imagery and geospatial databases. They also use remote sensing and spatial analysis to perform quality reviews of data and content accuracy. They generate visual aids, edit documents and present reports for publishing. They must understand linguistics, human trends, geography and advanced GIS software programs.

Museum curators are responsible for supervising museum operations. This could include managing exhibits, research, budgeting, planning, collections and maintenance projects. They may develop educational programs, writes and submit grants, conduct regular tours and respond to media inquiries. They may also supervise staff, volunteers and contract employees. They oversee the day-to-day operations of the museum, which includes developing, coordinating, administering, and evaluating procedures, programs and projects.

Anyone who wants to pursue an anthropology degree can select a specialization in areas like biological, sociocultural, linguistic, medical, forensic and environmental anthropology.