Anthropology After Graduation
Students who earn undergraduate or graduate degrees in anthropology can enter a number of careers, including:
- University teaching and research
- Museum curation and conservation
- Field archaeology and cultural resource management
- Physical and forensic anthropology
- Public health
- Federal, state, or local government
- Non-profit organizations
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Corporate management
- Market research
The following essays and articles provide additional information and resources on this broad discipline:
"Who Hires Anthropologists?," St. Lawrence University
This is just a partial list of jobs, nothing more.
An Essay on Careers (in Anthropology)
If you are interested in cultural anthropology, this essay would be a good place to start. The second half provides very brief examples of the kinds of work done by anthropologists employed in the private sector. There are also several short videos embedded.
"A Day in the Life of an Anthropologist," Princeton Review
University teaching and research are the career choice of about half of all anthropology Ph.D.s. If this is your goal as well, you will need a Ph.D. This webpage offers a reasonable summary. But the remark, “Don’t go into this profession unless you’ve got the stomach to play politics,’ warned one professor,” can describe any academic field at any large university - not just anthropology. By contrast, I have taught at a small school for over three decades and, with rare exceptions, I have found my colleagues to be friendly, fair, and considerate. I think this was a dumb comment to include in an otherwise good article. For some of us, university teaching is a wonderful career. I wouldn’t trade my job for anybody’s.
Meet Google's Search Anthropologist, sfgate.com
Google needs an anthropologist? “Many firms employ usability labs to observe users interacting with their products in a controlled setting. But they miss a critical layer of perspective if they don't watch how people use products in the real world.” And that’s what anthropologists do best: we study how real people really behave in the real world. Really! Read on and learn more.
Are You a Leadership Anthropologist? information-management.com
A corporate anthropologist describes how the techniques of participant observation learned as part of anthropological training can be useful in solving problems in a business environment.
Decoding the Black Death: Anthropologist Examines Hundreds of Medieval Skeletons to Find Clues, labmanager.com
Sharon DeWitte, University of South Carolina anthropologist, studies skeletons looking for clues as to "how strongly ... diseases can actually shape human biology."
Forensic Anthropology Resources
While forensic anthropology has been glamorized by television, the realities can be discouraging. There is fierce competition to get admitted to graduate programs and, if you make it that far, the coursework is demanding. The work of real forensic anthropologists is about as unglamorous as a job can get. And the number of practicing forensic anthropologists in the United States is tiny: a student’s chances of finding a job in this field are only slightly better than getting elected to Congress. If you are determined to follow this career path, you owe it to yourself to learn as much as possible about the field before you start.
An overview of the field can be found here with more detailed information included here. Forensic anthropology questions are also answered here and a list of graduate programs featuring certified Diplomates are listed here.