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:

  • "A Day in the Life of an Anthropologist," Princeton Review
    University teaching and research are the career choice of about half of all anthropology PhDs. If this is your goal as well, you will need a PhD 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.

  • Are You a Leadership Anthropologist?
    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.

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 course work 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 online with more detailed information. Forensic anthropology questions are also answered online and a list of graduate programs featuring certified diplomates.