What Can Be Done With an Anthropology Degree?

Anthropological study provides training particularly well suited to the 21st century. The economy is increasingly international; workforces and markets, increasingly diverse; participatory management and decision making, increasingly important; communication skills, increasingly in demand. Anthropology is the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives. The intellectual excitement and relevance of the wide range of information presented in anthropology assures that students are engaged and challenged. Moreover, it complements other scientific and liberal arts courses by helping students understand the interconnectivity of knowledge about people and their cultures. Increasingly, students are coming to understand that the issues affecting their futures and the information they will need to prosper cannot be found in narrow programs of study.

Today’s anthropologists do not just work in exotic locations. Anthropologists can be found in a surprising array of fields and careers, not least of which being mother-of-the-President of the United States of America.  Anthropologists can be found in corporations, all levels of government, educational institutions and non-profit associations. Anthropologists work in disaster areas, including Ground Zero in New York and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

There are many career and educational options for anthropology majors. Today there are four main career paths for anthropology graduates:

In response to a survey by the American Anthropological Association’s Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA)*, respondents provided the following responses to describe their post-graduate employment:

Cultural Resource Management (CRM)
Historic Preservation
Museum/Curation/Project Design
Community Development
Advocacy (human rights/social justice)
Human/Social Services
Computers/Software Development/Information
Design (products and/or services)
International Development/Affairs
Mass Communication
Ethnography/Cultural Anthropology
Health (international/public health)
Environment and Natural Resources
Healthcare Management/Services/Deliver
Management Consulting/Organizational
Social Impact Assessment
Market Research
Law/Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
Humanitarian Efforts

Areas of Anthropological Study

This information was compiled using resources from the American Anthropological Association (AAA) website. For more information, please visit the AAA’s Career Center.