The field of cultural anthropology involves studying human societies and cultures, allowing many many opportunities to seek careers in academia or research. To become a fully-fledged anthropologist, a master’s degree or even a doctorate is required. To work in academia as a professor and researcher, a doctoral degree is usually a qualification. However, there are several career paths you can pursue, even while having just a degree in anthropology.
This article intends to show you 20 jobs you can do with an anthropology degree, helping you choose a career path that aligns with your skills, interests and professional goals. If you have or are considering a degree in cultural anthropology, you might benefit from learning about some of the career options available to you.
What is an anthropology degree?
A degree in anthropology is a broad field that focuses on the study of human societies and cultures, human behaviours and societies. After you graduate, you would have access to a wide range of jobs in different settings, ranging from government agencies to nonprofits, museums and laboratories. Those who want to work for the government at the local, state or federal level can find jobs in planning and research.
For anthropology majors who want to go into business, positions in human resources, market research and lobbying tend to be a good fit. Anthropology majors also may find jobs as political activists, museum curators, policy analysts and more. Students should keep in mind that some of these roles require further training or education, though.
The study of anthropology teaches you to think outside your cultural experience to find creative solutions to social and organizational problems. Anthropology majors also hone writing skills while recording ethnographies, writing field notes, composing essays, and researching theses. They develop the capacity to present material to groups, facilitate group discussions, and build consensus while working toward common goals.
Why get an anthropology degree?
There are several reasons you should get a degree in anthropology. You should get an anthropology degree if you;
- Interested in people
- Have problem-solving skills
- Interested in linguistics and have an interest in languages
- Interested in understanding the past and cultures of various people
- Can work in groups and alone
- Possess critical thinking skills
- Have impressive communication skills
Then you should consider an anthropology degree and a job afterwards.
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What schools can I get an Anthropology degree from?
There are a lot of schools where you can get an anthropology degree. The most prestigious are-
- Princeton University- Princeton, NJ. Ranked #1 in National Universities
- Columbia University- New York, NY. Ranked #2 in National Universities
- Williams College- Williamstown, MA. Ranked #1 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- Amherst College- Amherst, MA. Ranked #2 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- Butler University- Indianapolis, IN. Ranked #1 in Regional Universities Midwest
- Rollins College- Winter Park, FL. Ranked #1 in Regional Universities South
- Trinity University- San Antonio, TX. Ranked #1 in Regional Universities West
- Harvard University- Cambridge, MA. Ranked #2 in National Universities
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology- Cambridge, MA. Ranked #2 in National Universities
- James Madison University- Harrisonburg, VA. Ranked #3 in Regional Universities South
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20 Jobs you can do with an Anthropology Degree
1. Director of Social Services
This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree. You would be in charge of supporting individuals within a community. Your strong communication skills, problem-solving skills and understanding of communities would help you to pursue this career.
You need to be able to identify groups that need assistance and address their problems accordingly. Your duties can include assessing community members’ needs, developing relevant programs, managing fundraising efforts and connecting groups to relevant social services providers.
As an interpreter, you would be the link between two people speaking different languages. Your skill and degree would expose you to various cultures, furthering your interests in languages and traditions. Your knowledge of linguistics is most needed in this job. While similar to translators, interpreters focus on the spoken word.
They’re responsible for translating communications accurately and in an unbiased manner, matching the speaker’s intended message or tone. Cultural anthropologists may offer more accurate or insightful interpretations because of their comprehensive understanding of different cultures and environments.
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It may not seem like it on the surface, but this is an important degree in anthropology job. You would oversee collections within institutions, most of which may include artwork or historical and cultural artefacts.
As a curator, you can work anywhere artefacts are found. You can work in institutions like museums, galleries, cultural centres or historical sites. Curators design exhibits and may also procure the items for display, including negotiating prices or loan agreements.
They can create content to help visitors learn about and understand the displayed artefacts and conduct or manage tours. You would maintain ancient history and cultures.
4. Public relations manager
As a public relations manager, you would oversee an organization’s public-facing communications and activities to uphold its reputation. This career line ensures that you understand various audiences and can use their strong communication and research skills to appeal to them.
You can also go for PR roles in organizations focused on activities related to cultural anthropology, such as museums, historical sites or cultural centres. PR managers establish communications policies and brand guidelines for their organizations and oversee content, such as press releases, speeches, newsletters or marketing materials.
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This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree. So far you are well-read in your degree, you can be employed to pass this information to other people. A professor is an education professional who teaches students at colleges and universities.
This career typically requires a graduate or doctoral degree, depending on the educational institution. You would be required to teach anthropology courses, and this role also often allows them to perform and publish research in their field.
Professors develop syllabi, deliver lectures and assign and grade coursework and exams. They may also meet regularly with students to advise them about their academic and professional careers.
6. Market researcher-
As a market researcher, you would be responsible for collecting and analyzing data to suit the ongoing trends. Your job profile would include helping to assess the demand for products and services, identifying target audiences and analyzing consumer behaviours to help businesses market and sell their offerings.
Your research, communication and analytical skills and cultural understanding would seriously help you in hosting interviews or focus groups and identify insightful patterns about consumers. This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree.
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This is one of the core jobs you can do with an anthropology degree. The study also shows that it is one of the most interesting jobs for anyone who has a degree in anthropology. As an archaeologist, you would be responsible for studying history by excavating and analyzing documents or artefacts. You would also be required to focus on examining these artefacts to understand human societies and cultures.
You can also specialize in studying particular eras or civilizations, such as the prehistoric societies of ancient Greece. After excavating artefacts, archaeologists document and interpret them to make discoveries about the societies. They can publish their findings and insights in academic papers, reports or presentations. Archaeologists can find employment at museums, historical sites, cultural resource management firms or government agencies.
This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree. You can put down all the knowledge you have gathered from your anthropology degree into writing and educate people through this means. Your communication skills come into play the most in this job.
You would be required to also have writing skills to effectively pass the intended message for whom it was intended. Depending on your role, you may work full time for a publication or as an independent freelancer. Your duties may include submitting drafts, reviewing editors’ comments, researching content ideas and negotiating contracts with publishers or literary agents.
An archivist preserves and researches historical documents and records. These professionals may specialize in materials from a particular period or culture and often work for universities, libraries, museums, historical societies or government agencies.
They develop catalogues for their organization, appraising the value of the records and managing their preservation. Archivists may oversee the acquisition process and organize exhibitions that display and discuss the archival materials. They may also help visitors access or view materials and conduct tours and presentations about them. This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree.
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As a lawyer, you would work with clients to help them navigate legal processes and provide advice. However, in pursuing this career line, you must also earn a Juris Doctor degree and pass the state bar exam. You must have strong research and writing skills and may consider fields such as human rights or immigration.
Lawyers meet with clients to discuss their issues and legal rights and help them prepare documents, such as wills or contracts. You may also attend trials, hearings or meetings with clients and develop legal strategies on their behalf, including gathering evidence and researching case histories.
This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree. You would be in charge of managing and performing research projects using various methodologies. You can perform qualitative research, such as interviews, questionnaires and focus groups about different social topics, such as gender or health.
This research holds various purposes, such as helping people understand society and developing insights that help improve it. You may work for educational institutions, government agencies or private organizations.
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12. Program manager
As a program manager with an anthropology degree, you would oversee programs and coordinate and manage the projects within them. This role exists within many types of organizations, including nonprofits and government agencies.
You can pursue careers as cultural resources program managers for national monuments or private clients. You may also develop programs that promote and preserve cultural and historical artefacts or sites. These professionals manage their program’s budgets, allocate or request resources as needed, and design and implement relevant projects. They may work with individual project managers to develop project goals, deadlines and procedures.
A historian studies historical events, people and societies and often has an area of specialization. These professionals use their knowledge to analyze and preserve historical information and artefacts and discover insights. Sometimes they apply their insights to current situations to assess them and develop potential outcomes.
Their responsibilities may include collecting and authenticating historical data and translating or interpreting documents. Historians can find employment in museums, historical societies, research firms, archives or government agencies. Depending on their job, they may teach classes, perform presentations or write books and other publications related to their area of interest. This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree.
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14. Director of people and culture
A director of people and culture oversees activities related to an organization’s culture and workforce. You can implement programs and policies to improve diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, retention and overall workforce performance.
Your responsibilities may include creating employee reward or recognition programs, maintaining awareness of HR and employment regulations and coordinating training programs. This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree.
15. Policy analyst
As a policy analyst, your job mostly requires that you study and make recommendations regarding laws, regulations and government policies. You would also be expected to research and gather data about existing policies to assess their effects on communities, a responsibility that aligns with the interests of cultural anthropologists.
After collecting and analyzing the data, you can also identify ways to improve or update policies to address people’s needs and interests. You may then contribute toward public policies related to education, health care or the environment and work for government agencies, special interest groups, nonprofits or think tanks.
16. Diversity and inclusion manager
This is a job you can do with an anthropology degree. A diversity and inclusion manager is a human resource professional responsible for implementing policies and programs that promote diversity within organizations. You can use your knowledge of anthropology to understand the workforce’s unique needs and develop more effective strategies.
Diversity and inclusion managers review existing policies and procedures to ensure inclusivity, address issues such as harassment, work with leaders to create diverse recruitment efforts and research and identify diversity and inclusion trends to implement into the organization.
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17. Local government officer
Local government officers make sure that the decisions on local government policy made by local councillors are put into action, and that local services are provided correctly. As a local government officer, you will be responsible for the practical development of council policies and procedures.
You will ensure that local services are delivered efficiently and cost-effectively. The local government offers a broad professional environment with good prospects for progression and promotion.
18. Political risk analyst
This is one of the jobs you can get with the knowledge from your anthropology degree. You would be responsible for examining issues such as economic conditions, crime levels, the threat of conflict, government stability and governance, trade and regulations, or humanitarian and human rights issues.
You may work in or with a range of private sector companies to inform business and investment decisions, or on behalf of governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assist national and international policymaking and strategy.
19. UX researcher
This job goes with the recent trend. Your anthropology degree would have given you the knowledge to look at things and see them from a different perspective. You would be expected to use this knowledge to deliver the best possible experience for the users of a website, making the website as straightforward to use as possible.
You would meet clients to gather information about their requirements and to find out what needs researching, designing or usability testing, be involved in sketching, prototyping and on occasion user testing, amongst others. It is one of the rare jobs you can do with your anthropology degree.
20. Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
With your degree in anthropology, you can effectively do this job. It aims to promote good relations and practices towards different minority groups. You would be required to work with people who experience some form of discrimination, study their cultures and languages and be able to effectively help them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. A degree a job with an anthropology degree is worth it.
Depending on the career you want to go into, you can get a job with an anthropology degree within 4-6 months of graduating.
You can get paid between $45,990 and $120,000 yearly.
Princeton University and Columbia University are ranked high as where you can get an anthropology degree.
You should be good in linguistics and your research and communication skills should be top-notch.
In your anthropology degree, you would learn about the methods and tools archaeologists use to unearth the past. You would learn human evolution and modern human behavioural biology.
An anthropology degree will provide you with diverse skills that you can apply to many different types of jobs, in institutions ranging from public health to law to education. These 20 jobs you can do with an anthropology degree would serve as a guide to you.
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