Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Anthropology Careers

Most professional anthropologists have traditionally worked in higher educational institutions, teaching and researching, but today there are many other career options for trained anthropologists.

Many anthropologists with master's degrees or bachelor's degrees work for contract archaeology firms at archaeological sites, in physical anthropology laboratories, and in museums in a wide range of areas. A doctorate is required for most academic jobs. The non-academic employment of cultural anthropologists is greatly expanding as the demand for research on humans and their behaviour increases. Since 1985, over half of all new PhDs in anthropology have taken non-academic positions in research institutes, non-profit associations, government agencies, world organizations, and private corporations. While the job market for academic anthropologists is relatively steady, demand for anthropologists is increasing in other areas, stimulated by a growing need for analysts and researchers with sharp thinking skills who can manage, evaluate and interpret the large volume of data on human behaviour.

Academic

On campuses, in departments of anthropology, and in research laboratories, anthropologists teach and conduct research. They spend a great deal of time preparing for classes, writing lectures, grading papers, working with individual students, composing scholarly articles, and writing longer monographs and books. A number of academic anthropologists find careers in other departments or university programs, such as schools of medicine, epidemiology, public health, ethnic studies, cultural studies, community or area studies, linguistics, education, ecology, cognitive psychology and neural science.

Corporations, non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, and federal, provincial and local government

Anthropology offers many lucrative applications of anthropological knowledge in a variety of occupational settings, in both the public and private sectors. Non-governmental organizations, such as international health organizations and development banks employ anthropologists to help design and implement a wide variety of programs, worldwide and nationwide. State and local governmental organizations use anthropologists in planning, research and managerial capacities. Many corporations look explicitly for anthropologists, recognizing the utility of their perspective on a corporate team. Cultural Resource Management (CRM) has been a growth occupation with provincial and federal mandates to assess cultural resources affected by private development and government funded projects. Forensic anthropologists, in careers glamorized by Hollywood and popular novels, not only work with police departments to help identify mysterious or unknown remains but work in university and museum settings. A corporate anthropologist working in market research might conduct targeted focus groups to examine consumer preference patterns not readily apparent through statistical or survey methods.