Career options for anthropology degree/major

anthropology degree

What is Anthropology? Anthropology is the study of human beings, so it covers anything you can think of. It is the study of human beings past and present; you study cultures, bones, old tools buried in the house, monkeys, people all around the world, and the zillion of ways they interact. Anthropology is typically divided into four subfields — archaeology,  linguistics, physical Anthropology, and social culture. You can dig into details but I’m keeping it short here.

What do anthropologists do? Basically, they try to answer all kinds of questions from how human beings evolved to how they interact with each other; also, how they communicate with each other and other species to what institutions organize people in society. A lot of people are actually anthropologist at heart. We are curious about the ways other people live their lives. Therefore, anthropology is always going to be relevant.

I believe anthropology offers the development of three very important things. The first I would say is compassion. It is essential in becoming a productive member of society and a happy person in general, learning to care for other people and respect the way they live their lives. The second thing is the ability to sort through massive amounts of data, which is tremendously important in our society today.

The third and final aspect is the development of communication skills. Working in the field involves dealing with all kinds of different people. Learning to communicate with them in ways that allow you to collect meaningful data is very important. In this way you can apply that second skill to the third and analyze it to find meaning and the connections that all human beings have to one another.

If you are thinking about a career in anthropology, my advice would be to try it out. Its methods are different from a lot of other subjects that you could study. They are very real, involved and it’s so diverse that the fields will find room for you if you want to find room for yourself in the field.

One basic reason why people refuse to study anthropology as a major is because they don’t know what to do next. So, to them, I would say there are a plethora of career choices in different fields like academia, corporate,  government, non-profits, etc. Here are the top careers you can look for after you major in anthropology:



I believe this one’s the most straightforward career option for anthropology students which means going into teaching and research. This is really interesting as you don’t have to go towards just one branch of anthropology. Anthropology professors are some of those few lucky people who get to do their job alongside research work. You can teach and continue your research.

As we look closer at the teaching aspects, you will have to deliver periodic lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as research methods, urban anthropology, language and culture, and other related topics. You will have the option to modernize your classroom, get your students involved in the discussions and to make it a lot more interactive.

We can not forget some of the more tedious aspects of teaching which include, evaluating and grading students’ classwork and assignments. A teaching career definitely won’t disappoint you in terms of job satisfaction. Plus you can expect to work 40 hours per week and that too would be a 9 to 5 job.

Salary:- $ 81,580 per year

Qualifications:- Masters degree



You definitely will not regret studying anthropology, if you wish to become a lawyer. While studying your major you would have excelled in “ how to think, not what to think” or maybe creative and critical thinking. Apart from that, research work, which will help you a lot in a law field.

Plus law schools loves students with diverse backgrounds. Those who can provide a multidisciplinary perspective to what is inherently a collaborative learning process. Keeping it short and simple, you just can’t jump into law after your major. You need to get yourself enrolled in law school, and for this you will need to prepare for the LSAT’s.

Once you complete your three years of studying law, you can start your practice or litigation. If your ultimate goal is law school, then which degree you choose doesn’t really matter so much. You just need to have an amazing GPA or LSAT score in your junior College. Aside from this, you should know that law school would be expensive and arguably too long. This whole thing might take 5-7 years but can well be worth it in the end.

Salary :- $ 119 , 250 per year

Qualifications:- Juris Doctor degree



This one’s the most obvious one — anthropologist is most often the first choice of people doing Anthropology majors. They are basically those scientists who study human beings from their past to the future, their language, their culture and traditions, their practices, and the way people behave in certain ways.

There are various subfields in this category also, an anthropologist can choose biological,  archaeological, linguistic, social-cultural anthropology, and more. Depending on his/her interests. The scope of this job is really wide and is not limited to one specific sector i.e. an anthropologist can be hired by a government institution, a non-profit organization, corporate sector, and others to study basic social issues. You might be surprised at the number of fields that require an anthropologist on staff.

Salary :– $ 62,280 per year

Qualifications:- Masters degree



What a fascinating career! Curators are basically expected to answer every question related to all of the museums displays. This can be difficult for almost any other type of study as they don’t know much about it coming from a distinct background. But see, here’s the thing, anthropology is so vast and it gives you so much knowledge that it makes it easier for you to do the job of a museum curator.

Curators also read condition reports, ask questions, and dialogue with their conservation team. This is an easy job for an Anthropology major as it teaches you amazing communication skills as I mentioned above.

They also do the job of museum collection, acquisition, preservation, and interpretation. Honestly, if you love these ancient items and vintage collections, you’ll fall in love with your job.  If you are a history lover, collector, analyst, or even peace seeker then you should seriously consider becoming a Museum Curator.

Salary:- $ 53,770 per year

Qualifications:- Masters degree



Never ever misinterpret that anthropologists are the same as archaeologists! It’s not exactly the same as archaeology is a subdivision of anthropology. The big difference between archaeologists and anthropologists is that anthropologists tend to study living people, their culture, language, and everything about them, but mostly modern stuff, whereas archaeologists tends to study civilizations and cultures that lived in the past.

They evaluate data from historic sites and sometimes they incorporate information from living populations to understand the past populations they study. Don’t ever doubt that the job of archaeologists will be fun. But it can also be very difficult. Even if you love archaeology, it can be tedious, it can be incredibly physically demanding, it can mean digging in the snow, and it can cause your body to just want to quit because it’s so hot.

On the other side of things, it can mean sitting in front of a computer for hours on end writing a report that will only be seen by other people looking into this very specific region of this sparsely populated area.

Salary:- $ 53,770 per year

Qualifications:- Masters degree


In the end I would say, ask yourself, do you really like the topic of anthropology? Does it attracts you or make you curious? Do you want to know more about it? If so, do your major in it and let the chips fall where they may.

Besides, you may pick up another skill that you weren’t even expecting. Seek excellence in the subject matter and if nothing else you can be a good conversationalist. Trust me, you’re really lucky as you can research and then choose your career. If I knew then what I know now, I’d be a millionaire. But whatever, nail it now!


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