They prefer to ask huge questions. Inquiry; Why did this society fall apart? A common question is, How can language obstacles impact the flow of information?
What is it that makes us human? Inquisitive minds, attention to detail, and good research abilities are all characteristics of anthropologists.
Anthropologists gain insights into themes such as how ancient societies functioned, how mankind has developed over time, or how languages, religions, and governments have changed over time.
This understanding may be applied to real-world issues, such as increasing immunization rates across different groups or reducing the occurrence of anti-Semitic rhetoric.
If you have an interest in human civilizations, cultures, and societies, an anthropology degree may be right for you.
Inevitably, you’ll find yourself asking things like What’s the difference between archeology and an anthropological degree?
Can I get a degree in anthropology through an online program? along with the question, What can I accomplish with an anthropological degree?
Our guide to What Might I Do with an Anthropology Degree? can help answer some of your questions regarding the anthropology discipline, the road to a degree in anthropology, and what to do after you have one.
How would you define Anthropology?
anthropology may be described as the study of human behavior and human cultures in the past and the present.
According to the American Anthropological Association, anthropology includes knowledge and practices from the biological and social sciences, as well as the humanities and physical sciences.
People tend to think of anthropology as a pure science because of the emphasis it places on collecting old documents, conducting surveys, and synthesizing findings.
However, the application of technical know-how to the solution of current human issues is an essential concern in anthropology.
Anthropology’s multidisciplinary nature is one of its most notable characteristics. The most humanistic and the most scientific of the humanities, as Alfred L. Kroeber put it, describes this field of study well.
From the hard sciences like carbon dating to the humanities like how a society’s language affects its attitudes on gender, an anthropology degree program will teach you everything from the basics to more advanced concepts.
What Do Anthropologists Investigate?
Each country’s academic traditions influence how anthropology is practiced across the world. Sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology are the four primary fields of study in America.
It goes without saying that these areas share a lot of similarities in their research methods, including hypothesis testing and data collection.
Archaeology is a sub-discipline of anthropology in the United States and Canada. It’s worth mentioning, though, that in Europe and elsewhere, it’s included under History or regarded as an altogether independent study.
Ancient structures and artifacts are used in archaeology to study human civilizations. Among these are ancient temples, tools, ceramics, and burial grounds.
They also collect samples of the environment, including soil samples and preserved plants, to better understand the context in which humans lived.
Using tangible artifacts, archaeologists may piece together information about ancient and recent past societies and make comparisons with modern-day life.
Biological Anthropology, sometimes known as, Physical Anthropology, investigates how human bodies convey information about their lifestyles, habits, and evolution via the study of human bodies both alive and dead, and those of other primates.
Understanding how people have evolved to adapt to various settings, as well as the origins and causes of sickness, is a goal for biological anthropologists.
For a better understanding of how individual lives and societies are shaped by biology on the inside and the outside, they look at cadavers, fossils, and even the remains of living people and animals.
Anthropology of Culture
In terms of anthropology, it’s likely the most well-known branch, and what most people imagine when they hear the term anthropologist.
Often referred to as Sociocultural Anthropology, this subfield focuses on the way people live and perceive the world around them all over the world.
There are several ways in which anthropology may be practiced, but the most common is via interviewing and living in the community you’re studying.
Societies are studied by cultural anthropologists in order to gain a better understanding of their social structures and values.
Anthropology of Linguistics
The field of linguistic anthropology investigates how individuals from all around the world express themselves via language.
Additionally, Linguistic Anthropology takes an in-depth look at language and its relationship to the world, as well as people’s use of written and spoken language.
Urban and rural dialects, for example, show a wide range of linguistic development and variation across time.
All of these concerns come within linguistic anthropology, a branch of anthropology that focuses on the study of language.
How are Anthropology and Forensic Anthropology Different?
Forensic anthropology is definitely something you’ve run across while looking at what a degree in anthropology may get you into.
Jobs in this specialist industry commonly appear on job advertising sites since there are so many available.
You may be perplexed as to the distinction between anthropology and forensic anthropology due to their similar-sounding titles.
Forensic anthropology is a subfield of physical anthropology that focuses on the study of crime scenes and evidence.
In order to gain a better understanding of historical cultures, physical anthropologists do research on human remains.
How closely were these two groups related? This issue is answered by physical anthropology. Is there a link between the shift to agriculture and a better diet?
The influence of disease outbreaks on a historical period’s population is another important question to ask.
To help in criminal investigations, forensic anthropologists look at contemporary human remains from a physiological perspective.
How and when did this human body die? This is the most apparent question to ask. Also relevant is; Was this corpse transferred after it died? Other questions like these must be addressed.
I’m curious as to how long this individual lived to be and even Did this individual suffered catastrophic injuries at other points in their life?
Investigators working on criminal cases benefit from the expertise of forensic anthropologists, who use their scientific training to analyze human remains.
For this reason, it is a wonderful illustration of how anthropologists may utilize their expertise to assist address real-world human issues through their research.
What Courses Am I Required to Take for an Anthropology Degree?
A strong foundation in math and the hard sciences can help you understand diverse cultures and societies.
Thus, you should expect to be given the following kinds of requirements in classes:
- Applied Economics
In order to gain a deeper grasp of anthropological themes, you’ll probably need to take classes in history, politics, psychology, and language in addition to math and science.
In your anthropological classes, you can see titles like:
- Ethnicity and Identity
- Gender Experiences
- Medical Anthropology and Global Health
- Beyond Race: Human Biological Diversity
- Peoples and Cultures of Africa
- Society and Power in the Middle East
- Urban Anthropology
- Natural Resources and Public Policy
- Culture and Natural Resource Management
- Material Culture Studies in Archaeology
- Anthropology of Cultural Heritage
- Anthropology, War & Security
- Environmental Conservation and Indigenous Peoples
- Field Methods in Archaeology
What can I accomplish with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology?
Depending on the institution, you may be able to earn an anthropology degree as either a BA (bachelor of arts) or a BS (bachelor of science).
As a rule, the difference between two-degree options tends to be a question of concentration.
To put it simply, a bachelor of arts degree program focuses on humanities and social sciences, whereas bachelor of science degree programs tends to be more focused on the technical and scientific aspects.
An undergraduate degree (BS or BA) in Physical Anthropology is ideal, whereas a graduate degree (MA or Ph.D.) in Linguistic Anthropology is ideal.
A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to finish full-time, and you’ll need to take around 40 classes totaling 120 semester hours.
A large portion of your first-year coursework will be general education courses, such as math and science.
Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree are expected to have a wide grasp of the world and a deeper comprehension of their chosen field of study through general education courses.
You may also want to choose a second major, such as religion, history, or a foreign language, in addition to anthropology.
There are several reasons why you would choose to pursue a master’s or doctorate in anthropology after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in this field.
In order to work in academia, you normally need a graduate degree, and anthropology is no exception.
But it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to land a wonderful career with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.
An anthropology bachelor’s degree qualifies you for careers that need global awareness, communication, organization, teamwork, cultural literacy, writing, and research, among other things.
This educational background is well-suited to careers in education and administration.
In the following fields, an anthropology bachelor’s degree can lead to employment:
- Diversity officer
- Foreign language instructor
- Media planner
- Human resources representative
- Nonprofit administrator
- Public health specialist
- International activist
- Market researcher
An anthropologist can obtain a master’s degree in anthropology and search for employment as an anthropologist.
A bachelor’s degree in Anthropology may lead to many different careers, including law, social work, psychiatry, religious studies, and teaching.
Having a foundation in anthropology helps students grasp the complexities of subjects that are connected to the study of human culture and physiology better than any other degree program.
Jobs that need a master’s degree can be found in sectors such as:
- Equality, diversity, and inclusion officer
- University professor
- Museum curator
- Public relations officer
- Social worker
- UX researcher
- School principal
What Can I Do with an Anthropology Master’s Degree?
To acquire a master’s degree in anthropology, you’ll need to finish two years of anthropology-specific courses, with no general education prerequisites.
Part-time study will extend your time to completion, but an Accelerated Master’s Degree Program can get you done in as little as 18 months or even less.
For your anthropology master’s degree, you must complete a research thesis and a field internship or practicum.
If you’re interested in anything specific, like archaeology or sociocultural anthropology, you may likely focus your studies.
An anthropology master’s degree qualifies you to work as an anthropologist. Field-based research, working in museums, physical anthropology labs, or teaching as an associate professor are all possibilities for you as a graduate of this program.
In order to acquire evidence, you will likely go to historical locations or various communities to examine artifacts, conduct interviews, and test samples.
You’ll write reports, study peer-reviewed publications, and do data analysis in this course.
Working with other members of your research team and a national professional body like the American Anthropological Association are other common responsibilities for anthropologists.
A master’s degree in anthropology, however, does not provide as many career options as a Ph.D. does.
With an anthropology master’s degree, you may pursue a career in the private or public sector as a curator, administrator, or educator, all of which are excellent entry-level positions in the fields of education and anthropology.
What Can I Do With an Anthropology Doctorate?
To obtain a Ph.D. in anthropology, you’ll need to devote five to nine years to conducting brand-new research in a narrowly defined field, and then writing, defending, and publishing your dissertation.
Upon graduation, you’ll have essentially authored the book on your particular field of study. Working closely with a thesis adviser and working as a student instructor or teaching fellow during your stay in the Ph.D. program is necessary to complete this long-term endeavor.
Having a Ph.D. in anthropology grants you access to the field’s highest degree, known as a terminal degree. You can become a tenure-track professor in a university or college with a Ph.D. in anthropology.
For example, you’ll be able to teach in your subject of expertise as well as do research, and you’ll also be able to advise.
Due to the low turnover rate and the limited number of anthropologists employed by institutions, appointments as tenure-track professors are extremely competitive.
To get tenure-track professor employment, you may have to wait a while and compete with other PhD-level job applicants.
Adjunct professor or research assistant positions may be available in the meanwhile for those holding PhDs in Anthropology.
Can I earn an Anthropology degree over the Internet?
Despite the fact that online anthropological degrees are still relatively new, the number of colleges offering an anthropology degree online is increasing constantly.
Part-time study is more popular than ever among students who have to juggle school, employment, and family commitments, according to a new survey.
Students can save time by not having to travel to and from class, and they can do assignments at any time of day or night, including weekends and lunch breaks.
Online anthropology degrees are especially popular among students who live in areas where there are no traditional colleges or universities that offer programs in the field.
A combination of planned and on-demand asynchronous synchronous content is used by online students, including:
- Readings and case studies
- Message board discussions
- Final exams
- Group projects
- Virtual labs
Where Can I Work If I Have a Degree in Anthropology?
This degree will allow you to work in situations like a museum or historical site or government agency or cultural center.
Consider this career path if you enjoy working in a variety of environments. In the field of anthropology, many anthropologists operate in a variety of settings and on various projects.
These researchers may conduct a demographic survey on one day and investigate historical papers or relics in the field on another.
You could, of course, pursue a career in an anthropology-related field instead of working in the field.
Depending on your perspective, this might imply One reason why large private corporations like Google are employing or contracting with anthropologists is explained in a recent piece by Business Insider titled
Here’s Why Companies Are Desperate To Hire Anthropologists; As a result, you can end yourself working for a major private company.
Do I Need a Degree in Anthropology?
Because anthropology is a mix of rigorous science and the humanities, it’s an uncommon field of study.
To succeed as an anthropologist, you will require a particular set of skills and attributes.
These are some examples:
- Eye for detail
- Global awareness
- Research focus
- Critical thinking
It’s important to consider these personal characteristics, as well as your professional goals while considering if anthropological studies are right for you.
Getting an advanced degree is often necessary for academic and research work as an anthropologist, so you’ll need a lot of dedication and focus to succeed in this job.
If you can’t see the value in putting in the time and effort necessary to earn a graduate degree, this may not be the ideal option for you.
An anthropology degree may not be the greatest choice if you’re looking for a definite route in your profession and aren’t afraid to take risks.
When looking for work as a teacher of humanities in a college or university, you may have to take on other roles such as an adjunct professor or foreign language instructor because of the shortage of available positions.
Of course, not everyone who has a degree in anthropology wants to work in a university setting.
For many, anthropology serves as a springboard into fields like urban planning, teaching, or librarianship, all of which rely on an in-depth knowledge of human behavior and culture.
In order to pursue a profession in a related sector after earning a degree, you’ll need to be able to use your degree in several ways.
When applying for a non-anthropological career, you’ll also need to demonstrate your ability to collaborate and comprehend the world around you through your training in anthropology abilities such as research and global awareness.