Careers in Anthropology
Previously, the majority of professional anthropologists have traditionally worked in institutions, teaching and doing science. But since 1985, more than half of anthropologists are working in non-academic institutions.
The name/title of the majority of the jobs held by anthropologists, do not contain the word “anthropologist.” However, we can identify five areas in which anthropologists are active, using their analytical skills and cultural preparedness:
Academic science and education:
This area is traditional anthropology. Throughout the twentieth century, anthropologists have taught and engaged in research in universities, colleges and in various scientific centers – research institutes, associations, etc. World-renowned anthropologists have enhanced the reputations of the universities in which they have worked.
Within the research and education centers focusing on the activities of anthropologists, there is: teaching, conducting their own research, and making expeditions. Many anthropologists have chosen this path. Anthropologists have become teachers, independent researchers, working in administrative positions in academic committees.
In the past two decades, more and more anthropologists began to work in the applied sciences.
There are many non-profit and non-governmental organizations, which are headed by anthropologist. These organizations strive to help with the struggling with ethnic and sexual discrimination, poverty, illiteracy, and help migrants and victims of war, and take measures to protect and preserve the cultural heritage, and to address many other equally important tasks. Typically, these non-governmental organizations are funded by international foundations, businesses or government. In such organizations, anthropologists work as chief executives, heads of individual projects, experts, consultants, etc.
The public sector:
Public sector anthropologists often work together to perform the same functions as in the non-governmental organizations. For example, they work as intermediaries to help people of different ethnic and racial groups. They work in urban and regional planning agencies. State and local government organizations use anthropologists in organizational roles and to create various types of cultural and social policy. Anthropologists are also “street ethnographers” – exploring the subculture of homeless people, drug addicts, youth gangs.
Many anthropologists solve these problems as consultants, advisers, experts in places like: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education and in the various departments:
- cultural resources and cultural heritage
- social Planning
- migration Policy
- information policy
- the fight against poverty
- law-making in the field of international relations
- social development
- environmental protection
The corporate sector:
This area of application of anthropological knowledge is surprisingly vibrant. More and more businesses are realizing that using the knowledge of the anthropologist – helps achieve an economic commercial benefit.
Anthropologists fill a niche career in corporations, and in various trade and business organizations involved in advertising, public relations, international business, working in the media and in all commercial organizations that work with people.
Corporate anthropologists could be studying the market conditions, consumer preferences testing samples, participating in promotional campaigns, analyzing the relationship of employees to each other and to their place of work, and helping formulate a corporate culture that conducts market research and deals with many other equally interesting things.
- management of human resources
- management of Sales
- management of Strategic Development
- management of the Economic Development
- management of the corporate culture
- competitive intelligence
- management of staff
- legislative Service
- art management
- information research
- market research
- public Relations
- HR management
International health organizations, development banks and commercial organizations of international trade employ anthropologists to design and implement a wide variety of programs throughout the world. In international organizations in different fields, it is especially important to know the “cultural factor”: none of the undertakings in international efforts will be successful without the attention to detail of adapting to the local culture – the culture of business negotiations, local etiquette, with respect to time, foreigners, etc. If an international organization engaged in charitable activities or health care, it must know what steps will be positively perceived and which ones will be most effective.
All of the above, are just a partial list of the possible venues of an anthropological career.
What is attractive to the employer of a young person who has received a quality anthropological education?
It is believed that more than 25% of all specialties, which will appear in this XXI century, is now available, and many modern professions disappear. Therefore, for many others specialists there is a serious danger of losing his job. Anthropologists are successful in the implementation of virtually any intellectual activity thanks to its integrated, multidisciplinary and versatile training. Therefore, an anthropologist than other professionals likely to remain out of work.
On any object of study, whether it is the archetype of the hero or consumer demand, influenced by a large number of factors. Therefore, in order to solve the problem, it is necessary to gather all the data about the object to look at it in a whole. It is due to the special training of anthropologists have a holistic vision and a deep understanding of the problem under investigation. In the world recognize the value of systematic anthropological look and it certainly creates an advantage when applying for jobs in the public and commercial sectors.
International communication in various fields is constantly increasing and stimulates demand for trained analysts with a multicultural view of things. Ability to understand the thoughts and emotions of a business partner, an immigrant, tourist or buyer means to quickly and effectively solve the problem. Therefore, anthropologists as experts with deep cultural knowledge, and with the ability to act as mediators between the value systems between cultures and their carriers, are in great demand in this career niche.
While the market of academic jobs for anthropologists is relatively stable, the demand for labor increases anthropologists in other areas due to the growing need for analysts and researchers with sharp intellectual skills who can manage, evaluate, and interpret large amounts of data. Attention to detail, analytical and critical thinking, ease in different situations, the ability to write well – that makes many employers give preference in employment is to anthropologists.
Experience in the use of anthropology qualitative and quantitative research methods, cultural, social, behavioral, biological, and other theories for detection and reconstruction of the complex relationships between people in different cultural contexts, forms knowledge and skills that are applicable to almost any problem. And these skills are essential in today’s market of intellectual labor.
One of the most exciting areas of modern anthropology – applied anthropology. It is the fastest growing region, as diverse as anthropology in general. Anthropologists use the concepts, methods, and theories of anthropology in the real world to develop solutions, which requires the state, society and business: diagnosis and expertise in the field of ethnic problems, social modernization, market analysis, competitive environment, etc.
Ultimately, all of these advantages give flexibility and communication, which are so necessary when changing jobs at any time of life.
What is attractive to the employers, of a young person who has received an anthropological education?
Young, well-trained anthropologists have seven distinguishing qualities: universal-global in thinking, cultural pluralism, sharp thinking skills, knowledge of a unique set of techniques, the ability to apply their knowledge, flexibility and sociability.
Where do anthropologists end up?
A recent survey of 4,600 anthropologists found that 43% work in the specialty or in a closely related field. 29% – business structures (three-quarters in the administration and management). Media and information technology have attracted 9% anthropologists. 4% of anthropologists became lawyers, and quite a few anthropologists engaged in architecture.
How much do anthropologists earn?
In the United States – most university and college graduates earn $20,000 – $27,000 a year. Graduates with a master’s degree starting salaries are usually between $25,000 to $32,000 , and for those who had just completed a doctorate, salaries start at $31,000 to $35,000 per year.