Anthropology is a science that delves into the origins, biological characteristics, cultural behavior, artistic expression, social practices, and religious beliefs of past and present human societies. Anthropologists are curious about the aspects of the human race and its development that are associated with unique experiences of a particular group of people as well as universal human commonalities shared by all. Anthropologists try to understand what it means to be human, why people behave a certain way, and how different forces and events shape and alter human realities. Anthropology embraces four broad areas—cultural anthropology, linguistics, physical anthropology, and archaeology. Each area of study is rooted in its own theories and employs different scientific methods of research and assumptions. Cultural anthropologists gather and manage data about customs, rituals, and social values of varied ethnic groups and races throughout human existence. Physical anthropologists conduct studies of biological behavior, physical types, racial attributes, ongoing evolution of human species and their adaptations to particular environments. Linguistic Anthropologists examine genetic roots and structures of the world’s languages. They study linguistic and communication models in the context of individual world cultures and from a cross-cultural perspective. Archeologists probe remnants of human habitation, and manmade artifacts. They analyze physical evidence of cultural achievements and developments, interactions between society, culture and the environment, migration and settlement patterns. There is an array of anthropological specialties. For instance, primatologists focus on the areas of human evolution, primate behavior, primate behavioral ecology and conservation; forensic anthropologists rely on standard scientific methods of physical anthropology to identify human remains and help solve a crime. Generally speaking, a major in anthropology can lead to a broad range of career options and open doors in research, teaching, advocacy, business, public service, criminology, and health related occupations. In light of the culturally diverse global workforce and markets, there is a growing demand for marketing analysts and social researchers who possess a keen understanding of human behavior and can offer an anthropological perspective when gauging and projecting future business and social trends. Ample job opportunities can be found in museums, archaeology firms, physical anthropology laboratories, non-profit organizations, government agencies, world organizations, and private corporations. A Master’s degree is preferred for most research and administrative positions. A Ph.D. degree is required for the majority of academic jobs and various specializations. Traditionally, an education in anthropology is accompanied by extensive training in at least one foreign language. Anthropology provides a strong liberal arts foundation and advanced communication skills for a subsequent study of law.
Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree should consult with an academic and/or transfer counselor to discuss their specific university transfer requirements.
Key Skills and Characteristics
- Analytical ability, intellectual curiosity, and critical thinking skills.
- Knowledge of research methodology.
- Ability to manage, evaluate and interpret large volumes of data.
- Social adeptness.
- Objectivity and systematic approach.
- Accurate record-keeping and attention to detail.
- Capacity to conceptualize.
- Advanced oral and written communication skills.
- Foreign languages and cross-cultural appreciation.
- Willingness to network and share ideas with others.
Related Career Titles
*Field Archaeologist *Laboratory Assistant *Museum Technician *Volunteer Coordinator *Caseworker *Employment Recruiter *Legislative Aide *Research Associate *Marketing Researcher
*Cultural Anthropologists *Linguistic Anthropologists *Medical Anthropologists *Archaeologist *Physical Anthropologists *Social Anthropologists *Paleontologist *Health Science Administrator *Social Worker *Family Service Counselor *Job Counselor *Public Health Educator *Genetic Counselor *Social Service Agency Planner *Foundation Program Manager *Museum Education Director *Librarian *Archivist *Contract Archaeologist *Linguist *Art Conservator *Social Science Analyst *Behavioral Science Advisor *Community Planner *Foreign Affairs Officer *Environmental Impact Assessment Researcher *Human Resources Manager *Management Consultant *Industrial Psychologist *Marketing Manager *Employee Relations Specialist
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