Career Paths for Anthropology Majors


What can you do with an anthropology major? Plenty! An undergraduate degree in anthropology can lead to a surprisingly wide array of rewarding public- and private-sector careers in which people with expertise in human behavior are valued.

Students with an undergraduate degree in anthropology commonly follow any of four main career paths: positions in government, academia, business or community service organizations. Of course, many graduates of anthropology programs choose to become an archaeologist, paleontologist, ethnologist or primatologist. The complement of knowledge assimilated through the study of anthropology is applicable to a wide array of careers. Anthropology undergraduates also may choose to seek further study and advance to graduate school.

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The study of anthropology provides students with a wide range of relevant skills that will equip them well for the 21st-century economy. In the view of the American Anthropological Association, anthropology is the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic and cultural perspectives.

Business Insider magazine, for example, explains why Google hired an ethnographer, Intel Corp. has an in-house cultural anthropologist, Microsoft is reportedly the world’s second-largest employer of anthropologists, and why the Adidas shoe company turned to researchers with an anthropological perspective to evaluate consumer buying habits. Documentation by the American Anthropological Association, The American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the Society for American Archaeology also offer insightful career information.

Careers in government

Anthropologists work for federal, state and regional government agencies in a variety of capacities in planning, research and managerial positions. Specialties for anthropologists in government include:

  • international development
  • forensic anthropology
  • crime scene investigation
  • cultural resource management
  • legislative staff
  • natural resource management
  • positions in defense and national security
  • public administration
  • refugee services administrator

Careers in health

A Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology provides a holistic approach to pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-veterinary training; it also provides the educational background for further training in the health professions, biological and evolutionary sciences, and forensic investigation.
Students that focus on biological processes in Anthropology will be well-prepared to enter advanced training programs in the following fields:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Forensics
  • Dentistry
  • Pathology
  • Nursing
  • Public Health
  • Epidemiology

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