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What careers can I pursue with a major in anthropology?

I am an incoming freshman at Cornell University as an Anthropology major. #college #career #university #internships #undergraduate #anthropology #archaeology #cornell

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Ollie’s Answer

I'm with Ms. Frangquist on this question. There's tons of stuff you can do with anthropology. In my line of work, user interface design is an opportunity for people who've had the chance to think about how we all tick.


Doctor, public health doctor, social worker, police officer, military officer, clergy, schoolteacher, politician, marketer -- anything that involves working with people will benefit from anthropological training.


Anthropology is an academic discipline, so you may find a bias in your teachers towards creating younger versions of themselves. That is, they'll push you into the PhD track, even if they're not completely conscious of that. So be an anthropologist among anthropologists: as you get to know your teachers and fellow students: pay attention to their biases and your own.


I'm pretty sure Cornell wants you to take classes in all sorts of things -- they probably have a distribution requirement or some such thing. Take this seriously. Don't specialize too early. Take the risk of falling in love with something besides anthropology.


Have a great college career!

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Deborah’s Answer

I actually disagree with Ashutosh. There are roles for anthropologists in business, in government, and in nonprofit organizations, both domestic and international. To advance in some of those careers, you may eventually want to get a Masters degree, but that degree might turn out to be in business, public policy, nonprofit management, urban planning, or many other fields. Studying anthropology as an undergraduate will ground you in a methodology and perspective that has wide application. Check out what the American Anthropological Association has to say about careers in the field: http://www.americananthro.org/AdvanceYourCareer/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=1783


You can find a lot of other useful information through the American Anthropological Association http://www.americananthro.org/ You may want to get a student membership, but I suggest you wait until you are on campus, where there will probably be clubs or other student groups in your major. In any case, student membership probably requires that you have a student ID.


As you pursue your major, talk to faculty about your potential career goals. Where you have choices about your class projects, try to get some variety, such as doing a project on a public health issue in one course and one on immigrant assimilation in another course. All of this will help you decide whether you want to specialize in anthropology as an academic field or want to apply anthropological knowledge in other ways.

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Ashutosh’s Answer

You're pretty much just looking at PhD and trying to get a job in academia. Not much demand for it, although you can always go to law school, business, or medicine if you take the required classes for it.


Go Big Red!

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