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What are some career options for a recent college graduate with an anthropology degree?

After studying cultural anthropology in college for interest, it is time to face the reality - to find a job with such broad subject.
I am desperate to look for jobs relating to my major, but have no clues in how I can do that.
It would be great if I can get some advice on that. Thanks! #career-counseling #job-search #hiring #anthropology #culture

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Anup’s Answer

This section contains a list of useful websites that will help you determine how Anthropology majors are uniquely qualified to enter the job market. Many of the following links contain general information broadly applicable to Anthropologists, and some are most relevant to specific subfields within Anthropology. Browsing these links below will help give you a sense of what kinds of jobs Anthropology majors often pursue and how to “sell” your skill set to a potential employer.


Top Ten Job Search Tips and How to Sell Anthropology

American Anthropological Association, “Career Paths and Education”
Defines Anthropology as an area of study and explains how its skill sets are applicable in a range of job markets.

American Anthropological Association, “Careers in Anthropology”
Career information and links to other articles, including an incredible downloadable PowerPoint entitled “How Hiring an Anthropologist Will Make Your Firm More Competitive in the New Economy.”

Anthropology Blogs
A list of Anthropology blogs updated every three hours, organized by subject.

Best of the Web, “Anthropology Organizations”
A list of Anthropology organizations with links to websites.

Breakthrough Collaborative, “Opportunities”
A list of teaching opportunities for recent college graduates

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Anthropologists and Archaeologists”
Information on projected job growth for social scientists, including Anthropologists/Archaeologists.

Cal-State Fullerton, Dept. of Anthropology, “Job Opportunities for Anthropology Majors”
General career information for Anthropology majors.

CNN Money, “Working Your Degree (Anthropology)”
An article that explores what kinds of careers Anthropology majors can seek.

Columbia University Center for Career Education, “Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences”
Career options for humanities PhDs outside of academia.

Northern Kentucky University, “What can I do with Anthropology?”
A list of non-teaching Anthropology jobs and ideas of how to get starting looking for them.

Open Directory Project, “Anthropology”
A list of different Anthropology organizations (with links to their websites) organized by sub-discipline.

Portland State University, “Career Planning for Anthropology Students”
Numerous links to career planning sites and professional organizations.

University of Delaware, “Internship Opportunities in Anthropology”
A professor's list of resources (online and otherwise) for pursuing careers in Anthropology.

University of Texas, “Sanger Learning and Career Center”
A list of career options and job opportunities for Anthropology majors.

Applied Anthropology

Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs, “Applied Anthropology Associations”
List of organizations pertaining to Applied Anthropology.

“Job Boards for Applied Anthropology”
Links to job boards for many Applied Anthropology positions, including archiving, museum work, international organizations, and others.

Archaeology, “Archaeology”
Links to archaeology job postings and career information.

American Journal of Archeology, “Resources for Students”
Links to resources for Archaeology students, including career information and Archaeology blogs.

Texas A&M University, “Frequently Asked Questions About a Career in Archeology in the US”:
Job search strategies, lists of relevant careers, and a comprehensive reading list for those wanting to learn more about archaeology.

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Alexis’s Answer

Hi Hollie

Philosophy and Linguistics double major here!

I chose my majors because I genuinely loved the course material, my professors, the conversations/discussions/debates. And because I loved what I was studying, I did well, but I definitely didn't graduate knowing how I could apply my undergrad knowledge to a job.

My first job was in a nonprofit organization and it was an organization who's mission had personal meaning to me. The role was fairly basic administrative work but I started to see what where I added value. For me this was: organization, communication, problem solving. And, frankly, that's also the foundation of what I loved about philosophy and linguistics.

I continued looking for what I was interested in and started to see the common threads amongst it all. I'm not overly familiar with cultural anthropology but I wonder if there are similarities with corporate culture? How are corporations organizing remote workers and a global workforce? How are big ol' businesses getting and retaining top talent when hot new startups are offering free waffles and wiffle ball tournaments at lunchtime? The world of business is rapidly evolving and this is a particular moment for companies to reevaluate how they work -- is there something within human resources or project management that might interest you and use and grow your skills?

Or, could social media align with cultural anthropology? I use that just as an example to get you thinking of things that resonate with you, but social media is definitely an area of corporate growth at the moment, as are corporate diversity and corporate social responsibility.

It may be that companies don't see the opportunity as relating to cultural anthropology, but perhaps you make that connection based on your studies.

By the way, if you come up against people who look at your degree and go 'cultural anthropology, why'd you study that?' (as I did with philosophy/linguistics) I suggest having an answer along the lines of the above. That is, find an application for your educational interest within the current corporate world. And it doesn't have to be set in stone for the whole of your career -- your goal is to show how you'll add value to a job/employer and for first jobs that most often is in the forms of reliability, effective communication, prompt follow up, and enthusiastically taking on new tasks.

All the best!