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How do I approach college wanting to major in anthropology? Do you like it? Would there be anything that you would tell seniors in high school to look out for in this field?

i’m nervous that i’m going to graduate and then go to college for this degree and then not want anything to do with it anymore. What kind of advice would you give someone wanting to go work in the forensics field studying anthropology?

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REBECCA’s Answer

I didn't go to college thinking I would end up majoring in Anthropology but I did and I loved it. For me it was trying to answer why societies and civilizations acted the way they did, what were their values and how did they show up in everyday life. There are several different areas of concentration within Anthropology so please take a class in each one and see if one speaks to you more than the others. I deal with helping people through large technical transformations and I use my anthropology background to help me research my clients and understand their culture. Best of luck!
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Martha’s Answer

Hi, Lexie-these are all excellent questions, and my overall answer is "Don't worry." I am saying this because even if you don't end up using the knowledge directly, anthropology potentially gives you great transferrable skills. These include observation, analysis, and communications, which you could use in a variety of jobs and organizations. One of my children majored in Anthropology and has had several and varied jobs already.

Secondly, you will have two years in college to try out different courses before you declare a major. So you will have time to determine if you enjoy focusing on anthropology or just like to dabble in it. Colleges are used to applicants changing majors once they are there so that's not a problem. And schools with strong anthropology departments often have strong related departments also. By the way, you could also decide to major in something else and minor in anthropology.

Good luck!
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Allison (Allie)’s Answer

Hi Lexie! I graduated from college six years ago with a degree in sociology, another social science field like anthropology. I didn't enter college thinking that I'd study sociology, but ultimately took up the major because I wanted to use it as a foundation for a career in social work. My first job out of college was at a start-up that services nonprofits, and from there I've found myself in marketing and communications roles. I share my experience with you 1) because the field of study you're interested in is similar to the one I studied and 2) to demonstrate that liberal arts degrees are versatile and won't pigeonhole you into any one type of career. Should you study anthropology in school, it may turn out that you want to enter the field after college, continue on a path toward forensics, or you may want to do something entirely different. No matter what, you'll learn a lot and gain valuable skills that you can leverage in the workplace.

Additionally, while you're in college it's important to pair in-classroom learning with out-of-classroom learning. You can study anthropology and get an internship doing something in forensics, and this experience will be just as, if not more useful, to you after college for building your career.

I hope this perspective is helpful for you. Best of luck!
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Jacob’s Answer

Entering college with the intention to major in anthropology is an exciting and significant step. Here's some advice to consider as you embark on this journey:

1. **Passion and Interest:** Make sure you have a genuine interest in anthropology. Explore the various subfields within anthropology (cultural, biological, archaeology, linguistic) to find what resonates with you the most. Passion will sustain your motivation throughout your academic career.

2. **Course Selection:** In your first year, take introductory courses in anthropology to get a sense of the subject. Don't hesitate to reach out to professors, advisors, or upperclassmen for guidance on course selection and career paths.

3. **Networking:** Build relationships with professors and fellow students. They can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and research opportunities. Joining anthropology clubs or associations can also be beneficial.

4. **Internships and Fieldwork:** Anthropology often involves hands-on experience. Look for internships or fieldwork opportunities to gain practical exposure to the field. This can help you decide if it's the right path for you.

5. **Flexibility:** Keep in mind that career paths can evolve. If you're nervous about losing interest, consider minoring or double-majoring in a related field that complements anthropology. This can provide additional career options.

6. **Forensics Anthropology:** If you're interested in forensics anthropology, focus on relevant coursework and seek out professors with expertise in this area. Consider volunteering or interning with forensic anthropologists or at forensic labs to gain real-world experience.

7. **Job Market Research:** Research the job market and potential career paths within anthropology. Knowing the demand and opportunities in your chosen subfield can provide confidence in your decision.

8. **Stay Curious:** Always nurture your curiosity. Anthropology is a field of constant discovery and adaptation. Keep asking questions and exploring new aspects of the discipline.

Remember, it's okay to have doubts or change your path along the way. College is a time for growth and self-discovery. Keep an open mind, stay committed to your interests, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from professors and advisors. Your journey in anthropology can be both intellectually rewarding and personally fulfilling.
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