Top 10 Jobs for Anthropology Majors

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If you are fascinated by different cultures, past and present, and how they impact relationships, work roles, gender roles and social institutions, then you should consider Anthropology as a possible major. 

Anthropology Major Skills

Anthropology majors have an intense curiosity about the diversity of cultures throughout human history.  They are open to new ideas and ways of thinking about life roles.

Anthropology majors learn to gather information through observation of groups within foreign cultures or domestic sub-cultures.  They develop the tools to analyze group and organizational dynamics.  Anthropology majors learn to identify patterns of leadership and evaluate the effectiveness of organizations.   

The study of anthropology teaches students to think outside their cultural experience to find creative solutions to social and organizational problems.

Anthropology majors hone writing skills while recording ethnographies, composing essays and research theses.  They develop the capacity to present material to groups, facilitate group discussions and build consensus toward common goals. Review this list of anthropology major skills for more information.

Top 10 Jobs for Anthropology Majors

Many factors such as your personal values, abilities, interests and graduate training will impact your final career destination if you major in Anthropology.

  Here are a few options to consider as you brainstorm possibilities.

Foreign Service Officer

Foreign Service Officers must understand the social and cultural context in the countries where they work.  Anthropology training will enable them to study the customs and norms of their service area in order to carry out diplomatic activity discretely.

 

Problem-solving skills would enable the anthropology graduate to assist U.S. citizens in their assigned country with issues as they arise.  

Foreign Service Officers draw on the attention to detail of the anthropology major as they carefully document their cases.  Interpersonal, verbal and writing skills are vital as Foreign Service officers carry out their work. 

International Nonprofit Administrator

Administrators at International Nonprofit Organizations help to orchestrate programs that serve the needs of particular populations in various countries.  These administrators need to design and carry out initiatives with an understanding of the cultural context in the countries where they operate.

Administrators at International nonprofit organizations can tap the problem-solving skills of the anthropology major as they devise solutions for issues like hunger, famine, clean drinking water, disease prevention and family planning.

Organizational Development Specialist

Organizational Development Specialists dissect the cultures within work units.  They identify productive and counterproductive processes and analyze group dynamics.

 

Organizational Development Specialists use the interviewing skills developed within the anthropology major to extract information from staff about roles and processes.

Organizational Development Specialists write detailed reports of their findings.  They formulate recommendations and present their suggestions for improving organizational effectiveness to management groups.  

Foreign Language Teacher

Foreign Language Teachers instruct students in the cultural context of countries where the language is spoken.  Anthropology majors understand the cultural basis of idioms and other subtleties of language, so they are well equipped for this role.  They are excited about foreign cultures and can instill an appreciation for cultures as part of their language instruction.

 

The organizational skills of the anthropology major are useful as foreign language teachers develop their curriculum and plan the details of their lessons.  

Attorney

Attorneys practicing in the areas of International, Immigration, and Human Rights law benefit from an understanding of the cultural context in foreign countries.   Anthropology majors tend to be sympathetic to the needs of underrepresented individuals and predisposed towards advocating for their interests.  They can communicate effectively with diverse individuals.

Attorneys draw upon the detail orientation and writing skills of the anthropology major as they plan their cases and compose briefs and other legal documents.

Public Health Specialist

Public Health Specialists oversee initiatives that address health needs within various communities. They plan and carry out programs to educate the public about ways to prevent or limit the impact of diseases and health problems.  The cultural awareness of the anthropology major would enable public health workers to frame their communications within an appropriate cultural context.

Similarly, specialists in epidemiology study how diseases are transmitted.  They benefit from the anthropologist’s knowledge of how culture impacts interactions amongst individuals and sanitary practices.  

  • Public Health Careers

Diversity Officer

Diversity Officers work to promote practices within organizations that enhance diversity.  In this role, they need the anthropology major’s knowledge and acceptance of individuals from different racial, ethnic and religious subcultures.  

Diversity officers analyze current organizational practices and suggest alternative ways to recruit and retain individuals from different backgrounds. 

Translator/Interpreter

Translators/Interpreters tap a knowledge of culture as they detect and represent the true meaning of communications.  They draw upon the adaptability of the anthropology major to adjust to other cultures and environments as they carry out their work.  

Translators and must be keen observers who are attentive to detail.  The verbal communication and writing skills acquired by anthropology major serve them well in this capacity.

Human Resources Representative

Human Resources Representatives help to define the roles of employees and the composition of the workforce at organizations.  They cultivate an organizational culture that will support creativity, productivity and loyalty amongst staff.  

HR representatives tap the problem-solving abilities and interpersonal skills of the anthropology major to resolve issues between employees.  They compose newsletters and other communications and organize events to enhance staff morale.  

Media Planner

Media Planners analyze the lifestyles and media preferences of various consumer groups as they define the best media mix for promoting products/services.   The anthropology major's knowledge of cultural groups can help media planners to position products in the consciousness of specific demographic groups.

Media Planners must communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other members of the advertising team.  The anthropology major's tendency to respect differences can facilitate positive interactions amongst diverse internal and external stakeholders.

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