Careers In Anthropology

What is anthropology? Anthropology is both a science and an art which studies about human culture and humanity. The study primarily revolves around identifying how human being as social groups adapt themselves to various environments and analyses the way of life in terms of both material objects and non-material values and beliefs. It concentrates on the diversity exhibited in the way each social group survives and create theories and develop scientific tools to test them.

Anthropologists also primarily concentrate on cross-cultural aspects and conduct comparative research. This field of study also analyses how people of a social group/community view the world and can provide valuable inputs to promote global harmony among people by in-depth understanding various cultures. There are various branches to the study of anthropology and the major ones are linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, social anthropology and archaeology.

Personality Traits: To be a successful anthropologist, one needs to have a keen interest in learning about various human cultures and societies. One needs to have extensive patience and will to probe as, to finalize on a hypotheses based on scientific evidence takes a long time. The process which an anthropologist follows to come to conclusions would be first to approach the community and get accepted, create hypotheses, collect evidence and evaluate them based on scientific tools and finally draw conclusions. As humans are very complex, drawing up conclusions is a very challenging aspect of anthropology.

Career Options: To begin a career in anthropology, one atleast requires a master’s degree. Most of the anthropologists in the United States combine teaching and pursue research by affiliating themselves to a university/college. Some work for the local, state or federal governments and even for private firms.

Few anthropologists are involved in community development work and in association with social agencies strive to improve health care facilities and other services for the community. There are also research institutions which conduct fulltime research relating to projects financed by private institutions and governments. Anthropologist can also work for such research organizations. Few anthropologists collect and maintain displays for museums.

 There are many associations for anthropologists in the United States. But the most significant one is the American Anthropological Association and all anthropologists are members in atleast one of its specialized sections namely the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Society for Applied Anthropology or Society for American Archaeology.