If you are passionate about understanding why societies have flourished and perished, why and how civilizations which have come before us have changed or have affected the way we are today and are fascinated by the interaction of cultures and the dissemination of traditions and ways of life, a major in Anthropology may be your calling. It will expose you to differing cultural experiences, ways of viewing problems and contemporary policies and societal realities, preparing you for a number of professional career options.
Career Options in Anthropology
Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Anthropology. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers an Anthropology degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Anthropology than others.
- Cultural Advisor
- Cultural Artifact Specialist
- Cultural Researcher
- Event Coordinator
- Exhibit Coordinator
- Foreign Correspondent
- Foreign Service Officer
- Government Administrator
- Historical Researcher
- Human Resources Specialist
- Immigration Officer
- Labour Relations Specialist
- Legislative Aid
- Museum Curator
- Museum Technician
- Non-Profit Administrator
- Population Studies Analyst
- Police Officer/Corrections Officer
- Policy Advisor
- Policy Researcher
Note: It is important to remember that some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above please consult the Career Cruising website, available to York University students using their Passport York account through https://passportyork.yorku.ca/ppylogin/ppylogin. You can also visit the National Occupational Classification website, available at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/noc.
Skills Developed Through an Anthropology Degree
A background in Anthropology ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills an Anthropology degree can help you develop:
Core Mathematics for Education Skills
- An understanding of the ways in which people in the world are subjected to, participate in and contest the processes of living in a world that is interconnected by new and powerful economic, cultural and technological forces.
- Knowledge of contemporary, past and future social life, and the critical analytic tools to understand our place in the social and cultural diversity of the world, past and present.
- The ability to analyze the ways in which concepts such as class, race, gender and ethnic identities are produced and expressed in shifting local and global contexts of power.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
- The ability to learn new information and apply this to professional demands
- The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
- The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
- The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work
Management and Teamwork
- The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
- Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
- The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
- The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects
Professional Associations and Organizations
Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Anthropology that you may want to visit as you research career options for Anthropology graduates.